Housing makes room

Students who still plan to apply for housing this year are going to have to get in line.

This year’s waiting list for students who need housing was 364. Of those students, 239 are First Time In College students, while 125 of them are returning students.

As of late Tuesday, 211 of those students have received housing; 107 of them were FTIC males and the rest were FTIC females.

Unfortunately, they were not able to house the remaining 153, said Isaac Brundage, director of housing. However, many of them found housing off-campus.

“The majority of the freshman students are last minute applicants to housing,” Brundage said. “Meaning they applied to housing around the beginning of August.”

As soon as FTIC students are admitted into the university, they can apply for housing, Brundage said.

After applying to housing online or via the necessary paperwork, students are then assigned a room based on the time their applications was received.

“The retuning students had the option to apply for housing this past spring,” Brundage said. “These students on the list did not take advantage of this.”

Making freshmen a priority, the office of housing assisted students on the list by assigning them to unclaimed rooms and rooms that were reserved for late arrivals.

“To reserve or confirm a room a resident must already have a room assignment and they have to let the housing department know in writing if they will have an arrival [check in] date later than the opening weekend,” Brundage said. “If this is not done then the rooms can be reassigned to other students.”

Alana Lewis, 20, a junior elementary education student from Augusta, Ga., said she applied in early August and was placed in the Palmetto Phase 3 building three weeks ago. She was without housing for four days.

In her case she said, “They over booked. The way I got placed was by taking someone else’s spot after they left.”

Lewis said she was persistent by keeping in touch with the finance part of housing and constantly asking about any empty rooms.

“When we first talked to them, they said no rooms were available until they actually walked in the rooms to check,” Lewis said.

While waiting for placement, she stayed with her grandmother.

“If they knew how many rooms they had, they should have stopped with applications,” she said.

Felicia Parry, 20, a junior psychology student from West Palm Beach is a residential assistant for Phase 3 housing. She said she believes the long list is due to the size of enrollment. She also mentioned that students enrolled late for housing. In her opinion, it was best to try to find somewhere off campus.

Brundage said that the problem could be prevented in the future if the housing department would closely monitor the number of housing applicants for the upcoming year, especially their freshmen applicants.

“This [close monitoring of applicants] was done this year, but there were a high number of last minute applications,” Brundage said. “As a result, when it was discovered that there was a waiting list, it was getting close to move in weekend.”

Brundage indicated that they do have a higher number of returning students staying on campus, but he said he feels the blame for the lack of housing should not be put on one group of students or a combination.

Brundage did advise freshmen students to apply for housing as soon as possible.

“Many students make this the last step in their process to attend the university,” Brundage said. “Doing this for any university, including FAMU, puts the student at risk for not getting on-campus housing.”

Brundage also stated that returning students should take advantage of the opportunity to secure on-campus housing during the spring semester.

“With the increase in freshmen enrollment, in the future, returning student spaces might be limited or capped,” Brundage said.