Residents express concerns with dorms

The Florida A&M University’s Office of Housing and Residence Life held its first annual “Whine and Dine” housing forum Tuesday to provide students a chance to voice their concerns and suggestions about living on campus.

The Resident Assistant Council invited university leaders to answer the concerns of students and respond to their suggestions.

Ricquel Jackson, 38th student senate president, and Mellori Lumpkin, student body vice president, were among an eight-person panel at the forum.

Topics discussed were maintenance and security problems within the facilities. Also the lack of resources for the residence life staff to plan and implement programs that promote excellence within the facilities were discussed.

Dining concerns after 10 p.m. during the week, short hours on the weekend and the lack of activities and events on campus for residents’ participation were discussed at the forum.

“They charge us fines but nothing is getting fixed,” said Cynthia Walker, 17, a freshman math student from Aurora, Ill.

Walker said in her Palmetto South apartment residents have to use a knife to change the temperature on the thermostat, and her roommate’s closet is missing a door.

“We filled out the checklist they gave us when we moved in and they just fixed the ceiling that fell in front of the elevator,” Walker said. “It’s like (they) pick and choose what they want to fix and it takes a long time to fix it.”

Walker said she wanted to find out why there is no sense of urgency to attend to problems at the apartments residents are paying for.

Donovan Crosby, 19, a sophomore engineering student from Palm Bay said his primary concern was Palmetto South apartment’s lack of cable in the facilities.

Alger Studstill Jr. said the panelists were helpful with addressing student issues.

“Many concerns that were mentioned were not only answered but a solution was given if one was needed,” said Studstill, 19, a sophomore business administration and education student from Orlando.

“For example, one concern was the cleanliness of the restroom facilities, and the residents were informed that the custodial staff cleans the facilities at least twice a day.”

Studstill said the forum was beneficial to the audience.

“The forum was a tremendous success and the evaluations from the audience and panel rated this forum as one of the best,” Studstill said. “There were over 35 people in attendance and all of the residential facilities were represented either by the resident director, resident assistants, or residents, or a combination.”

In an effort to ensure the housing facilities are safe and an enjoyable environment, a suggestion box is located in all of the facilities and is checked on a weekly basis by the assistant director Lamar Coleman.