FAMU campus lacks male housing

Currently, there are more dorms on campus for women than men. The question for many men seeking student housing remains “why?” The answer can be found by examining the gender ratio on campus.

According to the 2008-2009 demographics from FAMU’s website, Florida A&M enrolls nearly 12,000 students. Females outnumber male students by nearly 2,000, as 4,908 males and 6,940 females attend the university.

According to Oscar L. Crumity, the Director of the Office of University Housing, Florida A&M University has 2,426 students living on campus. Of those students on campus, 907 residents are males and 1,519 are female. That accounts for over 600 more females than males living on campus. Currently, Gibbs Hall is the only all male dorm.

There is also the Paddyfote Complex, but the housing area is split between men and women in two separate buildings.

Male students also have the option to live in non- traditional apartment style dorms like Palmetto Street North Apartments, Palmetto Street South Apartments and Palmetto Street Phase III apartments, all of which are shared with female students.

Female dorms outnumber male facilities by four.

In total, there are five traditional female dorms including Truth, Cropper, Wheatly, Diamond and McGuinn Hall.

While first time college students are expected to stay on campus, the fall 2009 enrollment boost left some students in the cold.

Brian Williams, 19, a first year general education student from Tampa, was one of those students. Williams said he was forced to find an alternate housing solution because there was no more space on campus for him.

“This is my first time away from home, and I did apply to live on campus but there was no space,” said Williams. “FAMU needs to build more dorms.”

Last fall the university admitted about 3,600 students.

The FAMU Housing Department received approximately 3,300 applications for its 2,484 beds, meaning that 816 prospective students would not be able to live on-campus.

Applications were up from 5,829 in Fall 2008 to 6,199 as of this summer 2009. According to the housing department, on-campus occupancy is nearing 90 percent.

Crumity said the university is in the planning stage of renovation on Sampson and Young halls. “Currently, we are not renovating any facility,” said Crumity. “Rather, the University is in the planning phase for Sampson and Young Halls’ renovation.”

In September 2009, the university received a $700,000 federal grant to renovate George M. Sampson Hall, a boys dormitory. Sampson Hall was closed in 2003 due to various code violations. Re-opening Sampson is expected to add 182 beds for campus residents and is said to remain an entirelymale dorm.

The re-opening of the facility has some students excited.

James Marshall, 23, a senior business administration student from Washington, said he thinks the renovated dorm will attract people to living on campus.

“When I was a freshman living on campus, it was the worst; I hated it,” said McKay. “The new building, in my opinion, will definitely be a good look for the school; it will probably help with the housing issues too.”

Many students that have been displaced from campus housing choose off-campus housing locations near campus, including University Courtyard, Adams Pointe, and College Club.

While the future of their housing remains unclear, male students are forced to find new solutions to this old problem.