High enrollment strains student housing


Florida A&M has the highest enrollment with 2,700 first-year students in the school’s history. This increase has strained student housing on and all around FAMU, since the university has approximately 1,890 beds. 

According to the university’s housing policy, “all freshmen (first time in college students) and/or students with less than 12 semester credit hours residing in excess of 35 miles off campus are required to live in university owned and operated residential facilities.”

Although requirement has not changed, this year there are more first-year students living off campus than ever before.

Alesia Ware, a leasing agent at University Courtyard, said that over 60 percent of the complex’s 376 residents are freshmen.

“It’s deeper than what they (housing) think,” said Ware, a third-year political science student from Jacksonville who has lived in University Courtyard on Adams Street since her freshman year. “It may not seem like it but they are the majority here and most places around campus.”

Octavia Jackson, a leasing agent at College Club on Adams Street, who said more than half of the complex’s 544 residents are freshmen, agreed. College Club at the beginning of the semester boasted a waiting list of over 40 students after such a large influx of freshmen. 

Ware and Jackson, who have both worked for these complexes for more than a year, said they have never seen or heard of the apartments filling up so fast.

Markeshia Gorden has worked for Tarantino management, managers of University Gardens on Putnam Drive, for the past three years. She said the recent increase of students has had an effect on all the properties the company manages, including Down Under on Old Bainbridge Road and Seminole Grand on Tharpe Street.

“Nine out of 10 students that came in right before fall were freshmen,” said Gorden. “They are not realizing the responsibility; they just want a place to stay.”

Ware agreed.

“They come by themselves, eager just to have somewhere to live,” said Ware. “We try to tell them to read their lease and go over it with them.”

The university is currently renovating Sampson and Young Halls, and those facilities should be ready for occupancy in August 2011. Further, the university anticipates constructing an 800-