Students forced to move out

On-campus residents at Florida A&M are outraged due to the closing of Paddyfote’s buildings A and B.

“We’re a family,” said Terrell Jefferson, a first-year pre-nursing student from Tampa. “We’ve connected. There’s a bond, and now we have to split up.”

Jefferson said it was crazy and unfair for him to have to move.

“I learned the ins and outs of Paddyfote, and now I have to move to Gibbs where there’s like 600 people living,” he said.

Oscar Crumity, university housing director, said buildings A and B are being closed for the semester to reduce the department’s operating expenses.

“The decision to close buildings A and B resulted from a lower-than-anticipated occupancy for this year, the department’s debt-service ratio and bond rating for the 800-bed facility,” Crumity said.

This semester, Paddyfote’s occupancy is at 87.1 percent, compared to its 84.46 percent occupancy in fall 2012.

Residents were verbally notified Thursday in two meetings and were given a letter written by the housing director. Students were originally set to move out by Oct. 4, but they were given a week’s extension and other compensations.

“The residents will pay the Paddyfote rental rate for the fall 2013 and spring 2014 semesters as Paddyfote is our lowest rental property,” Crumity said. “Further, the department will provide a moving company to relocate the residents’ personal property from Paddyfote to the newly assigned facilities.”

While some students are disappointed by the decision, others look forward to the new move.

“I’m kind of happy to move out of Paddyfote,” said Lace Collins, a first-year pre-pharmacy student from Lake Wells, Fla.

During the summer, Collins resided in Diamond Hall and Palmetto Street Phase III apartments. She said the Paddyfote buildings are old, the air-conditioning frequently malfunctions and rooms are too small to house two occupants.

Buildings C and D may receive additional residents as some residents desire to remain in the Paddyfote complex.

Davondra Alston, a first-year business student from Orlando, is moving to another building in Paddyfote. She said she formed a close relationship with some residents.

“Although I was inside studying most of the time, I still became close with the people around me,” Alston said.

Some students said they may not pack their belongings, while others said they will pack but refuse to move themselves.

“Its unacceptable,” said Taylandra Brown, a second-year psychology student from Sebring, Fla. “I’m against it completely. I moved away from Cropper Hall to get away from mold. Even though I’m going to another building in Paddyfote, I feel like I had to fight for that.”

The buildings’ closure and residents’ relocation will not affect the resident director. However, the resident assistants will relocate to other on-campus residential facilities.

Lashawnda Morgan, a second-year biology pre-med student from Tampa, said moving out after a semester has already started is a major inconvenience.

“People paid to live in the dorms and shouldn’t have to move after already settling in,” Morgan said. “They should only be concerned with classes and not worrying about packing to move. They should have had this figured out before the start of the semester.”

Based on current occupancy, the revenue will remain constant, and buildings A and B should not affect the new facility scheduled to open in August.