Housing battle, Hudson clears the air

The developing issue between upperclassmen and housing is finally put to rest. Although some questions still remain unanswered, Florida A&M University housing will be available to all students for the Fall 2016-2017 school year until full capacity is reached.

Over the past few months’ there has been speculation about upperclassman not being allowed to reside within FAMU Village. This news spread like wildfire throughout the campus, as only scholarship students received notification about registering for housing in the Fall 2016-2017 school year.

Current residents of FAMU Village and non-scholarship students were not notified about registration for housing next year. When logging online to the FAMU housing portal upperclassmen only had the option of living in the apartment-style dorms, the Palmettos, falsely confirming the rumors.

Second-year secondary education major Jaffa Williams said she now has to live off campus.

“I have been living in FAMU Village since it has opened and I love it, but I am disappointed in how housing communicated with me and my peers,” Williams said.

Housing has made a Fall 2016 room exchange form for students who had the only option of staying in the palmettos. This option is first come first serve and enables the student to choose a different housing facility.

This form does not fully guarantee the facility, but the option of moving into a different dormitory.

“Permanent room offers are based on availability and offers will be made daily. If the first offer is not responded to, applicants will be given 24 hours to respond to initial offer, if not applicants will be moved to the bottom of the Room Exchange,” as stated on the form.

Like other scholarship students, Marcus Hayes received notification but he thought every did as well.

“I assumed everyone was notified of the housing options, and I understand why this is a problem,” Hayes said.

The vice president of Student Affairs William Hudson Jr., Ph.D., briefly explained housing plans to accommodate the influx of residents for the Palmettos.

“We are working on possibly getting grant funding to help us renovate or demolish and build a new facility, specifically the Palmettos,” Williams said.

Hudson explained the grant funds would come from the U.S. Department of Education and the Florida Board of Governors. He also stated other facilities will be included in the renovation project. The only problem is if some buildings are listed on the historical registry, they cannot be torn down.

“You can’t tear it down completely, you can leave the façade, which is the outside structure, but you can fix the inside,” Hudson said.

He mentioned FAMU housing’s goal is to increase the universities bed count by 1,400 and have 30-40 percent of students living on campus.

Although freshman and scholarship students are priority, upperclassman and non-scholarship recipients have the option of choosing their designated living facility as long as it is done in a timely matter.