Costs mount for students moved to hotels

Students waiting on the shuttle. Photo courtesy: Dalilah Posley

It’s been nearly two weeks since Florida A&M officials announced the relocation of students to hotels because of a pest infestation in on-campus student housing.

Students who lived in Palmetto Phase 3 and Polkinghorne Village West were relocated.

Students who resided in Polkinghorne Village West were relocated after a fire hazard incident on Aug. 26.

FAMU reported that 128 students in the residence hall were accommodated for shelter due to water damage that affected the first four floors of the building. The cause of these issues is still under investigation, according to the university.

The relocation to hotels has resulted in a financial hardship for some of the students who are using Lyft or Uber to get to school because of hassles with school transportation.

FAMU is providing shuttle services to accommodate students temporarily living in the hotels because of the living issues on campus. The shuttle service comes out every two hours to pick students up at designated bus stops.

Felicia Love, a FAMU student in her sophomore year, says the challenges have affected her school schedule with getting to class on time.

“Using my money to get around is crazy, especially since I’m a college student,” she said. “The travel time does not match my school schedule. I’m usually late because the Venom doesn’t come on time. This is affecting my attendance.”

To prevent the challenges of being late to campus, other students decided to take alternative transportation such as Lyft and Uber. Some are using their personal cars.

The university does not reimburse students for taking other services to get to the school. Most hotels that FAMU has provided for students charge an overnight parking fee of $15. One student has said that in just a week of parking and gas has cost them more than $150.

Simone Johnson, a junior majoring in criminal justice, says she heard about others’ experiences with the shuttle services and decided to use her vehicle to prevent more issues.

“My mom helped me out a lot,” Johnson said. “The school should at least compensate for paying to keep our cars at the hotels overnight. Especially since it’s not the student’s fault, we’re here. That’s on the university.”

FAMU said in a statement that students are expected to move back into the dorms this coming week. The staff is scheduled to wipe down the dorms, implement pest control and prevent previous issues from reoccurring.

The transportation office could not be reached for comment about issues regarding the shuttle services and the timing of picking students up and dropping them off.