The Housing “Crisis”
Published: Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, September 5, 2012 17:09
As we all know, there was a large amount of students left without housing at the beginning of the semester. It was mainly freshmen — or first year students — but there were some upper-classmen affected as well.
Students had to find off campus housing a few days before starting class. This caused a frenzy amongst students; they were basically homeless.
A few students chose to transfer schools due to this issue. Some were forced to sleep on the floor or the couches of their friend’s dorm rooms. A few were even sleeping in their cars.
According to ABC11, there could be many as 500 students on a waiting list for on campus housing. From the outside looking in, NCCU’s Residential Life Department was to blame. But were they really at fault?
Housing at NCCU is assigned on a first come, first served basis.
Based on what I was told, none of the students who paid their housing fees in the spring were homeless.
So who’s to blame? I say both the students and residential life. NCCU should have set a firm, final deadline to stop accepting housing applications.
At the last orientation this summer, students were still paying for housing. I know somebody working in residential life knew that housing was pretty much non-existent at that time.
The housing fee is non-refundable. It isn’t fair that NCCU allowed students to keep paying these fees and gave them false hope that they would have housing. They should have communicated with students earlier this summer so they could prepare to make alternate arrangements.
I also believe that the students need to take responsibility as well. Housing on campus is limited. Why would you wait to pay your fee? When the freshmen received their letter of acceptance, they should have paid their fee then.
I know NCCU’s undergraduate admission application deadline is late. However, those accepted in the summer should have called and asked if there was any housing left. Every year, the incoming class is bigger than that of the previous.
Next year, I hope residential life establishes and sticks to a deadline so that this will not occur again. Also, they should not continue to take fees if they aren’t sure if they can house the students.
Students should not procrastinate with paying their housing fees either. When residential life begins accepting fees in the spring, apply ASAP. Also, alert incoming freshmen in their acceptance packet to the limited amount of spaces.
Make a big, bright flyer and send out email reminders. NCCU was on the news for this situation and it shined a very negative light on the university. We don’t need any negative publicity.