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Friday, August 31, 2018

First year student housing issues at CAU

I can relate somewhat with the students of Clark-Atlanta University who are experience some issues with their housing as they began their fall semester:
Clark Atlanta University freshman and sophomores must live on campus to ensure they “receive a strong foundation and create a path of success,” the school’s website says.

But for many students, campus living served as a distracting stressor instead of a stabilizing element on the first day of the fall semester. Sophomore Asma Alamin spent Wednesday morning in Augusta, where she lives, seeking information about temporary housing instead of going to class like she’d planned.

The 23-year-old received an email from CAU in April that included her housing assignment and roommate’s name. When she got to campus on Monday, there was a “huge line” of students waiting for dorm keys.

The students were eventually asked to sign in and wait for a call with more information, Alamin said. The school later told her no dorms were available.

“I feel like Clark needs to be there for their students,” the pre-med student said Wednesday. Alamin said she feels let down, having had higher expectations for the Historically Black College and University (HBCU).

A CAU spokesman said in a statement Monday that students who hadn’t completed the “financial enrollment process are being offered temporary housing.” Alamin said that option wasn’t presented to her.
Alluded to in an article from The Root:
Clark Atlanta’s crisis is indicative of the problems of many small colleges. Institutions that are financially strapped or don’t have large endowments like larger, predominately white institutions that often survive on the revenue from tuition and housing. Because of this, these kinds of issues become prevalent, especially at historically black colleges.

Sara Goldrick-Rab, a professor of higher education policy and sociology who researches college housing at Temple University, says colleges force students to live on campus oftentimes because colleges view housing as a money-maker.
Ahhhh housing is a money maker, but then what excuse does CAU have to not having housing available for students? I wanted to say HBCUs should do better, and why because many of their students are coming from backgrounds which enables them to procure student loans and grants. And if CAU is a lot like Morehouse - a private university - going there isn't cheap.

My experience at Morehouse especially during the first decade of the 21st century gave me a lesson about how Morehouse ran their affairs. There were points where I feel as if the prestigious institution could've done some things more efficiently especially registration, housing or financial aid. Perhaps make it more easier for students and their families to understand the process. I often felt Morehouse had nothing on the community college I left behind to go to Atlanta.

Then someone shared this article which shows it's not just HBCUs that have this problem. Evidently this is a problem at UC Berkely, having more students than beds to provide for them - especially if they must stay on campus the first two years of college.

There has to be a solution. Perhaps stop enrolling more students than they can accomodate. Perhaps make some changes to their procedures in situations like this. Perhaps find ways to accomodate the demand and that might mean you'd have to create some housing in the surrounding neighborhoods which during my time at Morehouse didn't exist.

What can we do about it?

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