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Sunday, August 15, 2010

Housing crunch leaves student homeless at Southern

More than a few Southern University students say arrived on campus last Thursday to find they didn't have a dorm assignment.

Ashton Bush has a lot on his mind as he heads back to class. He didn't think finding a place to sleep would be one of them.

"I've been paying $8,500 every semester," said Bush. "This is gonna be the eighth time staying in an apartment, a lot of time it's a struggle."

Bush, who is originally from Houston, arrived at Southern with a car full of belongings, but no place to put them. He says that he filled out the housing applications and paid the fee on time.

Larry Harvey found himself in a similar situation. He says he doesn't have family in Baton Rouge to help him out and really needs a dorm room.

"So, the only I thing I could do was pay my fees, go to housing and figure out if something could be done, if I could get into something," said Harvey.

What he found was a 15-page waiting list.

"There's nothing we can really do," said Harvey. "Just get your name on the waiting list and we'll call you and let you know what's going on."

The seniors took their concerns to Southern's Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Dr. Mwalimu Shujaa. Shujaa says as of today, there were 117 open slots for housing, but it was just a matter of sifting through the wait-list.

"Now in addition to that we are making contact with a housing complex very near the campus," he said. "We worked with them before to accommodate students we were not able to house on campus," said Shujaa.

Bush says he and Harvey were told the school is trying to get them a place to stay.

As of 5 p.m. Thursday, Bush says he had not yet heard anything from the provost. If he doesn't get a room tonight, he's relying on friends to help him out.


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