No Place Like Home
Image via Kollin Washington, Managing Editor of Visual Media
By: Colin Royal, Managing Editor of Print
Morehouse has once again accepted a record number of freshmen. This increase of interest in the college is great in theory; however, the admittance of over 700 new freshmen has presented substantial issues.
Morehouse housing policy usually says you have to stay on campus up until your senior year. This rule has been revised and, ultimately, rescinded over the past two years because the college does not have enough dorm space to accommodate its students.
“Due to the high demand for housing, we have over 500 students on the waitlist. We are no longer accepting new applications,” Morehouse Housing Department said in an email.
Maroon Tiger reporter and producer Justin Darden wrote on this dilemma with Capital B Atlanta. He discussed housing controversies at Spelman College and Clark Atlanta University as well; click here to read more.
This has left parents, new students, and current students scrambling to make accommodations within the few days before the start of school.
Students who were accepted for on campus housing were notified via email on June 15. On July 26, students who had not been assigned were initially promised assignments by July 31. That date was then pushed back to Aug 1. Some students did not receive housing assignments until days before move-in week.
On Aug 11, Student Government Association (SGA) President, Mekhi Perrin went to Instagram to once again confirm that students that were missing assignments would be accommodated. No further information was distributed from Perrin.
Over the past month before classes started, when students and parents attempted to contact the housing department to fix the issue, they were answered with automatic replies and indecisive messages.
According to an email between returning Morehouse student Auzzy Byrdsell and the college’s housing department, they guaranteed Byrdsell housing on June 15, while placing a housing placeholder charge on his account. Byrdsell received another reply on Aug. 3, which explained that he will receive housing; however, this message did not have any formal housing assignment.
Byrdsell did not receive his assignment until Aug 9.
Brian Houston, a father to a second year student at Morehouse, reached out to The Maroon Tiger (MT) regarding the housing issue. He directly messaged the MT Instagram account informing our staff that his son had not received housing three days before he was scheduled to arrive on campus.
“I couldn’t find a number. Every place I emailed just sent back a standard reply and nothing personalized,” he said.
Houston spoke more about his experience with the housing department. He explained how it was difficult to find a phone number to contact the office, and he never received a personalized/non-standardized message from the department email.
“The first personalized information that I got back was from you guys– The Maroon Tiger,” Houston said.
The general surrounding housing at Morehouse was frustrating. Students have been left with no on campus housing, which has caused them to have little alternative. With classes starting in less than a week, this lack of housing presents a huge challenge for this year’s students.
“The tennis courts will become our new area for residential housing in June of next year,” Booker said to Capital B Atlanta. “We will build a three 300-room-plus facility that will meet the needs of the college, so that we don’t have to look at a situation where we can’t house all of the students that desire to live on campus.”
The Maroon Tiger was scheduled to speak with Dean Kevin Booker to discuss the matter, however he was unfortunately unable to attend recovering from COVID-19. Another meeting was set up, but the administration did not attend that meeting either.
Copy Edited by: Auzzy Byrdsell, Editor in Chief