VSU students scramble to find housing after school announces it can’t fit upperclassmen on campus
ETTRICK, Va. (WWBT) - College move-in for thousands of students at Virginia State University is just days away, but many who applied for on-campus housing are now learning there’s no room for them.
“This is crazy that they have nothing in order,” mother Trina Washington said. “No one is answering their phone, or it’s a two-hour wait, and then you get someone, and there’s nothing that they can say to help you.”
Washington’s daughter Na’Kya is a sophomore at VSU.
She applied to live on campus for a second year, but it wasn’t until late July that she learned they had no room for her.
“There was no apology. There was no nothing,” Washington said. “It was just pretty much like, ‘well, yeah, we oversold, and that’s what it is.’”
According to VSU, first-year students are required to live on campus, so they take priority.
Na’Kya quickly had to figure out where to live.
The off-campus options VSU offered were The University Apartments at Ettrick, Richard Bland College dorms 7 miles away, or temporary housing at an area hotel.
She opted for the apartments.
“As of yesterday, she actually got her official apartment number and the names of her other three roommates that she will be living with,” Washington said. “Yesterday was Tuesday. She moves in on Friday.”
Washington worries an apartment does not offer the best living circumstances for her daughter.
They live in Buffalo, New York, and had no choice but to pick something blindly and juggle the logistics from nine hours away.
“I don’t know the first thing about Petersburg,” Washington said. “I know that when I was 19, I wasn’t completely ready to be out in an apartment on my own. She doesn’t have a vehicle right now...at the Ettrick apartments; it’s about a mile and a half away.”
Free shuttle service will be provided seven days a week for VSU students forced to live off campus at any of these locations. Students who choose to drive have been offered free on-campus parking.
In a statement, VSU said students who are pushed to live in The University Apartments at Ettrick would receive a $1,500 stipend to offset the additional charges.
But Washington says there has been no communication, even though she has called multiple times.
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