NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Tennessee State University students were supposed to start classes Monday, but issues with campus housing assignments delayed the start of school by two days, and some students are just now learning they don’t have a housing assignment at all.
Shameca Gandy’s daughter is a senior at TSU who applied for on campus housing as soon as it opened up, but was assigned to live in a hotel for the second year in a row.
Gandy told News 2 when her daughter walked through the hotel room door, she saw curse words written on the artwork and the phrase, “charge it to the game” written on the mirror. Gandy also showed News 2 a video of a bug crawling in her daughter’s bed and said there have already been several car break-ins.
“It’s her senior year and I don’t think she should have to be dealing with this the last year of college,” Gandy said. “They don’t have them in safe environments.”
One TSU junior, who asked to stay anonymous, told News 2 she doesn’t have a housing assignment at all, despite initially being told she would have a place to live.
She is working to find an apartment in Nashville from her home seven hours away, hoping to avoid having to take online classes.
“It’s hard; it’s heartbreaking. It’s disappointing because you expect so much from your school and you give so much to them as well, so it’s just like a slap in the face,” she said.
TSU told News 2 this year it welcomed the largest freshman class in its history, plus it had a large number of upperclassmen who applied to live on campus because of Nashville’s high cost of living. There wasn’t enough space for everyone on campus.
The university issued the following statement to News 2:
“We are excited and thankful that so many students are entrusting TSU with their academic growth and their well-being. In a proactive move, we worked with community partners to ensure our students have a place to call home. Our use of off-campus housing facilities, including hotels, for this fall and spring is a short-term option. Additionally, we are working closely with appropriate state agencies to add more residence halls on the TSU campus, hopefully starting next year to address our future housing needs. The university will continue to explore housing options to meet the unprecedented demand for on-campus housing related largely to Nashville’s increased cost of living which prevents many of our students from living off campus. This growth is quite positive for TSU as more and more students seek to attend our university. We want to assure students and parents that safety is our top priority for all our students, whether on campus or at an off-campus housing site and have a comprehensive 24- hour security plan for each off-campus location. TSUPD, Metro Police, armed and unarmed security personnel, along with residence hall staff will monitor the inside and perimeter of all off-campus housing as they have in the past. It is our hope that these intentional safety measures will bring a level of comfort to our students and parents.”