NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Tennessee State University welcomed its largest freshman class ever this month, which, coupled with more upperclassmen applying to live on campus, is creating issues with housing.
TSU sophomore Maya Woodson didn’t know where she would be living this semester until a few days before she was supposed to move in.
“I thought maybe I wouldn’t be able to come back; I thought they would just keep me at home because they didn’t have a space for me,” Woodson said.
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Due to limited on-campus housing at TSU, Woodson was assigned to check in at the Best Western on Brick Church Pike for the semester.
She told News 2 the hotel is about 10 minutes from campus, which isn’t ideal, because she didn’t save up money for transportation or gas this summer, thinking she’d live on campus.
“That’s too much money,” Woodson said. “Right now, it is what it is; I’m going to deal with it, but they could really do better.”
TSU grandmother Gloria Fields agrees. Her sophomore grandson was also assigned to live at the Best Western this semester and didn’t find out until this week.
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Fields is concerned about his safety and said the university has not informed parents about whether or not there will be security at the hotel.
“If you’re sending your child hundreds of miles away from home and that information has not been discussed yet, it’s disturbing,” Fields said. “He wanted the experience of being on campus and being away, and we wanted to provide that for him, and we thought TSU was the place for it, and not to say they’re not at this point, but this whole situation is out of control,” Fields said.
With the rising cost of living in Nashville, TSU said more upperclassmen are applying to live on campus, and there isn’t enough space for everyone.
Woodson told News 2 many of her sophomore classmates didn’t get a housing assignment at all, or did not want to live in the hotel, so they’re doing online classes at home.
“Students like me, we really love this school, and we really want to come back to this school, but they’re making it really hard,” Woodson said.
This is the second year in a row the university has had to lease out the hotel for student housing. TSU said many other universities are doing the same.
It’s unclear if the hotel will have security, how many students have not received a housing assignment or how many students were assigned to the hotel.
News 2 reached out to TSU for more information but has yet to hear back.