Charles Campbell missed his lottery number. He was number 10 in the freshman class. He arrived 10 minutes early to select a room. He was waiting to hear his number and trying to pick out a four-person suite in Temple Towers, but then he heard number 14. He went up to tell the man who called the numbers that he didn’t hear his number.
Campbell said that the man who called out the numbers said the numbers quickly and softly at times.
“I want a kitchen.” He doesn’t want to live in Presidential because it is too far. He went upstairs to the fourth floor of housing and came down with Regina Wilmes, director of housing.
“You guys have a messed up system,” Campbell said angrily. Wilmes told him that he would have to wait until they repeat the numbers again.
“I have to wait now. I have to do it again,” Campbell said as his classmates chose the four-person suites in Temple Towers.
“It’s not fair. It doesn’t make any sense; they checked me in.”
Campbell is not the only one who is upset about the housing policy. Quaiser Abdullah, a Franklin House resident, finds the lack of communication from housing left students misinformed.
“All in all, they said when they built the new dorm we [Presidential and Franklin residents] would get first preference.”
Abdullah does offer one piece advice for students. He said that anything that housing officials tell you should be documented with the date, time and person you were speaking with.
Wilmes said that housing didn’t mislead any students about bed space. “They had more beds; they just had them in Presidential.” Wilmes said that students thought they were getting housing and she empathized with them. She said that their experience was most likely upsetting and disturbing.
Wilmes said that the priority offered to 2001 students was for those who opted to give up main campus space to live in Presidential and Franklin House. Wilmes said no one took the offer. “If they did somebody would be happy; if they didn’t there would be no change.”
Celia Flores is a Presidential resident, who is upset with the lack of communication between admissions and housing. But Wilmes said that Housing plans with Admissions every year.
Before Flores got housing she was on a waiting list. Temple told Flores that her housing deposit was due on May 1, but she received her acceptance on May 12, 1999. Flores remembers that those who got “screwed over” would get priority for the following year, and that the $200 dollar credit would go to their balance or used as declining balance.
Flores would like Temple to give all students priority, not just freshman. And right now I’m not having a complaint, but the seniors are.”
Keire Story is a second year journalism major who lives off campus. She is from Atlanta. She originally had no place to live, but was placed in a lounge her first semester with three other people. She was told she would get priority the following year for housing.
That didn’t happen. Story said Temple lost her loan papers and a financial hold was put on her account. She didn’t get housing and now lives off-campus in an apartment. “As far as I know, I’m still on that waiting list.”
Story remembers during last year that housing intervened. She can clearly remember Dr. Walker saying that it would only be an inconvenience for the freshman who didn’t have a chance to get housing on campus.
At one point, Story had two jobs to pay the bills, but that doesn’t mean the jobs paid for it all and her parents have their own expenses. She still knows that Temple doesn’t forget to send her bill to her house, but Temple couldn’t help her get a room on campus. She said Temple had better not ask her to donate any money after she graduates.
Even though, she wanted to attend Temple she felt she was backed in a corner and was thinking about transferring.
“It’s a struggle everyday. I still have to eat. I like eating everyday. I’m a survivor.”