Approximately 30 University of Tennessee Chattanooga students are starting the semester chillin’ at the Holiday Inn Days Inn. Of course, this is not by choice but because officials at UTC “overbooked” on-campus housing, according to the Chattanooga Times Free-Press article (8/5).
Officials notified 150 students its 2,801 beds were booked in late June. Overbooking is an “industry standard” according to Chuck Cantrell, assistant vice chancellor for university relations. He goes on to state one to two percent of students who have registered for on-campus housing will fail to show for their room; overbooking prevents an empty bed or a really large single room.
UTC will be providing the students with shuttle service from the Carter Street location to campus everyday. The same on-campus housing “rules” will allegedly apply in the hotel for the students. Officials and students are hoping the lack of housing will be resolved before too long; some students may opt for off-campus housing.
Now you have been briefed. How the hell do they expect to completely enforce the housing rules? I lived in the dorms at MTSU from 2002-04; rules were sort of not really enforced in the on-campus housing. Will UTC post a dorm mother drill sargeant RA right by the hotel room? An eco-related query: why don’t they walk to class from the dorm? I’ve been to Chatty many times and I walk everywhere in the downtown area, which is not far from UTC (see below map).
Save some gas and pollution, get some exercise–WALK if it is nice outside. Besides, traffic is not fun, especially in a shuttle. Everytime I used a shuttle or bus, I was always late.
And something slightly off topic: Why couldn’t MTSU do the same thing when 387 students from the Reynolds/Monahan/Schardt complex, which had an electricial fire, were displaced in October 2003? Instead, we were corralled like cattle into the Rec Center or forced to sleep on friends’ couches (which I chose). Granted, there were 10 times more students displaced at MTSU than at UTC, but the Rec Center is not the place to send people. Try “overbooking” the dorms. The property claims were denied by the State of Tennessee Division of Claims because MTSU was “not responsible” for the electrical fire that started in their basement! Sorry, had to rant for a moment. As an alumnus, I get aggravated by MTSU’s bone-headedness sometimes. My donations at work, folks.
In the spirit of “dorm-less” students, I’ve found the 2003 email I sent to friends & family when I was out of a place to stay. Read below if you wish. Yes, I know I mention driving to class below; it was a mile and a half from the place I was at to school, rather than the 0.8 mile for the Chatty situation.
Homelessness in America’s…college campuses?!
Homelessness is a concern here in the United States of America. There are many reasons an individual may become homeless: loss of job, bad luck, drug problems, or even house fires. But now the problem has spread to the college campus of Middle Tennessee State University.
387 students living in the Monohan Complex, a dormitory consisting of two-thirds male (Monohan and Schardt dorms) and one-third female (Reynolds), were evacuated from their living quarters at approximately 10:30 p.m. on Wednesday, October 8. The reason? An electrical fire had occured in the basement of Reynolds Hall around 10 p.m., causing the power to go out around 10:15 p.m. (credited to Kristin Hall, news editor of Sidelines). Students were evacuated and were told to relocate themselves for the night, whether it be with friends or family, or through one of the school’s temporary assignments (Rec Center, another dorm room, the James Union Building, a spare classroom).
At a meeting held by Sarah Sudak on Thursday, she informed the displaced students that the state fire marshal insisted the dormitory be shut down until the problem was fixed. So once again, these same 387 students were scrambling to be escorted to their very acrid smelling floor to retrieve enough essential belongings to get them through the weekend. The original hope was to be able to move back in the dorm on Monday, but a meeting was held today to inform the students that a second problem (emergency lights’ batteries were out and therefore a hazard) would have to be attended to before re-occupation. So it is another night of homelessness, albeit temporary, once again for the students.
For those of you who don’t know, I live in Reynolds Hall, third floor to be exact. I have been sleeping on my wonderful friend and co-worker Joe’s couch in his apartment three minutes from campus since Wednesday night. I am highly irate about this situation and I will be filing a complaint with the human resources department to demand reimbursement for the cleaning of my belongings (they smell terrible), the $35 worth of groceries that has now rotted in my fridge due to the power outtage, and hopefully the gas money I have had to burn up just driving from Sterling Gables Apartments to campus. I have used more gas driving back and forth to the school for class and those damn “informational” meetings than I did when I drove to work on Friday and Sunday. I love Joe and his roommates to death, they are very kind to allow me to stay with them, but the couch does not make up for a bed that I can strech out in and relax when I sleep.
The only thing left to do is wait, but I do have one lingering question that no one has asked and I wonder if the school would answer: This dorm just under went renovations that were finished this summer, so how the hell did this happen? Should there have been a thorough inspection of the builiding before students were allowed to move in August? I think so.