"You pray that nobody
takes your stuff,"
While moving in the Moody Towers during the faU, new and returning residents were met with the usual long
lines for the elevator, lifting heavy boxes and fighting for carts.
However, if adjusting to one new roommate and his or her habits were not enough, many Moody Towers
residents had five new roommates to become acquainted with.
For approximately two months, all 32 lounges in the North and South Towers did not serve as the quiet relief
from a noisy roommate, but rather the temporary living quarters for 110 students.
According to Sean Pierce, Moody Towers assistant area coordinator, students having to live in lounges instead
of an assigned room was due to a combination of factors. "They could have turned in their agreement in late or didn't
pay their deposit on time. Some just showed up and said "Hi, I want to live on campus," Pierce said.
Sandy Coltharp, assistant director of Residential Life and Housing, said
that in order to avoid any "surprises," students were notified that they would
be placed into overflow housing.
However, for April Josey, a freshman psychology major, it was a
surprise on the first day of check-in, when she was told she would be living
in a lounge for two weeks to a month. Josey said she did not know of an
application deadline, and while living in the lounge was only temporary, it
was still "uncomfortable."
"I was upset," Josey said. "It's crowded in here. I wanted to get moved
into my room so I could get organized, plus I brought all my stuff and have
no room for it." .
As a result, Josey temporarily resided in a North Tower lounge with six beds. The physical space is equivalent to
two double rooms, but she shared the room with four other females. Clothes, radios and televisions were organized
closely around beds. The lounges' eight windows were covered with dark paper.
Chelia Duru, a sophomore biology major, said at the time that she refused to change in the room. "This is
nothing, just paper," Duru said. "I'd go change in the restroom."
The question of safety and trusting five new roommates, each with a key, also concerned Duru. "You pray that
nobody takes your stuff. I left my TV with a friend," she said.
RLH staff began the process of phoning no-shows and soon about 70 spaces, the equivalent of 35 rooms,
opened for residents to move into. Duru and Josey both were given rooms. Josey moved into a room in less than a
week after moving in. "It felt good to get into a room. It felt safe, I had privacy and I can sleep better. I feel
comfortable now," Josey said.
Both Duru and Josey agreed a cut-off of applications accepted could help avoid taking in more students than
housing can accommodate. However, Coltharp said a history of having no-shows meant space becomes available
within days and then there is no need to turn away students.
This is the second year the Towers faced overflow, and Coltharp admits that additional housing may
alleviate future problems. "It's something we are talking about and exploring options," Coltharp said. "As soon as the
university has enough proof it's a good thing to do, we'll be moving on it.
we'll be moving on it."