Tennessee State University Students Prepare to Stay in Hotels over Dormitory Shortages

Tennessee State University (TSU) is facing backlash after some students have suggested there is a housing crisis ahead of the upcoming fall semester beginning on August 22nd.

According to FOX 17 News, some TSU parents are being told their children may end up in hotels or other off-campus options instead of university on-campus housing due to an “overflow” of students this semester.

FOX 17 reached out to the university and spoke with TSU’s Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Carolyn Davis, who denied the housing issue, saying, “We are not having a housing problem. This is the point that we want to make sure we are clear on. Again, we don’t accept students based on our housing capacity.”

FOX 17 notes that Dr. Davis also said they have an “unprecedented” number of students this year, with a lot of upperclassmen and freshmen choosing to be on campus, one of the driving factors being the COVID-19 pandemic’s intrusion on typical college life. According to Dr. Davis, upper-class students usually move off campus but this year are opting to stay on campus to regain the missed college experience and connect with their communities.

When asked why hotels are being used if there is enough on-campus housing, Dr. Davis replied, “Hotels are being used to meet the needs of the students that we can’t house on campus, but we are housing our students. We don’t have a housing issue. We do have housing.”

Meanwhile, as additionally reported by FOX 17, some students are sounding the alarm over safety regarding the possibility of staying in hotels this upcoming semester.

Tolesea Dyson, a rising junior at TSU, sat down with FOX 17 and said last semester she and other students were placed in a “drug-infested” hotel and even found needles in the rooms.

Despite Dr. Davis denying the housing issue, TSU addresses a housing shortage on its website, acknowledging that the university “consistently reaches capacity of its on-campus facilities, forcing students who have delayed in submitting their housing application to reside elsewhere.” In order to submit a housing application, students must be officially admitted into the university and pay a $100 non-refundable prepayment online. For those students who have not secured a stable living arrangement on campus, TSU provides a list of apartment indexes, vacation rentals, and a list of nearby hotels on their website, available here.

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Kaitlin Housler is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network.
Photo “Students on Campus” by Tennessee State University.


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2 Thoughts to “Tennessee State University Students Prepare to Stay in Hotels over Dormitory Shortages”

  1. nicky wicks

    i wonder if they require any students to live in the dorms. doing away with that requirement could solve the issue.

  2. 83ragtop50

    Hey, folks. Just because there is university housing does not require that accommodations be made available for all who enroll. I have been done that path and survived just fine, thank you. Go someplace else if you do not want to live off campus.