First and second year students at Clark University Atlanta must live on campus to make sure they "receive a solid foundation and create a path to success," says the school's website.
But for many students, life on the stressful campus distracts rather than a stabilizing element on the first day of the fall semester. Second-year student Asma Alamin spent Wednesday morning in Augusta, where she lives, seeking information on temporary housing instead of going to class as she had planned.
The 23-year-old received an email from CAU in April that included her housing allowance and the name of her roommate. When he arrived on campus on Monday, there was a "huge line" of students waiting for the bedroom keys.
Finally, the students were asked to register and wait for a call with more information, said Alamin. Later, the school told him that there were no bedrooms available.
"I feel that Clark needs to be there for his students," the medical student said Wednesday. Alamin said she is disappointed, as she had higher expectations for the College and Historically Black University (HBCU).
Kendall Youngblood, center, conference with her colleagues Abria Penu, left, and Asia Mone't Johnson-Clark, right, in an economics class at Clark Atlanta University on Tuesday, August 29, 2017.
(HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM)
A spokesperson for CAU said in a statement Monday that students who did not complete the "process of Financial registration is offered temporary housing. " Alamin said he was not presented with any options.
Many students and parents went to social media to disprove the situation and said that school officials did not respond to calls and emails.
CAU officials did not answer questions from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Tuesday or Wednesday about temporary housing, how many students require it or when they can enter normal housing.
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The 126-acre university has an undergraduate enrollment of 3,093, according to the US. News and World Report.
"They're saying there are no homes available and that everyone will have to resort to off-campus housing, which is a problem," student Kerrington Griffin told Channel 2 Actions News reporter Rikki Klaus earlier this week. The station, which received photos and videos showing crowded lines at the student center, said about 150 students were waiting for information on Monday.
Nicole Redd, the mother of an aspiring student, said she felt "duped" after driving last week from Baltimore, Maryland, to a CAU event welcoming the new class. Her daughter did college tours in high school and "something aroused her interest" in CAU, Redd said.
The mother and her daughter came to Atlanta knowing that housing was a problem, but Redd said they were assured they would take care of it. Once here, Redd said she was told there was a discrepancy with her daughter's financial aid and that they did not have housing for her.
[1 9459002] Unable to solve the problems, she and her "devastated" daughter returned home. Redd said her daughter, Trinity, is now looking to enroll in other colleges.
Housing problems occur when CAU participates in a one-year celebration of its 30th anniversary, an event that includes a $ 1.25 million scholarship fundraising campaign and a national tour of CAU President Ronald A. Johnson , to discuss the vision of the university.
The tour began last weekend at Martha's Vineyard and was attended by people like journalist Gayle King, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and former House minority leader Stacey Abrams, who recently won the Democratic nomination for the top office of Georgia.