“I want to live in the room that I paid for,” Langston upperclassmen moved to old dorms

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LANGSTON, Okla. -- Saturday was move-in day at Langston University.  It's the same day Matana Truitt was going to move in to the modern, apartment-style Scholars Inn complex on the Langston University campus.

"They told me I was going to be in [room] 2132," she said. I thought I was going to be in 2132. Saturday they're like, 'Oh we're not giving you your room anymore.'"

Due to a university error, many Langston University upperclassmen were pushed clear across campus to Young Hall, one of the oldest dormitories on campus.

"I don't want to live there," Truitt said. "I want to live in the room that I paid for."

Like many of the upperclassmen, Truitt had put in her housing request and deposit before she arrived. Students like her should have received priority for the apartments.

Instead, the university acknowledges, the school's largest freshman class in history threw the system off.

"We're trying to address all the issues that we can," said Sharron T. Burnett, Langston's vice president for fiscal and administrative affairs. "That's one of the reasons we committed to this process so we could give them some comfort that we're going to take a look into exactly what has occurred and to get things on track exactly as we intended them to be."

No student was left homeless, the university said, but many had to move into less desirable rooms.

"They knocked all of us down and shoved us in Young Hall with no refrigerator, no microwave," said Alisa Chestnut, a student. "There's nothing in there. It's horrible. I'm really pissed because I spent too much money for this."

Other students complained of old, dirty conditions in the rooms, and the lack of private bathrooms and toilets.

"It's nasty!" said Khallese Garrett, who was supposed to live in Scholars Inn. "Who wants to live in a community bathroom when they clearly built the new dorms because that's the old ones. That dorm's been there since they built the school, so why would I want to live there? It hasn't been kept up."

Langston University Officials say they are reviewing the housing lists by hand, checking to see who should have been moved into the rooms.

Officials expect everyone to be in the right place within a week or so.  Some freshmen may be forced to move out, the university said.

Extra cleaning companies have been hired to help the upperclassmen who were displaced.

"We've had all hands on deck," said Burnett. "Additional staffing, additional companies to address anything anyone might identify."

But some students say they may not even want to move back after the hassle to transport their belongings across campus in the first place.

"I moved all my stuff out there and you expect me to move everything downstairs and move everything again?" said Alisa Chestnut. "It's making me question. I really want to withdraw from Langston. It may be my last semester continuing here."

Langston is welcoming 677 freshmen to campus this fall -- it's largest class in history -- which may be part of the reason why the mix-up occurred.  The school has room to house 1,574 students.


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