TSU administration addresses student concerns

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A trending topic on social media in Houston right now is #TakeBackTXSU. Students are fighting  to be heard about what they consider their university’s current overcrowding problem.

Their newly coined hasgtag is helping students express their concerns to Texas Southern’s administration about the issues they are facing in and out of the classroom.

“Obviously administration doesn’t care enough about us to change things for us, so we’re taking matters into our own hands,” said junior Mary Rucker. Rucker is one of the leaders in the movement at TSU who feels the administration needs to adjust their current ways.

”Take back TSU is not about talking bad about our university,” said Rucker.” We want to uplift it. I feel like we pay enough money to our university, we deserve adequate things, we deserve adequate seating in our classrooms.”

Rucker said many students listen from the outside of classrooms or have to sit on the floor because there isn’t enough space.

“We’ve got students outside of our class trying to hear a lecture.”

But Rucker and other students feel the overcrowding at the school is causing more than just classroom issues. Brett Lincoln, a junior, has been living out of his car since the beginning of the school year. He told us he applied for student housing but was told there wasn’t enough room.

“You have to kind of travel around to see you know if there's a place safe enough to survive,” said Lincoln.
Lincoln also said he tried to at least find parking on campus but was told by security he had to have a parking permit.

“At first it was on campus but then you know they decide you have to have a parking tag to use the campus. You know you have campus shootings down the street so it's not a situation that’s conducive to even try to function in a college setting let alone just surviving out here.”
Lincoln isn’t the only one facing this problem. Checotah Peachee lived out of his car too until TSU administration put him in the Windom Hotel. The catch was that Peachee, and all of the students without on campus housing in the same situation, have to pay for the Windom on their own.

“The Windom is almost a thousand dollars more than what I would have paid to stay here on campus,” said Peachee.  “So by staying off campus and having to pay an extra thousand dollars I’m not able to receive a meal plan.”

Peachee is using his financial aid meal plan money to pay for his housing.

“So now I’m trying to figure out how I’m supposed to eat everyday.”

The Student Government Association at TSU held a meeting on Monday, September 21 to address their concerns to the school’s administration.

“I think it got to be a bit overwhelming and we are both now realizing that we made some missteps,” said university spokesperson, Eva Pickens.

Pickens said that a lot of the overcrowding problems are to “computer glitches” that were caused by their new automated processes. In addition to the computer glitches, Pickens said that their new student housing was supposed to be ready by the beginning of the semester. It is still under construction. She told us that this delay has caused a lot of disorganization within the administration.

“We understand that the financial process and the housing process were not talking to each other,” she said. “We want them to get a quality education so we will definitely listen to their concerns and resolve those issues pretty quickly so they can enjoy their college experience.”