Grambling University student describes housing as nightmare

It’s been a total nightmare. That’s how some students have described this semester at Grambling State University.

Alisia Sowden shares that sentiment. She one of 400 students that was moved off-campus from Jones Hall to Steeple’s Glen apartment complex and back on-campus to Wheatley Hall.

While some students had the pleasure of studying for their midterms, former Jones and Steeple’s Glenn resident Alisia Sowden was busy doing something else.

Alisia Sowden is a sophomore, majoring in Biology. During the week of midterm exams, Sowden was getting ready to move. It was her second move of the semester. However, she had no problem with the first move.

“I liked the fact that I was being kicked out of Jones and moving to Steeple’s Glenn,” Sowden said of her move from Jones. “Jones was nice in some ways, but it was bad in other ways.”

The Jones residence hall was closed early in the semester due to safety concerns. Jones Hall alone housed over 400 students. While some had the luxury of staying on-campus, others had to move off-campus to Steeple’s Glenn, an apartment complex in Ruston.

While the apartment complex was nice, there were some problems the students had. Some didn’t like the fact that there were no phones or cable, a service that is provided on-campus. After several letters and an article in the Sept. 22 edition of The Gramblinite, the students were informed they would be moved back on campus.

Upon her move back to campus, Sowden was a little disappointed.

“Why weren’t the people that kicked us out there?” she wondered. “We were mad about that. I took my time since they weren’t there.”

Sowden stated that she had to be out by 4 p.m., or she would’ve encountered a fine. She also stated she encountered rude attitudes from the supervisor over the move. However, the help of some GSU workers eclipsed that.

“The workers were helping us move out,” Sowden said. “They said they didn’t have to do that, but I’m glad that they did.”

The move back to campus put Sowden in the fifth floor of Wheatley Hall, the only high-rise dorm for females still available. The move was good in some ways, bad in others. When at Steeple’s Glen, Sowden used to miss some classes due to a late shuttle.

“Hell yeah, I’ve been missing classes,” she said angrily. “I’ve probably missed four classes in all.”

Despite the late or early-leaving shuttles, Sowden made other ways to get to class.

“I caught a ride with some people to get to class on time.” While Sowden wasn’t entirely happy with Jones, she was not pleased to be in Wheatley.

“The bathrooms are horrible,” she said. “I went to the bathroom the other day and all the stalls were nasty. I guess people don’t believe in flushing nowadays.”

Sowden does know one thing about Wheatley and Jones Hall though.

“I like Jones better than I like Wheatley.” Ashlee Jones, Sowdens’ best friend, also echoes her sentiments.

“I thought it was ridiculous,” she said of the moving her friend had to do. “I think if they just had good dorms to begin with they wouldn’t have to go through all of this drama. I like Jones better too, because the room setup is better than Wheatley.”

Sowden has stated that despite all of the turmoil of this semester, she is still going to continue her education at Grambling.

“I’m going to stay in Grambling because I want to change some of the stuff they do around here,” she said. “Something needs to get taken care of, for real.”

One thing Sowden would like to see done is some improvement to the dorms.

“They need to be updated,” she said strongly. “They need to be remodeled. They really need to do something about [people with special needs].”

There was a time when Grambling did do some serious remodeling in Pinchback. However, after the newly remodeled dorm was opened, it was nearly back to its old shape in less than a week due to students defacing the dorm. However, Jones thinks that Grambling will change in due time.

“When people see nice stuff all the time, they don’t tear it up,” Jones said. “If Grambling were to invest money into something really nice, people will respect it more. There will always be people who don’t appreciate nice things.

“Overall, the nicer the things are, the more students will respect Grambling as a whole. We deserve to have nice things.”

Jones, who lives in Bowen Hall, did note that she does recognize that Facilities is a little slow on maintenance.

“When we file a complaint, they need to follow through,” she said. “Sometimes we have to harass them to get things done.”

However, she does appreciate the work of one Facility worker she identified as Miss Sadie. Her hard work makes Jones appreciate Bowen.

“When we wake up, we smell bleach,” she said cheerfully. “She stays throughout the day and cleans the dorm. I think she deserves a raise.”

The housing situation does have potential to improve, as Grambling is currently in the process of building two new dorms. There is no set date for the opening of the new dorms. Deaf Education story Tenisha Willis Note: do not make the letter D in Deaf lower case. It is there for a reason. If anything is capitalized please don’t mess with it.