NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A man left on the street during a housing headache at Old Dominion University told 10 On Your side he’s a victim of circumstance.
“It is just preposterous, and completely absurd,” Army Specialist John Carter said. He’s a veteran who was stationed at Fort Bragg as paratrooper. Now he’s using the G.I. Bill to get an education at ODU to become a marine biologist.
In April, Carter claims he couldn’t get on the website for the campus housing application for the fall, so someone in the housing office filled it in for him. At the end of May, Carter was told the application was deleted, and he was a student without a room.
Carter said he was in constant contact with the housing office: “They were not understanding at all. ‘There are no exceptions, and there is nothing we can do. We are sorry, but you are getting the same treatment as everyone else.'”
Carter was staying in Gresham Hall for the summer session, but on August 8 he got the bad news.
“On the 8th they told me I had 48 hours to move out of housing, there were no housing extensions, there are no male spaces available, and basically I was out,” Carter said.
He does not own a car, became homeless, and borrowed a friend’s car to spend two nights in the parking lot of Gresham Hall.
Carter thinks the deleted application doomed his chances for the more affordable campus housing, compared to where he lives now, at The District at $725 a month.
Student Troy Reid said he doesn’t know where he’s going to live either: “It is frustrating. It’s good to be on campus. It is frustrating to not know where I am going to stay until the last minute.”
Ellen Neufeldt, Old Dominion University Vice President for Student Engagement and Enrollment Services, sent 10 On Your Side the following statement:
Old Dominion University offers guaranteed on-campus housing for incoming freshman and returning sophomores who lived in ODU residence halls the previous academic year and applied by the specified deadline.
Upperclassmen typically take advantage of off-campus residence living, and our Housing Office can assist students through this process. While ODU, like many universities, is not able to guarantee on-campus housing for juniors and seniors, we do our best to accommodate any student requesting housing.
On-campus residential housing currently includes an inventory of 4,700 beds. ODU’s Master Plan calls for construction of an additional 2,500 beds so that more students who currently live off-campus can have on-campus living opportunities.
ODU claims there is no waiting list for those guaranteed to have on-campus housing. There is a waiting list of 40 for upperclassmen and transfer students. Carter said his status is a returning freshman.