News & Features, September 2017

Changes annoy Falkcrest residents

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The Falkcrest dormitories are the newest on campus and are usually are the most desired places to live, but when students returned to campus in the fall, they met with some unwelcome changes. The washers and dryers disappeared from Falkcrest and, when they returned, they were equipped with devices that allow the university to start charging students to pay by swiping their ID cards. Falkcrest residents had been used to doing their laundry for free. “Is it fair for us to have to pay for washing?” asked Tatiana Jermain, an RA at Falkcrest. “All of this time we haven’t had to pay.” “It’s not a good idea,” said Paulette Addison, a Falkcrest resident who serves as Miss SAU. “Our tuition should cover washing.” M.W. During, assistant director of Falkcrest, said the revenue the machines would generate “will help the students an benefit them in the long run.” But that’s not the only undesirable change. This year, students also have noticed a crackdown on parking in handicapped spaces at Falkcrest. Students sometimes park in those spaces because, they say, there are not enough parking spaces at Falkcrest. This year, however, police are cracking down and towing cars from handicapped spaces. Ms. During said the crackdown is part of an effort to bring about a more orderly campus. “It’s more like a change of culture throughout the whole campus,” she said. “I know it might not seem fair to the students because they have gotten away with it for so long.” Officer Sharon Raynor of the SAU Police Department explained that students were informed by email abut two months ago that police would be cracking down on handicapped parking violations. The spaces are clearly marked, she said. “It’s never OK to park in a handicapped space,” Officer Raynor said. She said police have been giving students a break by not assessing the $250 fine Another problem is that the lights in the parking lot have been flickering on and off. This has been a problem for the past six months, students say. “It’s pretty annoying,” said Howard Walker, a business major. “I don’t understand why it still going on since it started at the end of the last semester, the beginning of this year.” “The lights going on and off can make students feel unsafe, and it could cause some students to have medical problems,” Walker continued. “It can also be distracting for students who have to see blinking lights outside of their rooms.” ShiDoris Williams, a sociology major and resident of Falkcrest, said the lights should have been fixed by now. She added: “Our school may have a destructive incident to occur and those lights may affect it.” Owen Forbes, Falkcrest Residential Director, said the lights would be fixed but pointed out that a lot of repair work is being done to the Falkcrest dorms, which were built in 2007, and advised students to be patient. “We have more work than workers,” he said. Adding to the unhappiness of Falkcrest residents, a clubhouse being built there that was supposed to open this month is not yet done. But Dr. Steven Hairston, Vice President for Institutional Advancement and Chief Operating Officer, said the wait should soon be over. “Construction of the clubhouse has been completed,” Dr. Hairston said.  “We have inspections all this week from the City of Raleigh Building Code Enforcement Unit and the Fire Marshall.  If all inspections go well will be granted a certificate of occupancy. The plan is to have the grand opening on Friday, Sept. 29, 2017, with a pep rally the day before our SAU Falcons football team plays a home game against Virginia Union University.”

— Lorraine Henderson and Kelsee Arnold