By Sonal Tulsyani
After students were asked to not return to Fairleigh Dickinson University and to stay at home if they could, there were still some that remained. Fairleigh Dickinson University allowed athletes, international students and students who could not go home for any reason to stay on campus for the remainder of the spring semester.
The university sent out an email on April 13 that gave official one-month notice to everyone, notifying them to vacate campus. Students would be responsible for packing, arranging to transport their belongings, and themselves, to wherever they will stay.
FDU is known for attracting students from other states and other countries. Those students were expected to go back to campus to gather what they had in their dorm rooms and then return to their state or country.
The out-of-state students had to make a long commute to FDU to gather what they could fit into their cars. Some of them lived farther away from school than others and they had to fly home when they left for spring break. While travel within the country was permitted, it would be difficult to transport belongings without help from family members. This would be challenging considering the number of seats that could be occupied would be limited. If the traveling and transporting of belongings were done on the road, then saying that it would be strenuous to travel and transport everything would be an understatement.
It would be extremely challenging for a FDU student to retrieve their belongings if a student came from one of the states that were on lockdown. In addition, some states have imposed heavier restrictions than others.
The international students who came back to FDU and did not leave before the travel restrictions and travel ban were put into place, are stuck in this country. They are away from their homes, and their families. Some international students were fortunate enough to find a place to stay among relatives that do live in this country. One student who fell into this category was Linzy Tran, a marketing major and Equinox business associate.
Tran is an international student who was fortunate enough to have relatives that she could stay with in this country. It took her 3 weeks to secure housing, and the university only gave students one month. Tran said, “I think the university should understand that international students have very limited housing options in this difficult time.”
Many students would agree. The university sent an email, upon request, directing students to Places4Students, a website that notifies students of living options. However, if students do not ask for this information, how will they know?
There is another affected group at FDU that was impacted by this. There are students who dorm at FDU, who had nowhere else to go. Some of the people who come to this university either had a situation at home where their parents could not take care of them or had parents that died either before or during college.
I was in this category. I was in the foster care system before I entered FDU and both of my parents died about a month before my freshman year was over, and now, I am a senior who will graduate in the fall. I was lucky enough to secure an apartment, but not everyone is so lucky. Not everyone is a senior, and not everyone is able to go back to live with their parents.
Securing housing takes time. Apartments require credit scores and sources of income and/or a job offer. Renting a room in someone’s house would certainly be a challenge during these times, and yet the school closing because of COVID-19 is what puts students in this situation in the first place. Whether the student is renting a room or an apartment, he or she will need money. Building savings and a credit score takes time. This would make it difficult for a freshman, or for anyone who had not started working toward these things.
Via Express Evictions
FDU’s eviction, due to COVID-19, is hard on students from all walks of life.