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TSU parents and students are upset about campus housing issues

EXTERIORS RedRoofInn_frame_6635.jpeg
Posted at 5:50 PM, Aug 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-24 07:12:56-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn (WTVF) — The semester at Tennessee State University starts this week. What should be an exciting time for students is turning out not to be the case for them all — as many must stay in hotels for the semester.

Keontae Humes learned just days ago her daughter will be spending the semester at the Red Roof Inn.

"I didn't figure that this was a safe and clean place for her to stay," Humes said.

The hotel sits on Brick Church Pike in Nashville.

The student shares a small room, furnished with only a double bed and one desk.

Humes says she emailed, called, and even drove the nearly nine hours from Detroit to talk to campus officials about getting her daughter, who is a sophomore, back on campus.

Her concerns were unanswered until finally, a staff member said nothing can be done.

"Don’t get me wrong, some people don’t mind staying at the Red Roof Inn, but it’s kind of a low-scale hotel and I just don’t feel that it’s safe — for not only my child, but any of the other children here," Humes said.

TSU tells us a large incoming freshmen class, projected at over 2,500 first-year students, and Nashville’s increased cost of living prevents many of its students from living off campus.

"Maybe I'm the voice of reason. Maybe I'm the only person that's going to say something about it. But this is not where my daughter used to. Not that we're better than anyone because I don't feel that way. I just don't think that they should put students here for housing," said Humes.

TSU President Glenda Glover said she wouldn't put students in a place she wasn't willing to stay in herself, so she spent the night at the Best Western — one of the university's off-campus housing options.

She said she wishes her stay could have been longer, but they needed the room for a student.

TSU tells us students could attend online for free if they paid a deposit or live in off-campus housing. It also said it is working closely with the state to add more residence halls.

Read the TSU statement below:


“The University is facing an unprecedented demand for on campus housing because of two factors, a large incoming freshmen class, projected at over 2,500 first-year students, and Nashville’s increased cost of living that prevents many of our students from living off campus. Staff has been committed to implementing a workable solution to meet the demand for TSU housing and have assigned rooms to all upperclassmen who have paid a deposit. However, we also understand everyone is not happy about the arrangements. We take the concerns of students and their parents seriously. Any concern regarding the condition of a room is addressed immediately whether on campus or at an off-campus housing facility. Hotel management is expected to resolve all issues right away upon notification at our off-campus sites. Many universities across the country and even here in Tennessee are experiencing the same demand for campus housing. Some sent students homes without any options. We provided our students with options because we know many of them will not come without a place to stay. TSU students could attend online for free if they paid a deposit or live in off-campus housing. For safety, a 24- hour security plan has been implemented for each off-campus location. TSU is working closely with appropriate state agencies to add more residence halls on our campus, hopefully starting next year to address our future housing needs. This growth is quite positive for TSU as more and more students seek to attend our university.”

Tennessee State University

And Red Roof Inn issued a statement as well, given below:

Clean, comfortable rooms are the hallmark of our brand. We are working with the franchise management to address any problems raised that may need to be remedied.