Clark Atlanta students still 'have nowhere to go' as classes begin, dorms unavailable

Class is in session at Clark Atlanta University however, instead of worrying about passing their courses, some students are trying to figure out where they'll lay their heads tonight.

Some rooms inside Clark's Heritage Commons dorms are still unavailable for those students, and some have nowhere to go.

Sophomore Asia Castrillon-Watts said the university gave away her dorm room on Monday. Since then, her mother's paid out of pocket for her to stay in a hotel or she's crashed with friends. 

Castrillon-Watts says so many of her peers are also stranded with nowhere to call home.

"At the end of the night, I have to find somewhere to stay.  It's beyond stressful," she explained to reporter Brian Hill. 

Castrillon-Watts  admits she's cried about the housing situation here at CAU. Right now, the sophomore is staying at a friend's house.

"I actually had to break down about it because in a way, I feel neglected by my school and it's unfair in a sense," Castrillon-Watts said. 

It's an unfair situation where Castrillon-Watts explained that on Saturday she was told she needed a COVID-19 PCR test to move into her assigned room at Heritage Commons.

She had just flown into town from Houston with her mother.

However, on Monday, when she went to turn in her results, the 19-year-old said the university told her the room was gone and there wasn't another Heritage Commons room available.

"They were like they ran out of hotel vouchers and they are trying to get the students out of the hotels first so basically I'm last in line as a priority which I don't understand because I literally have nowhere to go," she described. 

Earlier this week, we told you some of the nearly 500 students assigned to Heritage Commons were shocked when they showed up to campus and learned their dorm rooms aren't ready yet.

RELATED: Students frustrated over Clark Atlanta dorm renovation delays

The property is undergoing renovations. Parents of those students told us the university sent some of them to hotels but one father said his daughter has to be out by this weekend.

"We just don't understand how this happened," Castrillon-Watts said.

She did admits the university offered her alternative housing.

She could have stayed off-campus, possibly with non-college students which she tells me made her uncomfortable.

The other option was to move into another dorm where she'd have to share a room. Her mother agrees with that option. 

"That's not what she signed up for. It's feels like someone saying this is what you're gonna do," Noubia Castrillon explained. "No, you're not gonna force us to take an option that wasn't an option at first."

FOX 5 reached out to CAU again regarding this problem. The university told us they're working around the clock to address their housing issues.

They also said they’re taking half off of each student’s room and board bill for the semester.

This has been an emotional situation for these families Who say they're also frustrated with the lack of communication from the school. We asked the university about a timeline for when these students will be able to move into Heritage Commons but we’re still waiting on that answer.

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