JACKSONVILLE, Fla — Next Monday, August 22nd it’s back-to-school for the big kids, at The University of North Florida. One UNF student says the start of the school year can wait. That’s because that student doesn’t have a place to stay. I spoke to that student and his mother.
Going off to college is supposed to be an exciting time. You get to experience a world away from Mom and Dad, get into your career and make some new friends. But imagine having to put all that on hold because your University tells you they don’t have a place for you to stay.
Well, that is what UNF freshman Jayziel Gonzalez is going through.
“They showed us like a whole tour guide at orientation, so I was really excited about that,” says Jayziel Gonzalez.
Excited until he got an email from UNF’s Admissions office just 10 days before he starts this Fall term. It says, “you’ve been placed on a waitlist for on campus housing for fall 2022.” Jayziel is number 37 on that list, his mom isn’t happy.
“They sent me an email on August 12th where it says that he’s not guaranteed a place because they don’t have a space. That’s funny because you were supposed to fill out a contract before July 15th and we did it on the 1st to make sure we were secure,” says Yadira Lorenzo.
Well Jayziel wasn’t secured so Yadira reached out to UNF’s Senior Director of Housing and Residence life Robert Boyle.
“He’s like well you did everything on time and I’m like well then why don’t we have a dorm and he said well you know he didn’t find a roommate and we ran out of space,” says Yadira Lorenzo.
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But Yadira and Jayziel say once you get matched with a roommate it’s left up to that match to contact you and accept you.
Action New Jax reached out to Mr. Boyle. In an email he says, “highest of priority will be responses to housing wait list questions” followed by “my priority and focus is on training our staff and having all residential buildings and rooms prepared for move-in on August 19th & 20th.”
To accommodate Jayziel UNF says he could roll his admission over into the Spring of 2023. A UNF Admissions counselor says if he starts in the Fall, he can take courses online at home in Davenport, Florida.
“He said that if I’m doing a Biomedical Sciences major that doing online was going to set me back because some of the classes I’m required to take like a mathematics aren’t online,” says Jayziel Gonzalez.
Yadira and Jayziel say the worst part about all of this is that they’ve already spent over a grand on supplies for a dorm room he won’t have. Yadira says that does not include the money she has already paid for a housing contract, orientation, gas and hotel fees.
They also claim there are more than 100 other students in this position. I’ve reached out to UNF to learn how many students are waitlisted for dorms. I’m still waiting to hear back.