A group of nearly 50 Benedict College students protested yesterday afternoon, citing a lack of response from the school administration to complaints about on-campus living conditions. Issues with hot water and molded floors and carpets were among the chief complaints.
“They need to be held accountable,” said (Benedict junior George) Cornelius. “They are not doing anything to fix these problems, they’re not even fixing the water. Had a water problem over here with no hot water for seven days, so what you think, they’re going to fix a problem that’s been ongoing for two or three years, they’re not going to do it.”
“Who can tell you better than the students about how Benedict College is being ran, or about the facilities?” said (Benedict senior Leila) Brown. “Students can tell you because we are here every day.”
(Benedict spokesperson Kymm) Hunter says the Dr. David Swinton, the college’s president, has an open door policy, and that students complaints not being heard were inaccurate.
The students said they plan to hold a rally every week until the dorms are upgraded, and Swinton meets with them.
Benedict was cited earlier this year for having a residential facility fail 20 fire code statutes just prior to a student move-in. Clearly, this is a failure on the part of administration on a number of fronts. Primarily, its unacceptable for student complaints to go unaddressed. Period. I am shocked that the students don’t go to the president’s office and refuse to move until the problems are resolved.
Second, no student should have to live in uninhabitable conditions. If the Benedict administrators would not allow their homes to fall into such disrepair, why would they allow their future alumni – future donors and supporters – to be subjected to atrocious conditions?
Even if students are to blame for the conditions, or the issue is a combination of student mistreatment and old age, the university bears the responsibility of creating a livable environment where students should not have to concern themselves with health problems, distracting conditions, or plotting to protest a lazy and trifling college administration. That’s the burden of running a business – upkeep of a product and/or service.
Shame on Benedict for not extending the common decency of meeting with these students and developing an agreeable timetable for resolution.