University of Louisiana Monroe students speak out over housing situations during COVID-19


MONROE, La (03/25/20) — What once was a campus full of students in the middle of March, turned into a ghost town as ULM moved all their classes online and encouraged students to move out of the dorms. “I never thought that ULM was gonna close. I wasn’t ready for that,” said Miriam Islas, Student at ULM.

For many students, the idea of moving home seemed farfetched, but after communication from the university, students in the dorm packed up and went home. “And that’s whenever they emailed us last Friday about school being completely closed, like getting everything out…so now I’m back home,” said Islas.

But not everyone is in the comfort of their home, some international students stayed behind and are living in the dorms or trying to find places to stay off-campus with friends.

“They can’t go back home, they don’t know when they will get the chance to go back home and that could be a little bit tough for them. They also might be worried about the people back home because it’s not just in the U.S., it’s in the whole world as a whole,” said Raphael Akinpelu, Student at ULM.

The change in coursework also affects international students. “Not all international students have access to technology and if they do, they don’t have enough experience to take classes online, taking exams online, everything just online…it’s a whole new shift for them,” said Akinpelu.

And in the event ULM has to fully shut down for any reason, they have a plan in place to work with students still on campus. “The university’s been extremely accomodating and we’ve been in constant communication, and they’ve been really proactive with making sure that our international population would be taken care of,” said DeVaria Ponton, Director for International Student Programs at ULM.

ULM is still encouraging students to move out of the dorms completely. If students move out by March 29th, they’ll receive a 25% refund on their spring housing and meal plan.

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