Staff Writer: Jarren Cottingham
There are over a thousand graduate students enrolled at Wingate University as of the 2019-20 academic year. However, there is currently no on-campus graduate housing for student-athletes returning for their fifth year of eligibility.
A problem that has occurred on campus is the fact that housing for graduate student athletes is off campus. The location of the housing is about 15 minutes away from campus.
This has posed a problem for the athletes needing to get to campus for class, practice, meetings, and games, especially the ones that do not own a car.
“I used to have short gaps in between class and practice. I would have liked to have been able to go back to my place to lay down, but I couldn’t because it would take 15 minutes to get there and 15 minutes to get back to campus in time,” former athlete Kerigan Farley said.
A lot of graduate student-athletes have complained about not having the luxury of having a dining option near them. This means that the off campus student-athletes have to drive to W.T. Harris dining hall on campus just to eat free meals that’s included in their scholarship.
“I hate having to spend money on food, but a lot of times that’s the only choice because sometimes it is simply better to grab some food right down the street than having to drive 15 minutes for a meal,” football player B.J. Muckelvene said.
Wingate has provided a shuttle that takes students from place to place, but there are problems that come with that as well. Some students find themselves falling behind or late to classes or practices because the shuttle is late.
“My car broke down and I had to use the shuttle for some time, but I would find myself late sometimes because the shuttle was running behind. If there was on campus grad housing, it would definitely help those grad student-athletes going back and forth,” Muckelvene added.
Over the past two years, Wingate University has built three new residence halls. None of these are for graduate students.
Building on-campus graduate housing will solve a lot of problems for student-athletes who are struggling with time getting back and forth, and there are hopes for on-campus grad housing in the future.