Christian Thomas | Staff Writer
Hampton University is often known for extending its help to those in need. Two years ago, during the natural disaster Hurricane Dorian, Dr. Harvey announced that Hampton would be offering those affected free room, board and tuition. Now in 2022, with the conflict between the Ukrainian and Russian governments, the university has once again offered aid, leaving current students feeling neglected.
This kind gesture has been recognized by Hamptonians both on and off-campus as an unnecessary ploy for good publicity. Many of the students feel that their needs have been brushed aside and ignored while the administration is very quick to extend their hand overseas.
After interviewing a handful of students, the consensus has been that no one is truly in agreement with this decision.
“More people are deserving of what is being extended to these students who are not just in the Hampton Roads area, but right here on our very campus.”
One student stated, “It’s almost as if these students were intentionally overlooked for a larger publicity stunt.”
Another issue being brought up by the student body is that the money we already have is not properly allocated to giving students better opportunities and resources on campus.
According to Google, tuition at Hampton is on average $31k, and this is after aid. A majority of students here pay close to if not full tuition. This means a large portion of the student body is not seeing where their money is going.
Ari, a sophomore currently attending Hampton studying liberal studies, said there are a lot of places on campus that currently need attention.
“There are a million different ways the money being donated to Ukrainian students could be utilized on campus. The dorms are moldy, the bathrooms are often left unclean, many things are outdated from the buildings to the official Hampton website. Many resources that were advertised to incoming students are no longer available and a lot of us feel misled to come here for something that’s not even here anymore,” she said.
Most people came to Hampton because of the numerous esteemed programs that are offered here. Unfortunately, due to COVID many resources have become unavailable and many staff members have left.
Some departments haven’t been thriving the way that they used to. Those who currently attend the university would greatly benefit from the rebuilding of these programs.
Hamptonians feel neglected by the administration because it has become apparent that the two main concerns of the school are its reputation and enrollment rates.
“Hampton seems to be more concerned about its public image than actually making the changes necessary to truly ensure that the school’s reputation is not tarnished and the enrollment rates don’t plummet,” said a student who wished to be left anonymous.
As we find out more about the struggles being had by those attempting to flee from these unsafe conditions, there appears to be a pattern of racial discrimination in Ukraine and neighboring nations. Videos have surfaced showing Black students being refused refuge. In one instance, a little girl was forced off of a train so that a white passenger could board and flee to safety.
Being that Hampton is an HBCU, Hamptonians feel it is not right to offer scholarships to people who quite possibly could be prejudiced against Black students.
While it is recognized that both the African students who were displaced and native Ukrainians have been extended this opportunity, it remains true that the money could be better spent on current students and the enhancement of on-campus resources.
Overall, many students are unhappy with the decision. After all, they feel Hampton should be working towards making campus life a better experience for those already enrolled instead of trying to fill the campus with students who are subsequently going to be unhappy because they aren’t getting what they were promised.