NEW ORLEANS -- A group of students at the Southern University of New Orleans say learning and living conditions on campus are deplorable.
They say their complaints about rodents, mold and other security concerns have fallen on deaf ears.
"I was only suppose to stay for a semester but I love the professors here in the biology department," said SUNO sophomore Tajiria Verdun.
The biology major was drawn to the university because of its affordability. However, the Franklin native and other students say they've been documenting problems at SUNO that continue to go ignored.
"The students have to deal with living with rats on the back. We were without Internet for over a month. The apartments are dirty and not clean," said Verdun.
Pictures taken by students allegedly show rats, garbage piled by dorms and mold inside classrooms. Female students tell Eyewitness News the campus shuttle doesn't run late into the night which is a security concern.
Verdun said some classes without A/C units have been forced to be let out early in the past because of the heat.
Another security issue, according to students, is walking along an unlit road late at night between campus and their dorms.
"When you go complain to the administration about it, they act like they care and they're going to do something about it, but they don't change it," said Verdun.
SUNO senior Kareem Kennedy said other challenges are impeding students pursuit for a higher education. He said a month-long Internet outage negatively impacted course work and a temporary library that closes early has very few resources.
"I wouldn't really call it a library. It sits in the basement that we use temporarily until a new library gets built. There's virtually no books in there," Kareem said, also mentioning that there are only limited computers.
It's frustrating for these students who are racking up debt by investing in their futures. They maintain SUNO isn't holding up its end of the bargain.
"Its like anywhere you go, you put your money into something, you expect to get something back out of it. From what I understand we're getting very little return on our dollars," added Kennedy.
Eyewitness News contacted SUNO to figure out what's being done to address students grievances.
The university issued this statement:
“Many of the issues raised in the October 18th letter have been addressed, including the pest control issue. As specific issues arise in the future, we stand ready to address them immediately.
"In addition, we provide a daily shuttle service for students, faculty and staff. Improvements to this service are ongoing.
"-Tammy Barney, SUNO Public Relations Director."