After various reports came out that VCU student Madeline Allen was fed mixed messages about her move out of Ackell, we managed to track her down as one of the few poor souls left on campus.
“So I got these emails, right? The first one, from Residential Life and Housing, tells me ‘Hey, asshole. Don’t worry about moving out. You’re fine!’” Allen said. “And then like a second later, I get an email from my hall director saying I’ve got three minutes to be packed and gone or he’s gonna put out a hit on my family. No exceptions. I’m still in my dorm, living out of my suitcases because I don’t know if I actually have to leave or not. I’m at a real loss, here, seriously.”
Move-out week was filled with sloppy packing, a semester’s worth of cleaning done in ten minutes, masses of irritated parents double-parking across Richmond, and, as a rising sophomore, Allen has already got the look of a young woman that’s been through the wringer.
This is her first experience with Residential Life and Housing, and she is adamant that if no clarifications are made, it will be her last. When Allen attempted to contact RLH, she was met with an automated message, and when she made to call her hall director, she was put through to a pizza place in Kansas.
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Trapped in this limbo, she has been left to walk the dangerously uneven sidewalks of RVA, wandering aimlessly in her search for answers.
Since May 12, the official day students needed to be up and out of their dorms, Allen has utilized many strategies to try to get RLH’s attention. She believes getting through to them is her only hope.
“I started out real subtle. I stood outside their window with my wireless speaker blasting “Careless Whisper” and nothing happened,” Allen said. “When that didn’t work, I knew I had to up my game.”
We prompted how she went about this and are offered an exhausted shrug.
“I spent an hour finding Residential Life’s mom on Facebook. And she says they’re not home even though I know they are and that I should try again another day like I’m some protagonist in a trashy 90s film.”
When we made our own visit to the RLH headquarters, we were greeted by vacant desks and a series of dark, empty rooms, as if nothing of substance had ever occurred at the location to begin with. Further investigation found zero evidence to suggest that Allen’s hall director had ever existed.
On this, Allen had to say: “You’ve got to be kidding me.”
If all goes well, Allen guesses she will be continuing her stay at Ackell Residence Center this fall. She has been assigned the same room and has no idea why she’d even get an email to move out in the first place. For now, there seems to be no end in sight for her steady stream of confusion and we wish her the best of luck.
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