UAPB students in Little Rock hotel due to no heat and water pressure issues

Alumni stepped up to make sure students had resources like food, water, and hand sanitizers from donations.

PINE BLUFF, Ark. — The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Alumni Association has stepped up with donations for food and water to distribute to the current relocated UAPB students. Last week’s winter storm left parts of the campus without hot water and no heat. 

Kymara Seals is the president of the UAPB National Alumni Association and says students and parents started reaching out Saturday. She was in contact with a university official to confirm problems and discuss solutions.

“So there were two issues with the campus. There were dorms that had almost no water. They did not have water pressure. There were also dormitories that did not have heat. So they had to make the decision to transport students to hotels,” said Seals.

Students were at three hotels in Little Rock and two hotels in Pine Bluff. The Pulaski County alumni chapter put together snack bags for students. Seals says they are provided three meals a day. 

Twon Walker is a sophomore majoring in health physical education and recreation. He’s also an RA and says when the snow first fell, students were excited and went outside to enjoy it.

“As the week started to go by we started to run low on resources. Now we’re blessed to get these nice hotels because we could have gotten anything honestly. I was hit with the news last minute to move. Some people were shoveling their cars, because they wanted to drive here,” said Walker. 

He says emotions for students have been everywhere. 

According to the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, students were notified about the mandatory move electronically. Staff at each resident hall also went door to door to notify students.

“As you are aware this is a very difficult situation for our campus and because of the ambiguity surrounding when water pressure would be returned, it was in the best interest of our students to relocate them. We’re still in the midst of this emergency and are devoting all our time to it.” 

Even with the updates, students like Kai Baker still say there’s not enough communication from faculty of staff.

“We found out through Twitter that kids were being transported to Little Rock. There’s no communication. Emails get sent out later after problems already occurred. Like duh, we get it. It’s inclement weather. We get that the water pressure’s down. We’ve been through that already,” said Baker. 

She and friends say they were snowed in to the point that they couldn’t move their cars to drive for food and resources. Bakers mother just paid for a hotel in advance on her own before students were moved collectively.

“The roads are bad so she was like if we could just get me to a hotel the closest to school as possible with running water that would be fine.”

Seals say that because of miscommunications some students have not received the information that they needed during the move.

“Hopefully that will improve. I’m going to do what I can to help in that process,” said Seals.