Salem Othman Q & A

Salem Othman is a graduate student in computer sciences at Kent State University. Othman found the Allerton Apartments in August 2010 so he could house his wife and two children. However, shortly after moving in, he realized that his family would be kicked out after three semesters.

Me: What do you think about the closing of the Allerton Apartments?
Othman: I don’t know where I have to go because these apartments are nearest to the PARTA buses. My wife is a student with me. The bus helps us get to the school because we have children. One of us has to be with our children at all times, and my wife cannot drive, so if I go to another place far from the university, it will be a big problem for me. My home country of Libya gave me not a lot of money, so if I go to another apartment, I may not be able to pay rent fees. I am extremely worried about finding a new place. The day will come when I’ll have to move out, and I don’t know where it will be.
Here at Allerton, all of us are like one family. In my point of view, this building is new, though they say it is old. Why do they need to close it?

Me: Why did you choose to live at Allerton?
Othman: It is a safer place than most for my family. All the people around here are students, and there is a bus service. It is also only $750 a month with utilities.

Me: What was your reaction when you found out Allerton would be closing?
Othman: When Residence Services said they were closing, everything changed for me. Life will be more difficult since my wife cannot drive, yet. If I knew before coming here that this would happen, I may have gone to school somewhere else.
Allerton is a great place for students. I have two children, and it is good for them since they can play outside sometimes, and it is safe. All our neighbors help take care of the children. It is happy, comfortable and convenient.

Me: What are the pros and cons to living at Allerton?
Othman: There are no cons to living here. Everything is perfectly fine. I hear there are some problems with paying extra money for parking, but it’s not a big deal.

Me: So, do you like the Allerton community, then?
Othman: Yes. They are very nice and helpful. It’s quiet. I like that other students can help you if you need any help in your classes. Believe me, the community here is very nice and helpful.

Me: That’s cool. Are you bothered that residence services is tearing down the complex here with no plan for the land, as of this semester?
Othman: It’s really bothering me. This community is beneficial to students. If you remove these apartments, it will just be free land with no use. It’s not benefiting students. Believe me, I have some friends back home I’ve told about this university, and they may not come if I tell them this community will be shut down. They may go to another university because this community will be gone. I like that these buildings belong to Kent.

Me: How much longer will you live in the Allerton Apartments?
Othman: I will live here another three semesters. My scholarship lasts five years, though, so I will still be at Kent State.


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