Epileptic student forced to move from dorms

Thursday, September 25th 2008, 9:41 pm
By: News 9

By Rusty Surette, NEWS 9

ADA, Okla. -- An East Central University freshman claimed he's been forced to sleep in cars and on couches because the school has banned him from his dorm room.

David Houchin has a history of what appears to be epileptic seizures. His last one landed him in the hospital, and when he woke up, he had an eviction notice from the school.

"It's gotten worse as time has gone by," Houchin said.

Houchin continues to investigate the cause of his seizures while staying in the hospital.

"I'm usually out 15 to 20 minutes in all," Houchin said.

His last episode took place inside Knight Hall on the ECU campus. The school's staff called 911 and he was rushed to the hospital.

When the 19-year-old awoke, he found a note from the school, advising him that he was temporarily being removed from the dorms.

"My access to the building had been restricted and I was only allowed in under supervision of campus police or the R.A.s," Houchin said.

Houchin said the school cites safety concerns, not only for him, but for the other students.

"I don't consider myself a dangerous person," Houchin said.

ECU won't comment specifically on Houchin's case, but they said they do not discriminate against students with disabilities.

"We'd look at behaviors that result from any activity, and if it were affecting a student's own safety or the learning environment of other students, then we'd address that behavior," said Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Diane Berty.

Houchin said after all he's been through, he wants to stay in Ada and continue his education at ECU.

"I do like the school," Houchin said. "I love East Central."

The Texas native said his friends are helping him juggle an unforgettable start to his college years. He's just hoping he can finish them in Tiger country.

Houchin does have a chance to appeal the school's decision, and which is why he's in the hospital being tested.

He'll hand over the results to the ECU staff when he makes his plea to stay in on October 1.

Houchin said if he's not allowed to stay, he'll most likely have to pack up and move back home to Texas.

He said he doesn't have the money to afford to live off campus.