by Maria MedinaBy Maria Medina

SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) — A group of San Jose State University students set up tents and slept outside Thursday night to bring awareness to the homeless crisis they said thousands of them face every year.

According to the college’s Student Homeless Alliance, more than 4,300 students have experienced homelessness in the past year. The university has a student body of 33,000.

Dalia Angel, a senior at San Jose State, became homeless this past fall when she said she could no longer afford rent.

“I was hungry. I was cold,” she said. “I couldn’t afford any rent, phone, food — nothing. And so I was sleeping in my car with no blanket. I was cold at night.”

Earlier in the day, the students chanted and marched to the San Jose State president’s office. The president, however, was not on campus.

Instead, Vice-President for Student Affairs Patrick Day met with SHA leaders to discuss their demands.

The SHA is asking for parking spaces near the SJSU police department for students who live in their cars.

They’re also asking for at least a dozen beds in dorms for homeless students to use for at least two months. They also want the university to provide a one-time $2,000 grant for students to find housing.

Day said they also talked about how to improve outreach to students and educate them about resources.

“They’re asking good questions and more importantly they’re coming up with really thoughtful and interesting solutions,” Day said.

He said he plans to continue discussions with the student group after they look at their solutions more closely.

Dalia Angel is now months from graduation and was able to use resources to get out of homelessness.

“Just keep pushing, keep trying,” she said to those students currently struggling.

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