Student Affairs Update - Mar 22
Thank you for your continued patience as we strive to recover from the tornadoes of March 19th. As I stated yesterday, we realize the storms profoundly impacted you, as well as many faculty and staff. We have been busy developing plans, inspecting facilities, and clearing trees along with a host of other activities. I've received numerous questions today, and I will do my best to answer them with this update.
For students who reside on campus, expect a phone call from a housing representative in the near future. We want to reach out to you individually to let you know what we are doing to address your housing needs for the remainder of the semester. I know many of you who reside on campus want to return to pick up your personal effects and I understand this sentiment. Inspections are moving as quickly as possible and, once the “all clear” has been given, you will be able to return. I do not anticipate an “all clear” signal this week or even early next week. I realize this is frustrating for you, and believe me, it's frustrating for us. However, there are only so many hours in the day and the damage is extensive. Your safety is important to us, so bear with us as inspectors do what they are trained to do – to make sure the facility is safe before you return.
For students who reside off campus, we had a productive meeting with National Guard representatives from Ft. McClellan. The training facility at Ft. McClellan has residence halls and they are willing to share what space they have with displaced students. Our housing representatives are working on a survey that will be made available to you in the coming days to ascertain your interest in this option. There are still many details to work out and the room allotment will be limited. Regardless, we are fortunate to have Ft. McClellan near us and the National Guard for being so generous. For students living at Fort McClellan, we will provide bus service to assure that students living there without a car can easily come back and forth to campus. More information on this will be forthcoming.
For any student in need of basic necessities, the First United Methodist Church of Jacksonville is serving as a distribution center. Once campus is back up to speed, my team will be offering a help center on campus to serve you. If you and/or others want to volunteer with clean up for the City of Jacksonville, please contact or go to the Jacksonville Community Center. Campus has not been cleared for volunteer assistance due to safety concerns, but, once we have been cleared, volunteers will be welcome and needed.
The Provost and Deans have been examining academic buildings with inspectors to ascertain usable space. Please be patient as this is a monumental task. The Provost, Deans and Registrar are considering all options to help you complete the semester. The Registrar has been in touch with colleagues at The University of Alabama, Union University, William Carey University and Louisiana State University – institutions that have encountered similar circumstances – and is working with the Deans to incorporate what was learned to best serve you.
More discussions await us tomorrow and rest assured that everyone here is working as hard as possible for you. And remember, if you have ideas to help us better serve you, feel free to let me know. Until tomorrow #jsustrong, #jacksonvillestrong
Timothy B. King, Ph.D.
Vice President for Student Affairs