Student Affairs Update Mar 26


Dear Students,

 As many of you know, the recovery process from a natural disaster like our recent tornado is stressful and all of us experience a multitude of emotions throughout the day.  Make sure you are taking care of yourself as best you can.  If you need assistance, go by the Disaster Recovery Center at the Train Depot in Jacksonville.  We have two counselors at that location today and for the remainder of the week or as long as it is operational.  The DRC can point you to how to get many other forms of help (e.g., food, clothing, housing) as well. 

I am receiving an abundance of emails and phone calls, and I am doing my best to respond to each message. If I have not replied to you, please bear with me.  I will get back to you as soon as I can or will have one of my team reach out to you.  The most critical questions I receive are about 1) academic options, 2) when students can return to campus, and 3) commencement.

These issues are what your JSU Administration has been working on all day; so let me share our plans with you for each issue. 

The three academic options I mentioned to you last week are still the options in effect: 

  1. Take the current grade earned as the final grade for all classes or for select classes,
  2. Take an incomplete in all or select classes and finish the class(es) through the applicable incomplete procedure, or
  3. Complete the semester for all or select classes and complete course requirements. 

Recall that I also shared this very important fact:  "Each student’s situation is different; therefore, it is imperative that students make these decisions wisely and with input from faculty and academic advisers who are very knowledgeable about degree and accreditation requirements."  Make sure you speak with your professors and your academic advisors first before making these decisions!  In addition, contact Financial Aid, especially if you choose an incomplete, to ascertain if there are any ramifications of that selection for future aid. 

Given a review of our current recovery progress and the revised estimates of time to make the affected facilities safe and usable, the new start date for classes will be April 9th.  Please allow me to explain.  

On Thursday April 5th, students who reside on campus will be allowed to return.  For those who require a new housing assignment, university housing officials will be in touch with you about when you can collect your belongings and they will provide you with assistance moving to another location on campus.

If you reside off-campus and are looking for housing, please fill out a request form online via the JSU Strong website.  We are finalizing details for an option at Ft. McClellan and I plan to communicate this to you tomorrow.   

On Friday and Saturday, April 6th and 7th, Academic Affairs and Student Affairs will set up a one-stop shop in the TMB Auditorium to provide you with assistance regarding planning for spring 2018 course completion, advising and registration for summer and fall 2018, commencement for spring 2018, counseling, housing, financial aid, scholarships, disaster response needs and other services.  I will announce the details and times for the one-stop shop in the coming days.

To assist students and faculty with the recovery process, we will change finals week into the last week of classes to give all an opportunity to complete course requirements.  This last week of classes will run from April 23rd to April 30th.  For students who have questions about their situation as it relates to graduation, please contact your advisor and/or check with the Registrar’s Office to ensure you have met all graduation requirements.  Commencement will be held in the JSU Football Stadium on Friday May 4th.  If there is a threat of rain or severe weather, we will announce a delay until either Saturday or Sunday May 5th or 6th.  If you have questions about the EPP or other degree obligations, please consult your advisor or a representative from your degree program.  

My team is developing a Help Center that will be available to you when campus reopens for your return.  We will also have a Donation Center to assist you with things you may have lost in the storm.  Lastly, I have heard from many students living off campus who are encountering issues with processing insurance claims, accessing their place of residence or answering general legal questions.  If you are a student having problems related to insurance, please contact the Alabama Department of Insurance at 800.433.3966.  If you are a student having issues related to accessing your place of residence or property management issues, please contact Legal Services at 866.456.4995.  The Volunteer Lawyer Program at 888.857.8571 may address other legal issues.

While we have made substantial progress in a short period of time, there is still a significant amount of work for us to do.  We appreciate your continued patience.  As always, feel free to reach out to us.  Until Tuesday, #jsustrong, #gamecockstrong.

Timothy B. King, Ph.D.
Vice President for Student Affairs
Jacksonville State University