With the much-anticipated 2021 Presidential Inauguration being this week, Montgomery city officials have taken precautions to ensure that the residents are safe by closing their downtown area until after the inauguration.
Alabama State University’s President, Quinton T. Ross, Jr., followed suit by sending out correspondence to all students, faculty, and staff stating the temporary closure of campus from Jan. 15 to Jan. 21.
“Given ASU’s proximity to downtown, the University will act accordingly out of an abundance of caution. The campus will be closed until Thursday and all students who live on campus are encouraged to remain on campus and to refrain from visiting the downtown area during this period. Online classes will continue as scheduled. All in-person classes will be suspended until Thursday,” Ross said, explaining the plan of action regarding the sudden campus closure.
Shortly after Ross sent out this letter, the Office of Housing and Residential Life sent out a brief letter explaining that because the campus would be closed, which included certain offices like the Office of Housing and Residence Life, move-in dates between Jan. 17 and Jan. 18 were postponed until the next weekend of Jan. 23 and Jan. 24.
Some students are enraged, questioning if the university had the out-of-state students in mind when deciding to close the campus and postpone move-in dates. Some felt as though it was an inconvenience to students who were commuting from long distances.
“I have always been disappointed in the ‘piss poor’ leadership that has plagued the university since my first days on campus. This recent decision to close the campus and cancel move-ins was no exception. It angered me immensely that the university made this decision to cancel move-ins less than 3 days before students were supposed to move in on those dates,” said Dax Craig, Jr., a senior chemistry major, expressing his anger regarding the abrupt campus closure.
Craig was particularly affected by the sudden change in move-in dates because his scheduled move-in date was Jan. 18. While he was able to still come at his original move-in date and time, he was more enraged about students who had to cancel their flights or rearrange their plans on such short notice.
“It is my belief that all the students who had to pay out of pocket to get their flights changed or canceled should be reimbursed. Once again, the ‘Dunning-Kruger Effect’ has made its presence known at this ‘prestigious’ university,” continued Craig.
It was no surprise that Craig was not the only student who felt that way in regard to the administration’s seemingly hasty decision.
Senior marine biology major DeShawn Bridges-Jessie attempted to move in on his scheduled date on Jan. 18 and was turned around.
“I couldn’t exactly be upset because I read the email before driving down here, but it’s still the principle,” Bridges-Jessie said, noting that he was aware of the campus closure and reassigned move-in dates prior to his commute back to the university.
“With me being turned around and not being able to move in until Saturday, I’m fortunate enough to live in Alabama. Not every student is like me, though, and I honestly wouldn’t know what I’d do if I lived out of state and had to suddenly change my plans.”
What seems to concern most students is the cost of the rearrangements, especially for those who do not reside in Alabama or even remotely near the state. According to the students, this is a rather expensive rearrangement that not every student can afford to change on such short notice.
“Our school literally has international students who reside on campus,” said Chanel Jones, freshman elementary education major. “I understand the need to keep our students safe, but the university could have gone about it a different way, preferably, a way that did not result in students losing money for flight cancellations and whatever else.”