St. Aug's students return to class amid debris

Posted April 19, 2011
Updated April 20, 2011

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— Students at Saint Augustine's College returned to class Tuesday amid the hum of chainsaws and the roar of heavy machinery, three days after severe storms rocked the downtown Raleigh campus.

Saint Augustine's College after tornado St. Aug's students return to class

Students had balked at the quick turnaround, saying trees, power lines and broken glass litter still the campus, and some dormitories were without power.

"We're going to class, and you can't even enter the campus. That's ridiculous," student Bianca Pass said Monday night.

On Tuesday, student Brian Moore said the sound of the cleanup effort was apparent. "My class is right next to a tree that fell right, so yeah, I can hear it pretty good," he said.

College President Dianne Boardley Suber said learning to make adjustments in the face of change is part of the college experience.

"It's learning to know that life is not always ideal. Sometimes you're inconvenienced. Sometimes you have to go with the flow because there are no other options," she said.

Moore, a freshman, said that is a lesson he has already learned. "Obstacles come in to your life like that, so you gotta suck it up and deal with it, "he said.

Boardley Suber urged students, who face final exams this week amid a campus atmosphere that's not conducive to study, to take personal responsibility for finishing the semester. Students who don't finish their credits this spring will have to finish at another time.

School leaders said that power had been restored to all campus buildings Tuesday afternoon and that the campus main entrance would reopen Wednesday morning. 

"You are blessed," Boardley Suber reminded students. "There are 1,000 students on this campus and no injuries. You are blessed. You are blessed."

Elsewhere in Raleigh, Shaw University administrators suspended classes for the duration of the semester due to damage sustained on and around its campus. Part of the student center's roof was torn off, trees were uprooted, and windows were blown out of several buildings.

YouTube video: Shaw University students experience tornado

University athletics will continue as scheduled, and Shaw officials said Tuesday that faculty would work with students who still need to complete exams.


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  • cubed32696 Apr 19, 2011

    For those of you critizing the students, they are traumatized just like everyone else. Why don't YOU go help them?
    I lived in Ohio until I was 7 and I'm terrified of even the thought of tornados. These did not hit in Raliegh where I live, but that does not mean that I'm not doing something to help.

    Shame on you!

  • wakemom Apr 19, 2011

    there is a video taken by a shaw student during the hurricane. my nephew also attends school there and we had to pick him up on sunday by a certain time. kids had to be off campus that afternoon! the student center..gone!.. dorm windows...gone! it is terrible there. students that wait until the last min to get those grades up have learned a lesson from this storm. yes they shouldnt mess around anyway until the last min, but we all have procrastinated in our lives. shaw's administration did take the kids out on saturday night for dinner on their school charter busses. i also heard that shaw was trying to get buses to dc, md. ny etc to get kids home. it would be nice too if they could provide exams for students to take online. but afterall, it is the end of the semester. if you aint got it by now you wont have it exam time either.

  • NCishome Apr 19, 2011

    Have the students take responsablity and assist with the clean up. Which could be raking, picking up small limbs or just making sure the workers had water to drink. Community service says alot about a person. I am sure there were some neighbors to the college who could use the help.

  • BlahBlahBlahBlahBlah Apr 19, 2011

    If the campus is safe...go to class..
    If the campus is not safe...stay away.

    Does the president have a bathroom, water, and electricity?

    Did she make adjustments??

    OK ...I see..we need to all install an outdoor toilet and a pump..
    Problem solved!

    I have not seen the campus..but sometimes an overzealous administrator wants attention!!

  • ifcdirector Apr 19, 2011

    Here is an idea St. Augustine students. Stop complaining and start volunteering on your own to help remove the debris and helping out around your campus.

  • hollylama Apr 19, 2011

    Some St. Augs students are just mad they have to go to class when Shaw doesn't. I have to wonder what kind of grades Bianca Pass has...i'm just sayin'

  • lredman77 Apr 19, 2011

    i sure hope that kurtz is more organized with his witnesses than the prosecution was. they were just way too random of witnesses.

  • gomob1981 Apr 19, 2011

    I'm lost. When did attending college become stressful? For some having to work and pay their own way I can understand, but they are few of them. I attended Saint Aug and understand the perseverance and pride associated with any HBCU. I agree with the decision both Universities made, but I would like to have seen Shaw possibly require some type on online learning to complete their final assignments. Either way the decision was the administrations and the students should just stop crying and go to class. Hearing people whine, now that's stressful.

  • Whosays Apr 19, 2011

    Go to school, study at a public library if need be and get over it, then be done.

  • carter Apr 19, 2011

    sources say the electricity is back up on campus. This is a good sign - and to the post that said they should have given students a week so they could get things cleared before having them go back to class. I say look at this is life preparation. If you were working, your job would expect you back to work ASAP(they probably would not give you a week). If you did not return to work, you would have to use your personal time,not get pd. or risk termination. I'm sure the president of Saint Aug. Thought long and hard about her decision. Students will be home in a few weeks safe.