St. Aug's students return to class amid debris

Posted April 19, 2011 12:43 p.m. EDT
Updated April 20, 2011 8:18 a.m. EDT

— 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.

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.