The scheduled visit from the Rev. Jesse Jackson which was canceled on Wednesday, was just another event postponed due to inclement weather and the potential threat of Hurricane Ivan.
“It wasn’t a matter of him (Jackson) not wanting to come; it was him being afraid he would not be able to leave,” said event coordinator Jonathan Quarles. Quarles, a senior double majoring in business and political science, also said the event will be rescheduled, but no dates have been set as of yet.
The 22-year-old from Flint, Mich., said the town hall meeting that was to feature Jackson’s “Keep Hope Alive” speech and a question and answer session, was designed to promote strong voter turnout in November’s Presidential election. The occasion was a part of Jackson’s non-profit “Hope is on the Way” tour.
The tour date was just the latest in a week of cancellations, including the FAMU Board of Trustees meeting and the Career Expo. This left many wondering why Thursday’s classes were not suspended until Wednesday evening, while other campus activities were postponed days in advance.
“There was no immediate threat to Tallahassee at 10 a.m. (Wednesday),” said Student Government Association Vice President Keneshia Grant. “The storm was moving westward daily.”
Grant said canceling the BOT meeting was out of consideration for the trustees’ travel costs and safety. “At that time, (Ivan) was still near Cuba,” said the 21-year-old political science senior. “Tallahassee was still in the determined area. (Trustees) would’ve been coming in vain.”
Vice President for Development Love Collins III said one cannot compare canceling classes with canceling extra-curricular functions as, “activities and events will supplement the curricular experience.”
Collins said that the postponement of the career fair was beyond the University’s control.
“Various companies called us and told us they weren’t coming,” he said. “What can you do when they cancel on you?”
Grant said, contrary to what some students may think, the University has not only taken them into consideration for the storm, it continues to do so.
“Students would be amazed at the work done by the FAMU Emergency Control Center,” Grant said. “They provide constant updates, and there are plans for students who don’t even live on campus to come and stay (in the event of a hurricane). We are thinking of everything for students to be safe and well taken care of.”
“The University will always have an emergency plan at its disposal,” Collins said. “We have good, weather-proven buildings. We prefer that students recognize the University’s priority is the students.”
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