Tim's Take: Armstrong students still seeking answers

Tim's Take: Armstrong State still seeking answers
Updated: Jan. 20, 2017 at 7:15 PM EST
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GEORGIA (WTOC) - Something was missing from both the town hall meetings held on both campuses Thursday to provide details on how Georgia Southern and Armstrong will become one university - DETAILS.

But, as Tim Guidera shows us, the meeting at Armstrong raised as many questions as it answered for Pirates.

Upon further review, it would appear further review is required.

"We came out knowing,'" said Armstrong freshman Morgan Jefferys-Gaglione, "I think, somehow less than we did before. I'm not really sure how it happened.'"

"They might as well have gone up there and said, we honestly don't know anything," added sophomore Tarah Yared. "All we know is this is becoming Southern.'"

There were well-appointed officials attempting to defend a decision that has already been made.

And there were a lot of Armstrong students, faculty and staff who that decision will effect, which means there also was plenty of emotion.''

And while there were replies to the pre-approved questions, there were no real answers, at least not for the school that is about to be consumed by the other.

"I just want clarification, like if they're going to get rid of departments, people need to know that,'' said Armstrong sophomore Toni Ivy. "I think, being a sophomore, I want to know what's going to happen in the next couple of years.''

"I just wanted to know about the commute and what's happening to the programs,'" said Jefferys-Gaglione, who attended the meeting with Yared. "We're both in sororities on campus and we wanted to know what would happen to our sororities.'"

The officials leading the meeting, which included both university presidents and representatives of the University System of Georgia, admitted they didn't really know how the schools would be consolidated.

But that seems like something they should have figured out before they voted to consolidate. And, at Armstrong, the after-the-fact timing of the meeting was frustrating.

"They knew way beforehand what was going to happen,'" said Armstrong senior Evalyn Fregene. "So, I'm wondering why we weren't notified beforehand.'"

"We're the students here," added Yared. "We have the right to voice our opinions and tell them how we feel before that happened."

Ian Phillips, a veteran who chose to attend Armstrong because it has traditionally been military friendly, thinks there might have been deceitful reasons behind the timing of the meeting.

"I feel it's sneaky. I feel it's shady and maybe even criminal,'' said Phillips. "I wonder if there's something in the bursar's office that's being hidden by this merger.''

It's more likely the only real conspiracy was a plan to keep people in the dark.

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