/Alcornites for Change highlight widespread issues

Alcornites for Change highlight widespread issues

Nonprofit Mississippi News An alumni group at Alcorn State University has reported that widespread problems contributed to a drop in enrollment and the resignation of dozens of employees over the past year at the nation’s oldest historically Black land grant college. Alcornites for Change are now calling upon the president, Felecia NAVE, and her administration, to address their concerns at next month’s mid-winter conference. This annual gathering of alumni chapters is held in Atlanta, Ga. This report was based on records requests as well as a series workshops that Alcornites for Change held to examine “current student conditions”. It was presented to members last week during a Zoom meeting. April Gilmore, a 2004 graduate said, “It’s now that we can separate the drama and the reality.” In a matter of months, I went from being angry to caring. We must invest in ourselves and be heard. We expect the leadership to address us.” The 64-page report highlighted nine areas of concern. It included the fact that fall freshman enrollment dropped by half in the past five years, from 1,286 in fall 2017 to 641 in fall 2021. The report also included 252 alumni surveys that showed almost 80% dissatisfied at the current administration’s inability to listen or address their concerns. Maxine Greenleaf (Alcorn’s spokesperson) did not address the report but stated that “Alcorn State University is thriving despite great odds for 150+ years because we work together.” Alcornites for Change will continue to collaborate with stakeholders to further the mission of Alcorn. They began meeting in October 2021 following news that Alcorn State’s football team had to stop training because they were short of athletic trainers. According to the report, the group says it was formed out of concern for Alcorn State’s current student conditions and other data points that could threaten its sustainability. It also stated that their goal is to “be a conduit for improvement” for Alcorn State. READ MORE: Alcorn State students call for the resignation of their president. During Tuesday’s meeting, alumni got emotional over photos that Alcornites For Change received about campus athletic facilities. According to the report, the pictures were taken January 2022 and show worn padding on exam tables, broken locker rooms cabinets, and a swimming area that is “not completely drained” and “has standing water which has turned black from mold.” Janiero Smith, a 2001 grad, said, “Tonight, I’m mad, I’m anger.” “I am angry at Alcorn because it is obvious that we can do better. It’s unacceptable. It’s unacceptable. Tomorrow, I am angry because I know that people will be more concerned with their internet profiles than they are about student athletes. I am also mad at myself. I purchase tickets, I purchase parking passes, and I go to games. You think that’s enough. “Until you understand the cost of entertainment.” This report stated that the ailing infrastructure isn’t unique to the athletic department. Alcornites for Change received photos showing mold and mildew in dormitories, and falling ceiling tiles in J.D. Boyd Library and a video showing water pouring from the light in the math-science building. According to the report, the photos and video were taken within the past year. The report also includes other findings. Alcornites for Change identified potential solutions to many of the “perceived problems” in the report. These included waiving ACT scores in order to increase enrollment, partnering local community colleges to teach key courses, and creating a alumni listserv that can offer internships and jobs to students who graduate. Jonas Crenshaw is one of the principal organizers of Alcornites for Change. He said, “We have offered 99 solutions and we’d love to offer more.” “We want to be heard. We are ready to put our hands up and do the work that will take Alcorn into the next 150-years.