Home Local Awful Dorm Conditions at Stillman College, Employees Placed on Furlough

Awful Dorm Conditions at Stillman College, Employees Placed on Furlough


STILLMAN COLLEGE_1From Staff and Wire Reports

College dorms aren’t meant to be five star hotel suites, but they shouldn’t look like a condemned property in downtown Detroit either. Stillman College in Tuscaloosa, Alabama is receiving all the wrong kinds of press after one of its students went public with pictures showing horrible living conditions inside her dorm.
Student Amina Kelly released photos last week of mold-infested walls, missing ceiling tiles, and stained floors inside her dormitory at Stillman College. Kelly, who reports numerous new health problems since moving into the dorm, says her concern over the dorm’s conditions have been brushed off by school administrators.
“It was a really traumatic experience for me,” Kelly said. “There [are] outdated things. And stuff falling down from the ceilings and mold, water stains, pipes bursting.”
The mold problem in the dorm room is so bad that it’s causing problems with Kelly’s skin. She’s now seeing a dermatologist for problems that only started after she moved into the dorm.
“Spots like all over my neck and chest,” she told WBRC. “My face, just nasty bumps and it started coming on my lips and that would really get ashy. I’ve tried cleaning the mold several times. I’ve bought cleaning supplies.”
Kelly says administrators seemed unconcerned at best when presented with the pictures and complaints.
“I’ve sent pictures,” she said. “I’ve showed them pictures of my face. And just to be treated with shear disrespect. I was like I can’t stay here.”
Sure enough, Kelly isn’t the only student complaining about conditions in the school’s dorms. One student called them “sickening,” another described them as “very trashy and dirty” and yet another said the buildings have a “very bad roach problem.”
The school’s Vice President of Students Affairs released a painfully generic statement on the allegations:
“It is in the best interest of our institution that we maintain a favorable atmosphere on our campus. The maintenance of these facilities is reviewed periodically and, when required, repairs are made or concerns addressed,” said Dr. Sharon Whittaker-Davis, Vice President for Student Affairs. “A number of repairs were made last week in Roulhac Hall, and our plant operations team continues to aggressively monitor and repair as needed.”

Below is a statement from Stillman College on the situation:
“In an effort to provide faculty, staff and students with an aesthetically pleasing and safe environment, the institution takes preventive measures for the maintenance and repairs of its facilities, including administrative buildings, residence halls and academic buildings. These facilities, especially the living spaces for students, are monitored on a regularly scheduled basis to ensure that maintenance issues are addressed promptly. When major repairs or concerns are required or identified in a student’s room, the student is given the option of moving into another room or residence hall.”
On the other hand, Stillman College is furloughing  employees in April and May as a way to avoid pay cuts or layoffs, according to a statement released Wednesday.
“Stillman has a history of success and will continue to excel despite challenging circumstances. Our decision to implement a furlough was not an easy one, but it is one that will ultimately serve the best interest of the College,” Interim President Peter Millet wrote in the statement.
The small private college in west Tuscaloosa announced four furlough days for faculty and staff, excluding hourly plant employees, during the next two months, according to spokeswoman Mary Sood.
The announcement of the furloughs was paired with optimistic assessments of the college’s future.
The university touted its enrollment, which it says has grown to 1,000 students, a 30 percent increase in alumni giving, and its new partnerships with local colleges and universities.
Last month, the Stillman and the Alabama Community College System finalized an agreement to allow community college graduates with associate degrees to be automatically admitted to the historically Black institution to complete bachelor’s degrees.
The agreement is among a host of programs the private college is considering or pursuing to help boost enrollment. During a January interview, Millet cited interest in becoming a military-friendly campus and reaching out to minorities and nontraditional students.
The private Presbyterian college is also currently looking for a permanent president.



Stillman College Furloughs: The Real Truth

Stillman College recently decided to place faculty and staff, excluding hourly plant employees on furlough. As a result of the furlough, employees are required to take 4 days off in the coming months.

This business decision was made to avoid pay cuts and lay-offs of its valued employees who would have been faced with financial hardships.

It is unfortunate that in recent months, institutions of higher learning have had to highlight their financial challenges. However, Stillman is confident that this decision will benefit the institution and its stakeholders in the future.

Although Stillman has been faced with budget cuts, it continues to make strides:

    Enrollment continues to increase
    Commencement on May 10th will see the conferring of 140 degrees
    Convocation honored 237 students whose academic achievements placed them on either the Dean’s List, Honor Roll or as a Presidential Scholar
    Alumni giving is up by 30%

“Sometimes we have to do more with less and continue moving forward. Our decision for furloughs was not an easy one but it is one that provided us with the best options for the College as a whole,” said interim president Peter Millet.