HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - This is a difficult, frustrating and confusing time for students at Jacksonville State University after a tornado rolled across campus Monday. When JSU opens again on April 2nd, students still aren’t sure what’s down the road. And many of them no longer have a place to live. Housing on and off campus was damaged. And some are being told they have to move.
This story hits close to home for us. Christy Clasgens is the daughter of one of our team members here at WHNT. Many of us have watched her grow up. Christy is one of those Jacksonville students who has no idea what to do next.
“A lot of people are taking each other in and if people’s houses are undamaged, they're saying hey, I have an extra couch,” she told me Wednesday. Christy had no idea when she came home for spring break she’d spend it worrying about her friends and her apartment in Jacksonville. “We just have a window blown in,” she said. “We were very lucky.”
While the junior public relations major has a lease at Gamecock Village through her senior year, she has to find another place. “We all have to move out but we'll be able to get in and get our stuff,” she said. When asked where she was going to go, she simply said, “I don't know.”
At some point, Christy and others who live at the complex will be allowed to go back to their apartment and recover what they left behind. “I only have the stuff that I brought home for spring break,” she said. That was a suitcase with clothes and her laptop.
Some of her friends lost everything. She’s grateful for what she has. “I'm very fortunate I have a great family and a lot of support and a place to stay right now,” she said. Right now, all she and other students can do is wait.
The university said in a news release that officials will be meeting to see what they need to do to fulfill academic obligations for the last three weeks of class, especially for those seniors who are getting ready to graduate. There's been talk the school might try to finish the semester with online classes, but that's not been decided yet.