Good news – we have some water.
Bad news – we don’t have enough water.
Full water pressure has been restored to much of the city, but as the mayor said, the highest areas will be the last to gain water service because the pressure needs to push the water up hill. When we sing in our alma mater “this dear green hill” I never feel like we’re on very high ground, but clearly we are one of the highest places in town.
Hopefully through the day the water pressure will increase, but we can not yet turn on the heating boilers or use restrooms.
There are a number of important issues to share with you:
CONTINUE TO BOIL WATER – Even when we do get the water back, the boil water notice will continue to be in effect at least for a couple days until the city lines have been flushed out and tested. Hopefully by Sunday it will be lifted. But until then, use bottled water for drinking, brushing teeth, etc. We have 6,000 bottles on hand, so we won’t run out.
REGISTRATION – Our staff has bravely worked through the cold to keep the registration process going. If you’ve not yet completed your registration, the offices are open, or if you’re away from campus you can call the registrar’s office at 601-968-5922
RESIDENCE HALLS – We will be keeping students in the hotel at least one more night. Hopefully tomorrow we will be ready to have them move back on campus but we won’t make that determination until tomorrow morning.
CLASSES BEGIN MONDAY MORNING – We have a great deal of class time to make up but our faculty are creative and I’m sure they will find a way to squeeze it all in. I know they are working hard so that hopefully we won’t need to take the time from our spring break or extending the semester.
MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. DAY – For many years we’ve always set aside MLK Day as a time to celebrate his life by joining together in a service project. This has been a high priority to me and to the campus because of the importance of all it represents. But I also know that Dr. King believed the path to the future was through education, and in fact earned his Ph.D. in Systematic Theology from Boston University. So I think in light of the unusual circumstances he would agree with the decision to be in class on this Monday, especially because our type of education is what he believed was most important – “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically… Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.” So, for this year only, we will honor his legacy by making best use of the vital class time that has been missed. Further, with the turmoil in the city over the water situation and many of the non-profit groups we help on MLK being exhausted from their efforts to help others during this time, our pushing ahead might put a strain on them rather than being helpful. Other groups we team with have been closed all week, and I’ve been told we can’t even communicate with them to properly prepare . I trust you’ll understand that this decision is made in light of deep respect for the importance of MLK day, and to assure your education is as strong as possible. We have many service projects all through the year, and will look at adding in some special projects this spring to give us more opportunities to serve our community.
CHAPEL CREDIT – Because we will not have our MLK Service Day Project (the only time all year we give two chapel credits) there will be two less opportunities for students to earn chapel credit this semester. Thus, instead of the normal requirement of 12 chapel credits during the semester, we will require only 10 credits during this spring term of 2010. We will have our regularly scheduled first chapel on Tuesday next week, and Dr. Sandy Wilson, pastor of 2nd Presbyterian Church in Memphis will be our speaker.
See you Monday morning . . . looking forward to a wonderful semester.