To the University Community –
Earlier this morning I met with SHSU vice presidents along with other key campus decision-makers to decide on the reopening of our university. The decision was made that we would remain closed for the remainder of the week, reopening on Monday, September 22.
The issue in whether to reopen was not with the condition of our campus. There are problems associated with some of our parking lots being used as a major staging ground for utility repair trucks and our coliseum as an evacuation center for hundreds of displaced citizens. But we were fortunate that the university did not lose power or suffer major damage, and it is being cleared of debris and repairs are under way so the campus is in reasonably good shape. However, the support services in Huntsville, such as apartment complexes, gasoline, food service, etc., are not currently at the stage to adequately support a major influx of students. Also, Huntsville is currently operating under an 8:00 p.m. curfew which would add to the inconvenience and frustration for those returning. A major component in our decision was that many of our students, faculty and staff commute from areas where gasoline is scarce, and a commute to campus would be a major problem, if not an impossibility.
We are confident that once the classes resume, the full semester will be completed as originally scheduled. I am sorry for the inconvenience and disruption, but assure you that all decisions are being made in what is genuinely considered to be in the best interest of our students, faculty and staff.
Jim Gaertner, President
Sam Houston State University
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