“We don’t feel that closing the university is the best way forward”
Unfortunately, in a situation like this, petitions don’t really matter, regardless of how many people sign them.
WHIO News reports:
Online community, petition created to save Urbana University
A growing community movement seeks to save Urbana University after last month’s announcement that the campus would close at the end of the spring semester.
Within two days of the news, Keith L. Monroe created the Facebook group, ‘This Place Matters: Urbana University 2020+,’ which at last check has close to 1,200 members. The group –which is comprised of students, professors, alumni and community members — seeks to not only share memories of the university, but also come up with ideas about how to potentially save the campus.
“We don’t feel that closing the university is the best way forward,” said Monroe.
He not only graduated from the university, but also met his wife there and had a stepdaughter attending at the time of the closure. He said hundreds of people have shared stories on the group’s page similar to his, but the university also plays a vital role in the local economy — a previous report estimates close to $60 million a year.
Urbana University is a branch campus of Franklin University, which said in April that the coronavirus pandemic “added a level of stress and uncertainty to Urbana’s prospects that make it impossible to sustain,” the university said.
At the time of the closure, the university said about 75 percent of students were online and there were only about 350 students who took courses on the university’s physical campus.
“(The university has) survived the Civil War, World War I, World War II, The Great Depression,” Monroe said. “And to hear that COVID was the main reason for it to be closing was a whirlwind.”
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