Shelter-in-place Q&A

What can you do during Alabama’s stay-at-home order?  On Friday, April 3 at 4 p.m. Alabama Governor Kay Ivey issued a state-wide stay-at-home order. The order will take effect on April 4 at 5 p.m.   “The COVID-19 is an imminent threat to our way of life, and you need to understand we have passed urging people to stay at home, it is now the way of life,” stated Alabama Governor Kay Ivey in a press conference.  Many Alabama residents, however, continue to have questions about what they can and cannot do while the order is under effect.  What can you do?  The Governor’s order specifically notes nine reasons that someone is allowed to leave their home:  “To obtain necessary supplies” “To obtain or provide necessary services” “To attend religious services” “To take care of others” “To work” “To engage in outdoor activity” “To seek shelter” “To travel as required by law” “To see family members”  But there are some caveats, that enforce CDC and Federal guidelines for individuals regarding social distancing.  Grocery stores will be limited to their emergency maximum occupancy limits of 50% of their maximum occupancy.  Restaurants are still open but are limited to methods of curbside pickup and delivery. Additionally, on Twitter shortly after the announcement Ivey stated that individuals are encouraged to still utilize these take out services to support their local economies.   Religious services are limited to 10 people, or to “drive-in”...

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SGA Recap – April 8

Like the rest of the UM community, SGA has had to work to adapt to the necessity of distance communication.   Since the SGA was unable to meet in person, the senate met via zoom this past Wednesday. Twenty-six SGA members attended the meeting. Senate Clerk, Zoe Scott recorded attendance as normal, though Madison Hollon, SGA VP, stated that they understood if people couldn’t make it.  “We’re going to be pretty lenient on absences,” said Hollon.  Before the meeting officially started, SGA President Olivia Eldridge took a moment to say that she had been in contact with the UM administration and that they had taken note of the petitions circling for refunds for on campus expenses and were discussing it.   As the Senate meeting kicked off, Hollon reminded senators that the newly elected senate would be taking over on April 22, so April 15 will be the last meeting with the current senate.   While senators will no longer be required to gather constituent reports, Hollon highly encouraged them to direct students to the constituent reports form on Falconlink, so students could file their concerns online.  Another change that has occurred with the switch to an online format is that committee meetings will not be held, though Hollon highly encouraged senators to communicate ideas with each other and consider possible legislation.  Regarding old business, the bill to extend the SAC’s hours was cancelled due to campus being closed.   “You...

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Companies offer free resources to help students cope with coronavirus

Many companies have responded to the coronavirus pandemic by offering free resources to students. These resources range from things to help you learn, or connect with friends. We compiled a list of some of our favorite deals.  Discord  Discord, a popular messaging and voice chat app recently opened up their Go Live service up to 50 people for free.   Go Live allows users to share their screen, so that you can give presentations and collaborate in real time. It doesn’t feature video chat, but the voice chat works well enough, and unlike Zoom it doesn’t have a 40-minute time out for the free tier.  Discord offers both a Mac and Windows app. The service worked well when we tried it. The connection was also more stable over bad internet connections than Zoom, likely because of the lack of a video chat feature. It does lack the ability to call into a meeting though, so it requires access to the internet to use.  Discord is also a great way to keep together with friends. We started a Discord server for The Alabamian, and it allows us to have a main general channel and an off-topic channel so that the random conversation that helped us enjoy our time together can still flourish.  Codecademy  Codecademy opened up their pro subscription for free for 90 days to students with a .edu address.   The website offers online courses in...

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UM to allow students option of pass/fail grades for Spring 2020

The University of Montevallo will allow students to transition their Spring 2020 grades to a pass/fail system. This decision was announced by Mary Beth Armstrong, UM’s provost and vice president for academic affairs, through a campus wide email.  The changes to the grading system will be optional. After final grades are posted, students will be able to see their final grades at the end of the semester and make a decision with their academic advisor whether or not they want to change their grade.  Grades of a D or above would be considered a “pass” with everything else considered a “fail” and will not impact a student’s overall GPA. According to the Provost, if a student decides to count a course as a pass it will still be able to fulfill course requirements. However, if a course requires the student to receive a C or above this will still be calculated on the student’s letter grade.  This change allows graduating seniors taking required courses to be able to convert their traditional letter grade to a “P” and still be able to graduate.  The email also stipulated that the Dean’s and President’s list will be calculated from the student’s letter grade as recorded by professors.  Late Sunday, March 22, a petition was started by senior music major, Celena McAlpine, asking UM to convert to a pass/fail system.  McAlpine noted that many students...

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Despite pandemic, city comes together for Love Montevallo Day

Artist Collin William cuts the ribbon held by some of the mural’s contributors and Mayor Hollie CostPhoto by: Wesley Hyde On March 14, the City of Montevallo hosted the third annual “Love Montevallo Day” event.  “It’s an event meant to celebrate our collected accomplishments as a community,” said Montevallo’s mayor, Dr. Hollie Cost.  Mayor Cost also stated that the purpose of this year’s celebration was primarily to highlight private investment and businesses in Montevallo, as well as Montevallo’s artists.  The gathering was held at the small shopping center across from the Montevallo Fire Department. The event mainly consisted of multiple booths and was accompanied by live music. Assistant to the Mayor Maggie Benson was credited as the primary organizer for the event.   The booths consisted of community organizations and a few vendors. One of the booths was from the Shelby County Complete Census Committee. The committee’s booth consisted of three members and two laptops with the county’s census website open. Attendees who completed their census would be entered in a raffle to receive a prize basket from the booth.   Committee member Savanah Kitchens stated that the main goal of the booth was to provide citizens who might not have internet access with the ability to fill the census out online. They found this particularly important since the census holds weight over county funding and stated that they had been holding...

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