Waid Jones

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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UM to extend online instruction, postpone commencement

The University of Montevallo will continue online instruction throughout the Spring semester and will postpone commencement.  On March 20, in an email sent out by the University Montevallo, it was announced that students would not be returning to in-person classes during the spring semester.  “I am very sorry to relay that, due to the rapid spread of the coronavirus, we will extend the distance learning model currently deployed through the end of the semester,” stated UM President Dr. John Stewart in an email to students Friday.  The University also announced that Commencement would be postponed  until Aug. 7.  “This...

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City of Montevallo Declares State of Emergency

Mayor Hollie Cost announced that she had declared a state of emergency in the City of Montevallo. Mayor Cost discussed this measure during an emergency meeting of the Montevallo City Council on March 17.  “In communities it is important that there is an authority to take action,” said Cost regarding her decision.  The mayor also noted that the City’s emergency declaration will stay in effect in the entire duration of the State of Alabama’s declaration, which does not have an expiration date attached to it. Montevallo City Clerk Herman Lehman explained during an emergency City Council meeting that the emergency declaration allows the mayor to act quickly to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in Montevallo. Lehman elaborated that this declaration allows the Mayor to make quick decisions related to responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, while not having to bring the City Council together. Cost assured council members during the meeting that she would continue to inform them about actions taken to contain the virus in the community. “As of this point, we have not had anyone who has contracted COVID-19 in our community, but we have to assume there are people in our community with COVID-19,” said Cost during the emergency city council meeting. The mayor went on to say that she knows of at least two Montevallo citizens who are awaiting results from tests. Shelby County, and other counties...

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Breaking News: UM announces transition to online classes, early spring break

The University of Montevallo announced Friday that they would have an early spring break starting on Monday, March 16, and would transition from in-person classes to an online format starting on March 30. This came after the first confirmed case of COVID-19 was reported Friday morning by the Alabama Department of Public Health.  “Due to the ongoing threat of the coronavirus pandemic, and out of concern for the safety of our campus community the University of Montevallo will extend its spring break earlier than scheduled,” said UM President Dr. John Stewart in an email to campus on Friday, March 13. ...

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