College students at St. Gregory’s University are now scrambling to find another school. This comes after they’ve wasted thousands of dollars to get a degree.
St. Gregory will close its doors for good at the end of this semester, but students said they don’t want to go down without a fight. Monday, they protested the closing of their school.
Hugs, tears, chants and a lot of questions between students, alumni and the president of St. Gregory University took place on the steps of Benedictine Hall. Some said Monday’s protest was a success, even though the school is still closing down.
“May our heritage be that we stood for the right,” sang the students.
Standing for justice for the more than 500 hundred full-time students who will soon lose the school they grew so fond of.
“You know, we’re a family. These are relationships. You know, we’re a community. And we’re not just a business. We want you and the board to understand that,” said graduate student, Alyse Walker.
That’s the message they wanted to get across Monday afternoon in Shawnee. It started off as a peaceful protest outside of Benedictine hall, but soon turned into questions between the students and president Dr. Michael Scaperlanda.
“Other than the $12.5-million loan, that you exhausted every other option. Like what other things have you done?” Walker said.
Dr. Scaperlanda said when the U.S. Department of Agriculture denied the loan, they ran out of options.
“We found out on a Tuesday, a week and a half ago, two weeks ago tomorrow,” said Dr. Scaperlanda. “So the board and I took about a week to look at, explore every other options. We could and none of that panned out.”
And the questions continued to roll in from students and teachers, wondering how did it come to this conclusion. It’s leaving students like Lena Samilton in financial debt.
“I don’t have a lot of money in the bank. So with that being said, it’s like $40,000 in debt,” said Samilton.
“We’re grieving not only for the loss of fellowship with each other, but for the loss of the impact that we can make to the state of Oklahoma,” said Chair of Graduate, Dr. Vicki Jean.
Students say they have two weeks to figure out their next step in transferring their credits over to another school.
The university posted this on its website Monday, “At this time, the SGU Registar’s Office is experiencing a very high volume of transcript orders.” They ask that only essential orders be placed for students and alumni in need of official transcripts before Christmas break. Unofficial transcripts are accessible from the SGU student portal and should be acceptable to other institutions for transfer.