By Dan Hayes, News Editor
As students continue to trickle back to campus and settle in for a new semester they do so as Eagles, not Pirates. On January 1, 2018 another milestone was met on the long road to consolidation as Armstrong officially became Georgia Southern University. Flags of maroon and gold have already begun to disappear from campus and students should expect to see the two large signs visible from Abercorn street to come down at some point this spring. The name Armstrong will forever be relegated to a simple campus moniker.
Most of us will just decide to identify as either an Eagle or a Pirate, regardless of what the degree shall say. But that is because all of us were once Pirates. We applied and enrolled to Armstrong State University. We chose to be pirates. The evidence of who we were is still on campus. But what happens next year or the year after that? The name will eventually fade from memory.
The official consolidation is just one of the many steps that Armstrong students can expect to encounter this semester. Students will continue to be able to access their SHIP portal throughout this semester and into the summer. Fall registration, however, must be done through WINGS. Student can also expect their student email to switch from armstrong.edu to georgiasouthern.edu.
Aside from just the changing of names, students are surely to encounter more substantive changes as this year plays out. Moving forward only the College of Education, the College of Public Health and the College of Health Professions will be located on the Armstrong campus. All other colleges will be housed on the Statesboro campus.
Students from both the Statesboro and Armstrong campuses have been promised the chance to finish their degrees on the respective campus in which they started. All classes that were available on the Armstrong campus previously should continue to be available for the immediate future. That is the promise that has been made to all students. It remains to be seen how much of an affect administrative changes will have upon the curriculum available on the Armstrong campus.
Will faculty in a department that is switching campuses be expected to teach at both campuses?
Will students be expected to fill in academic gaps with classes from another campus?
The answers to those, and many more, questions will only be found with time. This consolidation was started with the sole purpose of saving money. The various work groups and committees that have been tirelessly hashing out the details of this consolidation, undoubtedly sought to mitigate the negative effects. But with change there is disruption. There will be some faculty that decide to leave the institution. With the blending of administrative staffs there will no doubt be individuals who lose their jobs. Hopefully the focus will remain on the students. The only thing we know for sure is, Armstrong is now a campus and no longer a University.