By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter
Alabama State University has failed to pay its student workers.
Several current ASU students contacted The Alabama Political Reporter this week and said the university had missed two pay dates. When the workers didn’t receive their pay on Monday, a group went to ASU’s administration building to demand answers.
At that meeting, they said they were told the checks would be received by Oct. 21 — more than two weeks from their original pay date.
Contacted by APR and given details of the students’ claims, ASU officials said only that they now plan to pay the affected student workers “by Friday after 12-noon.”
School officials declined to provide additional details about what led to the payment delays.
However, financial issues have dogged ASU for several years now, and at a recent board of trustees meeting, the school’s trustees voted down a tuition increase. That vote resulted in an additional $8 million coming out of the university’s budget and left ASU starting the 2017 fiscal year without an operating budget in place.
“Frankly, I don’t know how we’re going to do it,” ASU’s director of finance, Wanda Smith, told trustees at the meeting.
At a town hall meeting with students on Wednesday night, Smith told the students that the school’s financial status was “stable” but that there are “limited resources.”
Trustee Herbert Young told Smith and other university officials at the trustee meeting that they were placing an undue burden on the students by continuing to shuffle financial problems off to them instead of cutting staff.
“You can’t have declining enrollment, not cut costs and then ask the students to pay more,” Young said. “All of this talk about ‘the students, the students, the students,’ but in the budget you presented (with the tuition increase), there isn’t anything for the students. There’s no increase for student affairs in there. That’s not right.”