LITTLE ROCK (KATV) -
The arrival of federal assistance for students attending Arkansas Baptist College has been delayed...and with each passing day tension is rising on the Little Rock campus.
Our Seven-On-Your-Side office has been getting calls about it for weeks.
No money and no answers. That sums up what many college students are saying. The administration says it has tried to share what it can with students and faculty. But the bottom line is...no federal money has been received since July 1st.
Everybody is wanting and waiting.
Barbara Peterson-Roberson of El Dorado spends much of her days lately singing in protest across the street from Arkansas Baptist College.
"We want our money.....we want it now," is a common refrain sung by Peterson-Roberson.
She says she can speak out about what is going on at Arkansas Baptist College because she has been kicked out of Arkansas Baptist College.
"Dr. Hill. Mr. Billy Owens. Someone please tell us where our financial aid monies are," yells Peterson-Roberson at the school across the street.
LaCresha Newton is Chief of Staff for Arkansas Baptist College.
"It's not like we've got it and we're holding it and not giving it to them," explains Newton. "We haven't received it. Once we receive it...your bill is paid...then you'll receive a credit balance refund."
While brand new buildings are going up on campus...the past six weeks the rest of campus has gone old school...as in the way life was before computers. Or land line phones.
All of that was wiped out and is slowly coming back...but not fast enough to receive automated federal aid, and not fast enough for the students waiting for it.
"We need this money because people at home got people to feed," explains Davlin Hawthorne of Magnolia. "People got babies to take care of. People got things to do...they got bills to pay you know what I'm saying. And we still in the dark and we still don't really know what is going on."
"We don't know...we can't tell you anything right now," says Kristin Howard of Texarkana regarding the conversations she has had with ABC's financial aid office. "Come back next week. You should be able to get your check next week. It's next week. Ain't nobody got their check. It's been a month...and ain't nobody got anything. They still can't tell us anything."
Campus leaders have held meetings and tried to keep the student body informed but admit without email and other modern methods of communication is has been a challenge.
As for what is being done to get campus computers up and running again...and what caused the melt down in the first place...Computer experts tried to fix the system but ultimately decided it would have to be totally replaced.
And the cause remains under investigation...but it may be more than coincidence that 12 hours after an I.T. employee was fired everything was wiped out.
Air date: October 7th, 2013
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