by Julexus Cappell
PETERSBURG, VA- Monae Marquis, saw a serious problem at Virginia State University that she felt could be amended. Marquis is a senior family and consumer sciences student who took to social media to start a conversation concerning the presence of childcare at the University.
“I tweeted, ‘Why doesn’t VSU have a daycare?’while mentioning the Virginia State University President University, Makola Abdullah,” said Marquis.
Marquis, who is a mother to an eight month old son, was inspired to bring attention to this issue when she noticed some students were not returning to the university after becoming parents because of the difficulty to manage a college course load and take care of children.
“I’ve been lucky that my professors allowed me to take him to class with me but people around me were struggling to find ways to balance their children and their school work,” Marquis said.
After a handful of retweets and supportive responses from other VSU students, the president Abdullah responded to Marquis.
“We set up a meeting and the ball was rolling from there,”
Marquis then started a petition on http://www.change.org, stating in the petition description the need for childcare center at the state-funded university for those parents continuing their education, and also for those that have not even received the chance to start because of child care needs.
“Life happens! And no one should choose between starting a family and obtaining their degree,” the description reads.
The childcare center could also be helpful to students who are not parents. The center could provide valuable experience for those considering going into education and child care fields.
“This gives people the opportunity to stay in school or get work study and job opportunities that actually fit their major,” Marquis said.
Though the plans for a university day care are not set-in-stone, steps are being made to push for the development of child care on campus.
“We have another meeting with the President at the end of this month and soon SGA and staff members are getting involved with us,” Marquis said.
Currently, only 13 accredited higher education institutions provide daycare, including Virginia Commonwealth University, University of Virginia and Norfolk State. Marquis believes the best way that students can help further this cause is to sign the petition, share it on social media and spread the word.
“As a senior I might not be here to use the daycare myself, but I’d love to leave it behind for other students like me,”