UArts students, parents outraged after school cancels townhall meeting amid abrupt closing

Students and parents filled the sidewalks in front of the University of the Arts building on Broad Street, in hopes of getting answers to the announcement of the school's sudden closure on June 7.

"What really hurt was that you didn’t tell us beforehand, you didn’t tell us a month, five months or even in the middle of the semester, so we had enough time to transfer, it’s hurtful," said Bryant Fleming, a Senior at the University. 

Right before Monday’s scheduled virtual town hall meeting to address the concerns, it was canceled, leaving many students and parents wondering what’s next. 


University of the Arts abruptly announces June 7 closure, vows to help students transfer

The University of the Arts, an institution with roots more than a century and a half old in Philadelphia, has abruptly announced it will close in a week, citing declining enrollment and revenues as well as increasing expenses.

"To rip this city away from one of its most historical pieces of art history is just diabolical," said Sarah MacLeod, a Junior student. 

"I think it was the most cowardly thing they could have done. They don’t want to face the students because they completely let the students down," said Concetta Mattioni, a parent. 

The impact includes both current and incoming students at the University of the Arts. 

"I was like screaming, jumping up in joy when I saw the acceptance letter in my portal," said Sydney Thorne, an Incoming Student.

Now Thorne, who was expecting to be a freshman next school year, is filled with a mix of emotions due to the school's closure. 

"Having that ripped from people who are looking forward to it sucks so much," said Sydney. 

The school recently lost its accreditation and previously the school president said the reason for the closure is due to financial concerns with declining enrollments, declining revenues, and increasing expenses.

Many were expecting more information from the virtual meeting. 

Schools officials sent an email about the cancelation stating, "We know you are heartbroken and frustrated about our impending closure on Friday, June 7. As the situation continues to unfold rapidly, we cannot adequately answer your questions today". 

"Why did it have to be virtual, why can’t the doors be open to let them come in there and speak their mind? They are entitled to it, me as a parent I’m entitled to it, because I want answers," said Frank Thorne, a parent. 

The school also added in the email, "We want everyone to know that we exhausted every option to address the urgent crisis and find a pathway to keep the institution open. However, we could not identify a viable path for UArts to remain open and serve its mission".