From a report complied from a survey taken from the graduate students of Tulane’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine (SPHTM) regarding the aftermath of the storm, the school, and students’ frustrations:
It is apparent that as a whole, the SPHTM student body is grossly unsatisfied with Tulane’s unwillingness to include us in their decision making processes. Many students are irate at Tulane’s mistreatment of its constituents from August 29 onward. The disregard for the well being of the students, the pervasive uncertainty regarding our educational futures at Tulane, the questionable city infrastructure, and apprehension of the early class start date weighs heavily on the minds of many students. Unsubstantiated assurances that “things will be ready” do little to assuage these fears.
We see that some of us have opted to withdraw, but many more express a desire to return. However, this contingent is disappointed and disgusted with how silent our administration has been on matters of substance. Students are finding it difficult to reconcile their desire to return with Tulane’s blatant disregard for its graduate students.
From Penny Jessop, program coordinator/student liasion/person who basically runs my department, to me, at 6:07pm last night… two days before the scheduled comps date:
After consultation with the faculty, we are going to ask you to take your comps on December 8th and 9th at the SPHTM building. This will be consistent with the conditions under which all other doctoral students have taken their comps. We do not know what the conditions of the SPHTM will be this Thursday as it is the first day we will be allowed back into the building. Thus we can not have you in the building on this thursday and friday to take the exams.
Prior to this, it was assumed that Tidewater would NOT be open. Members of my committee had suggested using my or their homes and assured me it would be fine, they’d done this sort of thing before. Why or how the use of the building became an issue, I have no idea. (Well, actually, I do have a hunch.) Nonetheless, what this does tell me is that my family and our planning around these dates (this Thursday and Friday) is inconsequental to the department; they could care less. Too bad if we have travel plans, day care arrangements, appointments, and general life events planned around the original dates (which we do).
I think this is exactly the kind of thing that exemplifies the “blatant disregard of graduate students” noted in the report above.
I feel like I just got stung by Mr. Freeze.