Saturday, September 03, 2005

The Freshmen Will Come Back

To the Class of 2009:

You are faced with a decision of grave consequence. No one blames you for wanting your "first year experience," but I feel that Dr. Cowen should be giving you a bit more guidance and encouragement to make accomodations to return to Tulane in the spring. It seems that Dr. Cowen has built into his agreement with other universities that they will only take you for a semester. This is a good thing and let me explain why. If you all have to come back in the spring, you will, together. Some of you may try to get your old acceptances back at other universities, and basically fully enroll in another school. Don't do that. Most students won't have the opportunity to fully enroll or get their acceptance back, they will just be visiting students for the semester. This means you all will be compelled by your visiting institutions to return to Tulane for the spring semester. It means you will all be in the same boat. It means things will be relatively normal right after we get back. I hope you can see the benefits of this. First, it allows you to have a fabulous freshmen year, visiting another school and then coming home to Tulane with your classmates. Also, it helps Tulane! It helps prevent them lose a percent of their freshmen class, something than can be relatively devestating to Tulane's future.
So the solution is simple. Hang out at a university near home, if you can. Then everyone come back in the Spring. We, the older students, will guarantee a full freshman experience, plus you will all be in the same boat that you were in the fall. You all will return to Tulane as a unified class, ready to experience the wonderful party scene that is Broadway and the Boot.

I ask you to consider this,
Brett

48 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's a novel idea, if you REALLY want everyone to come back in the Spring: Waive all Tuition and Fees.

"What? Are you nuts!"

Not at all. It would show that Tulane is serious, and that it has serious support from Alumni and Friends.

And if it doesn't?

THAT would be the unthinkable.

5:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay, I have been enjoying your optimism and all but you are insulting my University. Tulane may be all about the party for the president of AEPhi but for the rest of us, there are a thousand things we would say to encourge people back besides 'yeah, we will go drink at the Boot.'

6:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brett's comments have been far from insulting. The "first year experience" is all about making new friends, going out and adjusting to a new lifestyle. Its about independence and becoming your own person. Obviously, there are different ways students go about doing this i.e. joining clubs, intramural sports etc. but they all involve meeting new people. The boot is the hub of nightlife at tulane. Many of us have made our best friends there and enjoyed every minute of broadway parties. These are the things incoming freshman look forward to, though there are countless other memories from my "freshman year experience" that I can list.
to all freshman: if you decide to transfer for good, you are making a huge mistake. the class of 09 will become best of friends, you shared this experience. who else at other schools will be able to relate to it? don't ditch your fellow tulanians. trust me, the ride you are in for is well worth the wait.
Daria, c/o 07

8:13 AM  
Blogger AJ Jambhekar said...

hey guys
going along with Brett's comments- as a freshman, i find that a lot of my peers here in Houston are not only wanting to come back asap, but willing to do anything to help TU and New Orleans. Hence Operation New Orleans was born. This is our website www.geocities.com/operationneworleans and this is what a LOT of freshman have been doing for the past week!

8:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As an alumni, I have to agree that the Boot is an important part of the Tulane experience. Just as important as joining clubs, playing intramurals, going to classes, enjoying Mardi Gras, Jazz Fest, and all of the other things that we did (or you guys do) in New Orleans.

9:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

FYI Brett is the president of AEPi... if he was the president of AEPhi (my sorority, thank you... but im sure that we will meet up with him at the boot) that may cause some problems, good job with everything Brett

9:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Even if Tulane had the kind of freedom with funding to waive tuition, the needy of New Orleans would be much more deserving of that money than us. Yes, it is frustrating that such a tragedy is affecting our freshman year, but frankly we were fortunate enough to get out safely. Let's keep our frustrations in the context of the heart breaking reality of what is happening in New Orleans. I can't wait to get back to Tulane, and I can only hope for better for those who were not as lucky as I have been.

9:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

while I'm sure that the Boot and clubs and the nightlife are very important things at Tulane...it is a little disturbing to me to think that, at 34 grand a semester, that is all you came up with

9:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

edit: a year

9:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a parent shelling out those big bucks, I'd ditto the comments about the Boot. How sad y'all are.

I see this as an opportunity for my son to find out what the real world is all about. That started with a job. And volunteer work. And reaching out to the homeless, the hungry.

When, and IF, he comes back to Tulane, he'll be a better man for it.

Stark contrast to the drunkenness, date rape, Pimps and Hos parties, etc., you wax nostalgically for.

If the horror unfolding around you doesn't wake y'all up, nothing will. Take your daddy's money, head for St. Barts, and drink yourself into a proper stupor. Spare the blather about stuff that doesn't matter.

9:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this website makes me me feel a little better about everything. so thank you for that.

any thoughts on how New Orleans is going to raise revenue to put this great city back together? while discussing with people today, we came up with the possibilty of dropping the drinking age back to 18, no spring breakers will need to go out of the country for a wild time.

10:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm so glad there are parents out there posting things that are coherent and sensible. The student running this blog, Brett, has a lot to learn about life in the "real world" as we have dubbed it. Brett, while you're aiming to get yourself on FoxNews and starting your foundation out there in L.A...some of our families are worrying that we'll lose money that we've worked for a lifetime to save for our children's educations. Pardon us if the first thought on our minds is not waving the Tulane flag while sipping on margaritas. Some of us are working hard to pay for all of the necessities our children lost. I wish someone mature, altruistic, and knowledgeable would start a blog for university families--something that doesn't glorify lost alcohol and partying, but that helps us gather the FACTS and cope with this tragedy.
-Alton Pratt

10:27 AM  
Anonymous Andrew Herman said...

I think any parent that is attacking anything a student who was smart enough to create such a forum as this blog and dedicated enough to spend hours maintaining and updating the blog hasn't learned much in the real world. Brett may not say things everyone agrees with, but he is doing a great service to the Tulane Community for free.

Additionally, as he stated, his visit to Fox News was to spread the message that the Tulane Community is hard hit, but ready to help.

This site is one of the few ties for many of us students to what remains of Tulane's community. Brett, I, as well as many other greiving students, THANK YOU.

11:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Tulane,

I'm really glad (and not surprised)that Tulane keeps going strong even if its only through a blog for the time being, which should maybe be renamed The Boot. I am also really glad to hear about all of the support efforts being carried out by tulane students, like Operation New Orleans. I would like to expand upon these relief efforts but I need your help. I know at least for myself that donating money is not good enough. In the coming months I hope to make it down to New Orleans to help rebuild the school and the city that I love so much. I am trying to get in contact with the administration to see if they will house and feed (on campus) Tulane students who want to volunteer on campus and around the city but since the website is down I can't reach anyone. Does anyone have any emails or phone numbers of some administration members who can help me out? I doubt right now that I would be able to get in contact with Scott Cowen himself although that would be great, because why not go to the source of the power. I also want to start collecting the names and contact information of students who are serious about coming down to New Orleans to help out. I think we owe this to our school but more importantly to the city that doesn't realize just how much we Tulane students love and appreciate it and all its characters. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

email: anthony_477@yahoo.com
cellphone: 914 447 6559

- Anthony Ruffino '04

11:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Tulane,

I'm really glad (and not surprised)that Tulane keeps going strong even if its only through a blog for the time being, which should maybe be renamed The Boot. I am also really glad to hear about all of the support efforts being carried out by tulane students, like Operation New Orleans. I would like to expand upon these relief efforts but I need your help. I know at least for myself that donating money is not good enough. In the coming months I hope to make it down to New Orleans to help rebuild the school and the city that I love so much. I am trying to get in contact with the administration to see if they will house and feed (on campus) Tulane students who want to volunteer on campus and around the city but since the website is down I can't reach anyone. Does anyone have any emails or phone numbers of some administration members who can help me out? I doubt right now that I would be able to get in contact with Scott Cowen himself although that would be great, because why not go to the source of the power. I also want to start collecting the names and contact information of students who are serious about coming down to New Orleans to help out. I think we owe this to our school but more importantly to the city that doesn't realize just how much we Tulane students love and appreciate it and all its characters. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

email: anthony_477@yahoo.com
cellphone: 914 447 6559

- Anthony Ruffino '04

11:18 AM  
Blogger LoriSupsic said...

Brett...I have to say, when I first saw your blog spot, I was skeptical. Now I know you are doing this because you care about Tulane and all of its students. Unlike many of the parents who are posting negative things about your intentions, I know you and where you come from. These parents who are only concerned about their own child need to take a lesson from you. It is true that individual students lives were disrupted by Katrina, but you are someone who is taking the time to extend help to ALL students. These parents who are posting negative comments are the ones everyone should be angry with. They are exhibiting extreme acts of selfishness. People lost everything, and instead of worrying about yourself, you are worrying about an entire community, even an entire city.

And as for the Boot being a part of Tulane...it IS the freshmen experience. Growing up and living in the real world are too...but to the parents, stop being niave. Your kids are expecting to party, and where do Tulane freshmen go, THE BOOT. So to all you freshmen out there, thank Brett for everything he is doing...acting completely unselfishly, and look foward to the Boot...a HUGE part of your freshmen year.

12:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know what? If you don't like what Brett is doing then stop reading this blog. I don't see you making the effort to do anything. Brett DOESN'T HAVE TO make this blog and provide this information to the Tulane community, but he does it anyway. He is making an honest effort and he's volunteering his time.

He's allowed to express his opinion...it's called freedom of speech. I'm glad he doesn't sound like a robot and says whats real. So what if the Boot and parties are part of his life at Tulane? It's part of what makes Tulane great, IN ADDITION to the education. Tulane's a school where you work hard and party hard. I bet you're no saint yourself. I bet your kid who goes to Tulane has had some of his best nights at the Boot. If Brett tries to inject some humor into the blogs, why not? He's providing us with comfort and information. Unless you're creating your own information site, flying to New Orleans to help out right now, and sending every single penny you own to the relief effort, I wouldn't be talking.

Without this site, I wouldn't have been able to find out what college I can transfer to for Fall '05, what's going on with the tuition refund, and what credits will transfer. We all feel bad for the hurricaine victims and all wish we could help. But there's so much we can do at this time and we have to return to some sense of normalcy in our own lives by signing up for college.

Thank you Brett for creating this site. I really appreciate what you've done and I hope one day you get the credit you deserve for it.

- Melody Chen - '08

1:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm the person who initially made the comment about the boot, and I am a freshman. While I have definitely looked forward to coming to New Orleans, doing my fair share of partying and having fun, and enjoying all that Sin City has to offer, I am first and foremost there to learn, and it just seemed to me like older students should be more grateful for the things that they've learned, not the parties they went to.

1:26 PM  
Blogger dave montrois said...

Does anyone have an idea when and how we can retrieve student possessions from resident halls? My daughter has few clothes at home and will obviously need most everything she left at Tulane. We have a dorm room key and can drive down to campus to pick up but it is a 2-day round trip and would need someone to let us in Butler as I assume it is locked.

3:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a freshman and reading that article did give me hope for still having the tulane experience i was so excited about. However, first and foremost i need to figure out what to do NOW. The described spring semester seemed to be based on students already haven taken their 1st semester. I am considering going to a local school but also might choose to go abroad..or maybe volunteer or work for a while. If i choose not to take classes this semester will i be really behind when we all return to Tulane?

5:41 PM  
Blogger Brett Hyman said...

It doesn't assume students have had a first semester anywhere. Many will not be having a first semester, and may will. It's completely up to you. There is no penalty for taking either route.

5:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a Freshman and plan on coming back to Tulane when it reopens. I'm just wondering how it will be possiblet o have a class of 2010. Those kidsa are applying to schools now and should have their applications ready by the end of the year. Who is going to apply to a school that isn't open now. A lot of kids decide where they want to go by visitng schools, and that's obviously impossible to do right now. I don't think anyone is going to apply to Tulane for next year's freshman class, and that sucks!

7:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a Tulane freshman parent I happen to appreciate Brett's post. Let's live in the real world here folks (as opposed to the perfect world we'd like to create for our children) and give them the freedom to make their own decisions - good or bad - and have them live with them. However you came to the decision to let your child attend Tulane it was made. In my case, my daughter was wildly interested in attending a university with the geographic diversity Tulane offered in addition to offering her an education from a nationally recognized institution. My only concern is about the future of Tulane should the University not open at all this year. She is enrolled at another University for fall semester and quite frankly, although it is a nationally recognized University at a fraction of the cost I'd like to see her at Tulane. And this is coming from a family who has sacrificed, saved and continues to do so at the expense of her Tulane education. Let's give our kids a little credit, things could be a lot worse than having them experience The Boot. As we drove out of town Saturday (and she was evacuating on a bus to Jackson) we passed by the Boot - looked OK to me.

8:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd like to know what people from California are doing. The UC system is not helping at all, private schools here are reluctant, and I don't know if community college credits transfer (because pre-Katrina they wouldn't, nothing has been said otherwise and frankly the one near me is a bit frightening). Some of the private schools on the East Coast are being helpful, but I don't know what's happening with tuition or admission, so it appears that I'm expected to fly out and arrive on Tuesday at a strange school with no promises or guarantees. Unfortunately my parents are not keen on me taking a gap, and with them paying bills, I have to listen to them.

9:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can tell you that University of Texas, Dallas, has been GREAT about accepting and working with displaced Tulane students. From Admissions, to Advisors, to Professors, they've made my son feel very welcome this week...and students are embracing the kids, too...willing to study with them to catch-up, etc. If you're interested, check it out...utd.edu GREAT science departments!

9:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can tell you that University of Texas, Dallas, has been GREAT about accepting and working with displaced Tulane students. From Admissions, to Advisors, to Professors, they've made my son feel very welcome this week...and students are embracing the kids, too...willing to study with them to catch-up, etc. If you're interested, check it out...utd.edu GREAT science departments!

9:49 PM  
Blogger Brett Hyman said...

If you are from California, call USC FIRST THING Tuesday morning. They will take 150 students.

10:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

UCLA is letting people take extension courses. http://www.uclaextension.edu Look into Pepperdine..I don't know if they've reached their limit already but they were planning on taking 10-15. Claremont McKenna is taking 5 people with free tuiton....call them FIRST THING tues morning (they open at 8am)... (909) 621-8088. Pitzer, another claremont college, is taking people (909) 621-8129. www.claremontmckenna.edu/news/special/hurricain/update.asp
USC is taking people...but classes started 3 weeks ago so it might not be a good idea. Stanford MIGHT consider taking people...call them and harass them enough and maybe they will. They dont start until Sept 26th I think.

One thing that really pisses me off...for lack of a better term. I had called all of those colleges (except pepperdine) three days ago and ALL of them said they werent taking in any students...even after I explained that no california colleges at the time were taking students and I had no other option. They flat out told me no, they werent accepting any students even though Tulane was closed. I guess now all of them are trying to save face and appear to be welcoming of Tulane students.

I'd like to commend Pepperdine University though. I called them and the office of enrollment was extremely helpful and generous with Tulane students. They outlined the application process for me, I sent in the application, and within 3 hours I heard back from them. They have gone out of their way to accomodate students and have been just amazing. They were able to even find housing for me! They didnt even bother publicizing what they did for Tulane students until 2 days AFTER they accepted us. They weren't doing it to save face or project a public image, but rather out of the goodness of their heart

10:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think everyone is getting it all wrong. From what I've read, not one single Freshman has decided to transfer. Every one of us is waiting for the day that we can return to Tulane [and get our stuff!]. Many Freshmen are just scared; no one knows what to do.

But trust me [and I hope I can speak for all Tulane Freshmen]: We will all be back down there as soon as possible, not only to attend Tulane but to help the city recover, as well. How can we turn down a University that was so kind to accept us? And how can we turn our backs on a city that makes you feel welcomed the minute you arrive?

Don't worry. We'll be down there. All 1,678 of us.

And, P.S.: I heard The Boot sucks. No offense.

8:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hate to tell you but I don't think all the freshman will return.

4:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

By the way, the boot most definitly does not suck...and whoever told you that, must be a loser...

11:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am also a Tulane freshman mom and I wish some of you guys - parents and students - would lighten up a little about the party thing. Does any parent really expect their student NOT to party some? Really. It's all about balance. The LAST thing I wanted was for my son to attend a college or university that was cut throat and where everyone locked themselves in their room or library....and ended up jumping out the nearest open window..... Going away to school is about learning - yes - first and foremost - but learning comes in many forms and I want him to experience it all. I am encouraged by the spirit of the students who are running and responding to this. My son is also at a prestigious State University at 1/5 the cost and as the one footing the bill it sure looks good to me - BUT - he wants to go back to Tulane and go back he will. (From what I can tell, they can't stay at these other institutions..it's part of the deal).

5:56 AM  
Anonymous Kaley said...

I'm from New Jersey and I'm feeling so much pressure to just pick up and go to some other university but I never would. I chose to attend Tulane University and so help me God I will graduate from Tulane, even if my first semester has to be somewhere else. But those are just credits- credits put towards a degree at Tulane.

9:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is a STUDENT run site and reading my peers' posts has been overwhelming. we are all feeling nostalgic for the things we remember, the things we took so much for granted.

to the parents leaving negative comments for Brett and our honesty about college life, shame on you. parents' comments are obviously welcome, but stop insulting us. the "stuff that matters" are our friends, our memories, and the places we love. you are in no place to judge.

Brett, we love you for this. Keep up the good work.

12:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My husband and I graduated from Tulane in 2002. For New Englanders who would find Boston University a convenient location for this coming semester, I attend graduate school there and live on the campus. If you would like to get information, chat, etc, feel free to contact me and my husband. We graduated from Tulane in 2002 (B-School and Newcomb). We have spent the last week devestated for our alma mater and our beloved city. This is a small way we can help displaced students to navigate over the next few months.

The first day of classes is tomorrow, September 6th. Here is a link to an article and more information.

http://www.bu.edu/phpbin/news-cms/news/?dept=4&id=36256&template=4

Carrie Patterson Besler
and
Jonathan Besler

patterson_besler@yahoo.com

10:32 PM  
Blogger mother of a freshman said...

my son is at undergraduate business school at univ. of colorado boulder. Does anyone have the list of requirements for the business school at Tulane?
Thanks
He can't wait to return to Tulane!

3:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this email is mostly for the parents who are so concerned about all the talk of partying, but thanks for putting your thoughts out there and keeping the community positive in this breathtakingly tragic time. I apologize for the length.

I graduated from Tulane in the early nineties, and I loved every minute of my time there. I had dynamic, engaged professors who taught me to love learning. My advisor took 30 Tulanians to travel in Turkey for a month; he even helped us raise funds for the trip. While at Tulane, I worked for political campaigns that took me all over the city, where I was exposed to a mindboggling diversity of lifestyles and socio-economic situations, experiences that would not have been possible at colleges in more isolated places. Once I figured out a major and minor, Tulane gave me the curricular freedom take electives on the history of Jazz, the formation and preservation of LA's bayous, and how to make and fire ceramic pots in the tradition of Native Americans of the southeastern US. My parents wanted me to get a well rounded, liberal arts education. Tulane gave me that and so much more.

Don't get me wrong; I dont recall clocking too many hours at the Boot, but I did my fair share of partying. Tulane, BECAUSE it located in such a dynamic and vibrant city, made me more culturally aware, more compassionate, more socially adept, and far more intellectually curious than I ever realized at the time. Oh, and I made life-long friends, most of whom, like me, went on to complete graduate degrees, despite our raucous partying.

Come on Moms and Dads, its college! the partying will go on regardless of the location or the school. Now I teach freshman at a rural university in another region. My current students party as much as (if not more than) I did at Tulane, but they're not getting the quality and variety of experiences I received both in the classroom and in the streets of one of America's greatest cities; they lack the intellectual curiosity of Tulane students and suffer from apathy and disengagement from world events since they are so isolated geographically and culturally.

The value of a Tulane education is, I am convinced, worth every penny and every minute you must wait. Class of 2009, if I could, I'd be on the first plane back with you in January to be a part of what will prove to be a historic -- and hopefully uplifting -- rebuilding of a great community! Good luck!

6:27 PM  
Blogger TheDevilIsInTheDetails said...

Be prepared for the next hurricane rita update or find another one that's similar. As the Boy Scouts say: "Be Prepared"!

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