Monday, October 10, 2005

Big Week For Information

Hey Everybody-
Hope all is well and you are enjoying the change in weather. There are going to be a bunch of annoucements this week regarding how they can help us with off-campus housing, the withdrawal deadline, coming back and gettting stuff on-campus, ect. I'm looking forward to watching these annoucements and commenting on them. I hope you'll join me in analyzing the administration's decisions. I'd like us to work together to facilitate the transition from recovery to reconstruction.

Reports from New Orleans this weekend were really optimistic. Supposedly Tulane and Loyola look brand new and uptown is opening up fast. I'll have new pics soon. If you are looking for info on what specific businesses are reopening, is a good site. Whole Foods has already offered delivery service until they get back up and running. However, they expect the New Orleans and Metairie stores to be up within the next month!

On another note, I'll be making annoucements about non-profit organizations and about my ideas to help unify the students before and after we get to Tulane. So stay tuned, I hope for a busy week.



Blogger another texas mom said...

Good news to start a Monday morning. Thank you Brett.

5:51 AM  
Blogger natalie312 said...

I am at the University of Virginia this semester, and attended the Town Hall Meeting held by Vice President Cynthia Cherrey last night. I cannot say enough for how the Tulane administration has handled this unprecidented disaster situation. She answered every hard question thrown her way in an honest, compassionate manner and I am just blown away at the strides Tulane is taking to protect its students and faculty. Just knowing that they will be providing me and my roommates with pro-bono legal advice in our struggle with our landlord is such a relief. I am so proud to say that I am a Tulane student, and I would definitely suggest that everyone go to a Town Hall meeting in their area if it comes; I haven't felt this relieved since before Katrina.

8:40 AM  
Blogger nancy s said...


With your permission, I'd like to add your comments to the Tulane Moms Blog site.

nancy s

12:31 PM  
Blogger tulanejunior said...

I want to get back to New Orleans and Tulane more than any other student.. but.. I need some reassurance. I have been to New Orleans to retrieve my belongings and I know that uptown will be in great condition come January.

My main concern is whether the administration is going to let us know about Dillard and Xavier students sharing our campus before the withdrawal deadline? I think that while it is the correct thing to do in this circumstance, it is also putting a lot of Tulane students out of the education in the setting they are expecting to receive for what they have paid.

I also want a professional opinion about Tulane's future academic ranking. I can not afford to sabotage my future (and waste $130,000+ on my education) to get a degree from a not as highly ranked school.

We need answers now, I have already contacted many upper-tier schools who refuse to accept any spring transfers due to this catastrophe.

Hopefully, we can all return in January to the school from which we came, with only the students from that school and with a still-intact academic ranking.

Please let me know of anything you hear asap.


1:43 PM  
Blogger ncgwmom said...

How is having Dillard and Xavier students on Tulane's campus going to reduce the quality of your experience? They will be sharing classroom space. According to what has been announced, that's about it. Even if they attended classes with you, I don't understand how that would create a problem for you.

2:04 PM  
Blogger greenwave said...

i don't think that having maybe 10 or 15 more students in a class will cause you to get a worse education. i also don't even think it will be that many. i also don't know where you are going to get a professional opinion on what the future ranking of the school MIGHT be. i wouldn't worry about it, the school might be a little down for a few years, but it will go back to what it used to be. i don't think it even matters because employers will like tulane students because of what they've been through.

2:15 PM  
Blogger ncgwmom said...

I'm sorry I wasn't clearer. Based on the anouncement and news story I've read, faculty from Tulane won't even be teaching students from Xavier and Dillard for the most part. Of course, I could be wrong, and things could change. However, even if they do, that can't possibly devalue your college experience, can it? I guess if you're unwilling to go to school at Tulane if anyone other than the same student body that was going to be on campus before the storm will be there in January, you'll have to look elsewhere. But in that case, you also will be in a new mix of people. So why not relax and enjoy the richness of a bit of extra diversity?

2:27 PM  
Blogger canewcombmon said...

I have to agree with ncwgmom's comments. Where would all of you who are in school as displaced students be if your host school had that attitude? I know for a fact that many colleges opened classes and rooms to help you out. It is the least that you can do, to show the same generosity of spirit they have shown you.

2:59 PM  
Blogger tulanemom_08 said...

i am sorry and i know this is a blog for the students,but what i have just read is making me ill! it must be so difficult to have to go to school with the "poor folks" from xavier and dillard. shame on you-i seriously wonder what kind of education you are hoping to get

3:09 PM  
Blogger TU Junior Mom said...

Tulane Junior, I am reposting the contents of an email I received last week:

FYI, looks like class sizes will not be affected by hosting students from Dillard/Xavier. I received the following from the Freeman School of Business:

"Our agreement with the other schools will not impact Tulane or Freeman's classes sizes. One school needs administrative space and the other school needs classroom space for their faculty to teach their students. We will provide most of that space on a suburban campus and/or in a high rise building downtown."

3:29 PM  
Blogger SittingOnTheDock said...

Is this the new mom's blog?

4:31 PM  
Blogger marylandtumom said...

Here we go again.....please, PLEASE parents, leave this site to the students! Read away but, allow our sons & daughters to say whatever it is they want/need to say without recrimination or commentary.

5:12 PM  
Blogger thanxi said...

MARYLANDTUMOM: To quote 1 of just the many students who feel brett should let us be present, this was from PRAGMATICFRESHMAN on Brett's "I'm Appalled" post: He and many more feel we do belong - read on:

I was supposed to be a freshman at Tulane this semester, and I am committed to going back in the spring, but I want to get a few things straight first and restore some sense of order and reality to this blog.

First of all, despite the fact that this blog was supposed to be a student blog, we have to face the reality that it has become a blog in which parents are the primary bloggers. And that is not a bad thing. After all, our parents are paying the bills and only want what is best for their kids. I can't go back unless my parents are behind me, and I'm sure it is the same in a lot of households, so lets try and treat our parents with some respect.

Brett, I give you a lot of credit for creating this blog; but rather than shut out the decisionmakers and main contributors to your blog, lets open this up and have a real dialogue.

Secondly, in regards to a visiting day to check on the campus, I would like to make a few comments. There absolutely must be some kind of visit to the campus before a commitment is made to Tulane. It is only common sense to see the campus before commiting to the university. Lets be real for a second; the biggest natural disaster in US history occurred in NO. Tulane was obviously affected; it's impossible for it not to have been. Now, I want to see, with own eyes, what kind of damage was done before making such a serious commitment to return to Tulane. As the saying goes, you wouldn't buy a car without first checking under the hood. As to when some sort of visiting day will be held, that will need to be determined by the Tulane administration. I believe that it would be best to move the withdrawal date back to Dec 15, and have a planned visiting day Dec 1. This gives the university some time to clean up and it allows students a fair amount of time to get their affairs in order. This much is owed to very anxious students and parents alike. A withdrawal date of Nov 1, with no visiting date before then, is unfair and impractical. It is asking people to take a blind leap of faith; and at this stage of the game, I'm not ready to jump.

From this point forward, I want to see a constructive discussion of real issues. The ethnicity of the clean up crews is not important. We want to support the Tulane administration in their policies, but in this unprecedented situation we also have a responsibility to help shape those policies. Let this blog be the forum in which that discussion takes place. Tulane '09

Also there were posts from greenwave, and tustudent2, as well as many others,so move on!!

10:27 AM

6:07 PM  
Blogger Natalie said...

Vice President Cynthia Cherrey spoke about your question dealing with Dillard and Xavier students at Tulane next semester at our Town Hall meeting yesterday. She told our group that while Tulane would be offering some classroom space to students from these schools, all preferential treatment when it came to housing would go first to Tulane students and faculty. She said that they would include the Dillard/Xavier students in their search for off-campus housing, but that in no case would a "visiting" student be given accomodations before a Tulane student would. She did mention that they might allow these students to go to Tulane classes if they wished, but it didn't seem like that part was concrete yet. I think we all need to just wait and see what happens- our school is going to be great no matter what, and I feel that we should be just as welcoming to the Dillard and Xavier students as all of our host institutions have been to us this fall.

nancy s-
It is fine with me to reprint my post

7:48 PM  
Blogger tulanefreshman said...

To those students who remain Tulane Students:
I can not wait to see you in the spring. The great opportunities that await us at Tulane are boundless. The universities willingness to accept students whose home schools can not facilitate classes shows the true character of Tulane. In the worst of time no man is greater than any other. Is it any different in the best of times? If it is then I ask you, when man can only be equal in the worst of time why do we strive so hard to better our situation?

With love to the “moms”:
I don’t know where you guys come up with this stuff but... aside from being endlessly entertaining, really ridiculous and perhaps you could agree basically biased, what you argue here is without any doubt (in my mind at least) the most trivial of fights.
I currently play a grateful guest to Case Western Reserve University. I emphasize the guest part. And as I find myself in the Diaspora equally as schooless, belongingless, and dare I say directionless (although I could never imagine myself as lost from truth as yourselves), I find comfort in the knowledge that I am a Tulane student. I am a student whose academic achievement in both current and past endeavors place me as an exceptional student. I choose Tulane because it was and remains an exceptional school. Tulane is second to none. For god nor money would I ever consider an Ivy League school to be a better school than Tulane a feeling I know all true Tulane students feel. Tulane is simply a different kind of school.
As I have mentioned I am attending classes at CWRU, the very university President Cowen held post at prior to serving as president of our university. As such I have been able to meet former colleagues and students of President Cowen. I am pleased yet not at all surprised to discover Dr. Cowen was cherished here and is missed dearly. His endeavors here created a top ranked business school and earned the admiration of the entire school administration faculty and students alike. He exhibits the same tenacity as a leader at Tulane. His ability to control the situation post Katrina is remarkable. I doubt I or you could handle the irrationality exhibited by some here. You will never hear from me again... so do not bother fighting (as I see is your only mechanism) and instead realize that these are trying times. Your children’s material possessions (not really even these) and possibly a small bit of their and your obviously precious time are all that you stake to loose. Tulane will not open in any case where students are put in any danger. Remember that Dr. Cowen and the rest of the administration have to live there too. Dr. Cowen is responsible for the livelihoods of thousands including himself, an educational institution with decades of history, the health and safety of his students, and countless other equally small details. His work is appreciated by all that hold a candle of sanity. Roll on Green Wave

8:16 PM  
Blogger Tulaneparent said...

I hope all the students and parents will read this article carefully.

UCSD has been granted money to study the yet undetermined health consequences in the short term (to people that were exposed to the flood waters) and in the long term (people who decide to return and are exposed to molds or toxins etc.)

They are creating a GIS map, which will be similar to the map we used to determine which areas of the city had flooding, but they will map evidence of health effects.

This is funded by the NIH's environmental health science division. They have no idea what the short or long term health effects will be, though NOLA has been known as cancer alley for good reason.

Keep in mind also, that professors may not want to put their families at risk in the "unknown" of New Orleans, even if they can find housing.

I am not passing judgement or telling folks what to do, but it is important for you all to review all of the information available, and to evaluate the Tulane administration response to the available information.

It would not be wise to return quickly to a city without some knowledge of the potential risks.

What are other environmental health scientists saying at this time?

9:40 PM  
Blogger bc555 said...

its obvious that the group from UCSB is going to provide biased negative answers. They are being provided with a multi-thousand dollar grant and they are going to be scrounging for any piece of negative data they can find because of it. They only want to satisfy the donors with "groundbreaking" and "important" imformation. Therefore it may be unreliable to listen to such reports.

10:38 PM  
Blogger Tulaneparent said...

Two New Orleans hospitals beyond help
Head of hospitals: $440 million needed to replace facilities

Wednesday, October 5, 2005; Posted: 11:17 p.m. EDT (03:17 GMT)

BATON ROUGE, Louisiana (CNN) -- Two of the main hospitals serving New Orleans are unsalvageable, and it will cost hundreds of millions of dollars to replace them, the head of the hospitals said Wednesday.

"The big Charity and University hospital buildings were issued their 'death warrant' by Katrina and the cataclysmic floods it spawned," said Donald R. Smithburg, the chief executive of Louisiana State University Health Care Services Division. "Both facilities are dangerous, dangerous places."

"Charity and University have anchored the health care system of southern Louisiana for over 100 years," he said. "We believe they should be replaced quickly to ensure they provide health care for the next 100 years and beyond."

3:59 AM  
Blogger frustrateddad2 said...

8:13 tulane freshman - i'm not sure if you're just a bit conceited, or just on another planet. there was an evacuation, then a hurricaine, and then a flood. lives lost, sewerage everyhere, looting, then more evacuating, etc.

Now although your dream college isn't to badly damaged(and i'm sincerely glad bout that), there are armed military patrolling the campus, major computer harddrive losses, damage all around, flooding and the MOLD thing..ugh also no one noes how long the smell will be a factor either. the water may not be really safe for who knows how long (but what water is, right?)
It must be hard for you to imagine, being so truly full of yourself, but do try - We know and believe president cowen is trying his best to have tulane presentable, but even so, he CAN'T promise us he'll protect you outside the university. We as parents (although i won't speak for yours) are indeed concerned for....uh...your safety. And the health hazards - there could be a few.

We'd really like to see for ourselves, as much as we 'believe' in President Cowen, he does have a business to run.

In addition, 8:15 tulanefreshman they're are homeless people living homeless that need to survive, and they just might prey on a good ole boy such as YOU!

In addition, let's say you need medical care outside health services, and kind of quickly - so far - i've been reading...not much available (let's hope your appendix don't burst)

You say, you could never imagine yourself as lost from truth as us parents.

buddy - you're there!!!!!

6:11 AM  
Blogger TUStudent2 said...

I agree with frustrateddad2, that was the most arrogant of posts. As a student of TU, I find the tone of that post to be disrespectful to the parents.

6:38 AM  
Blogger LocalAlumnae said...

Hi I know there might be posts like this but---

to all the worried students & parents left in the dark:

I've been to Tulane already and- while it's a good idea to want to see the campus before deciding whether or not you want to invest your money there- it won't be feasible for the admin. at least for a month +.

As you probably have seen from the pictures, or have heard from the admin., there are people working at Tulane around the clock. When I visited Oct. 1 there were tubes sticking every which way out of the buildings to either clean out the sewage or pump out water, I'm not really sure.

There were contractors all around removing debris, etc. and about 10 national guardsman, and camo hummers, right in front of Gibson. I assume that the campus has been serving as a base, but they probably also are serving to prevent looters or other random people from disturbing the rebuilding process.

There's a lot of work to do, but, aside from the commotion, the national guards, and lack of students, Tulane looked like it always did.

If you would like to see pictures I have taken of uptown/the campus or would like to discuss anything further, please feel free to email me.

I might be going back for good relatively soon (as soon as my office lets me!) and, at that point, would be more than happy to check on off-campus property for anyone.

6:39 AM  
Blogger greenwave said...

I believe the giants tubes in the buildings were pumping in dry air to dry out all of the buildings.

6:47 AM  
Blogger Ben W said...

The tubes reffered to in the previous post are for air conditioning mostly. They have huge mobile units parked outside most building which are pumping in colder air in an attempt to lower air tem pand humidity. when humidity drops below 70% mold has a lot harder time growing and wont spread like wildfire as seen in some of the buildings.

6:51 AM  
Blogger LocalAlumnae said...

The tubes reffered to in the previous post are for air conditioning mostly. They have huge mobile units parked outside most building which are pumping in colder air in an attempt to lower air tem pand humidity. when humidity drops below 70% mold has a lot harder time growing and wont spread like wildfire as seen in some of the buildings.

thanks for the info.

6:58 AM  
Blogger spohmoremom said...

Localalum. I am starting to feel redundant but I am going to say it again. They can stop all their work for just 1 day and let us in. It they don't then everyone is going to assume the worst and I am afraid they are going to loose alot more students than they can afford to loose. Very few smart parents that care about their kids are going to just say ok and send them back. The longer they wait the more frustrated we get and the less likely we are to want them to go back. Applications are due at other schools Nov 1. Once kids start to write essays and fill out applications and start to get accepted at other schools the easier it will be to go somewhere else. One day can't make a difference in the repairs but it can make a difference in how parents feel. Have a lawyer draw something up that says if we get hurt on Campus we can't sue. I will sign anything they want me to. I will not allow my child to go back no matter what if I can't see exactly what I am sending her back to. I have a strong feeling hundreds if not thousands of parents feel exactly like I do. I am sorry it is a hastle for Tulane but sometimes you have to do things that are not easy.

7:01 AM  
Blogger TUStudent2 said...

My parents feel exactly the same way. TU will have to oblige the parents on this one. I know several kids that are applying elsewhere.........just in case.

7:09 AM  
Blogger Terp3 said...

According to the VP at the town meeting, the campus WILL open for students/parents to retrieve their belongings, probably about a week after Loyola (which is scheduled for Oct 21-24.) So, you will be able to get your stuff and see the campus.
Also they said only Monroe had students' stuff packed up (so that workers could stay there)--the other dorms should be pretty much as they were left. Also, it's pretty clear that the withdrawal deadline is being extended again.

7:12 AM  
Blogger LocalAlumnae said...

I empathize completely with the parents who want to return. The City didn't allow us (my parents and I live in uptown, about five minutes from Tulane) to return until September 30 and it was very frustrating (especially since we had gone fishing in August and left 7 70-pound tunas in our fridge and an entire ice chest full of shrimp). Our house had no flooding, some wind damange/tree on our roof, but the worst damage we have is the smell because of that.

I'm not saying that exceptions shouldn't be made, or that the school won't lose a lot of money by angering people, I'm just saying that there is a huge logistical hurdle.

I hope that TU and the other unis extend all decision deadlines for displaced students during this catastrophe.

7:18 AM  
Blogger TUStudent2 said...

So, the information coming from the call center that said all of our things were packed and stored is incorrect? Not a good thing for there to be this misinformation - again, makes you leary. ADMINISTRATION: Which is it? Are our things packed and stored or not?

7:19 AM  
Blogger Ben W said...

please wait untl tommorrow night people im sure all your worries will be assuaged with these next couple announcements, like brett said this s a big week for new from tulane and i think you'll be surprised at soem of the adaptations they will make for students and parents

7:21 AM  
Blogger spohmoremom said...

terp3 Thanks for the information. What town meeting were you at? I would guess that vp is correct and the call center is not giving the most updated information. They are just very nice volunteers that are reading a script that comes from the chats.

7:33 AM  
Blogger Terp3 said...


University of Maryland

7:56 AM  
Blogger BootNRally said...

Does anyone else see a trend of posts from parents who have yet to even come close to campus try and do everything they can to make it a scene from Dawn of the Dead and then posts from students who have ACTUALLY BEEN BACK who say things are looking on the up and up? Just a thought...

8:51 AM  
Blogger TUStudent2 said...

"Looking up" to a student is not the same thing as "looking up" to a parent. Sorry, that's just the way it is. You'll understand when you have your own, so my parents say! They think about different things than we do, buddy! That's what makes them parents and us kids!

9:29 AM  
Blogger RealityCheck said...

At 8:51 AM BootNRally said...

"Does anyone else see a trend of posts from parents who have yet to even come close to campus try and do everything they can to make it a scene from Dawn of the Dead and then posts from students who have ACTUALLY BEEN BACK who say things are looking on the up and up? Just a thought..."


BTW, us PARENTS just want to be able to see the campus BEFORE the withdrawal deadline. If they move the withdrawal deadline back to when they anticipate finishing the cleanup, then they won't need to bring us back during the cleanup.

9:55 AM  
Blogger greenwave said...

i expect Tulane to do just that. they will extend the withdraw date a few weeks and then open the campus once the cleanup is complete.

10:17 AM  
Blogger tulanemom 08 said...

it is one thing to want to know about your child's safety and quite another to try to control every aspect of your child's life-give me a break-parents micromanaging their children's lives

11:54 AM  
Blogger TUStudent2 said...

tulanemom8 - who is "micromanaging their child's life"? Just curious what micromanaging entails!

1:44 PM  
Blogger MMOSS said...

First of all, I want to commend Reality Check for a considerably more measured tone in response to my e-mail last Saturday. The ideas presented were concise and thoughtful. You will notice RC that I am not using all caps this in respect to and of your comments to me. I will not comment on the suggestions presented by RC specifically but to simply say this.
Scott Cowen and the administrators need to be upfront and online to the students and parents of Tulane to keep them as informed as possible to evolving events and policy regarding the Spring semester and tuition requirements. We are people who all have decisions to make and we cannot make them in a vacuum. I do understand and it has been pointed out the problems of re-entering the campus to check things out while clean up and construction is under way. Insurance issues alone would preclude this from happening not to mention security of property onsite at the campus. I'm sure that Mr. Cowen is not making decisions without legal and other professional consultation. I myself would not want to be on the campus now regardless of whether the campus remained off limits or not.

I am very concerned about the health hazards that may exist including molds, mildew, soil and water contamination, refuse, mosquito infestation, ants and other pest infestations, et al. And this just includes the immediate problems affecting the environment at Tulane let alone the surrounding city and suburbs of New Orleans. I would appreciate anyone who has expertise on these matters inside or outside of Tulane to provide information on this blog or on a website that would allow us complete and comprehensive information on these matters and what if any solutions there are to insure everyone's safety.

I think it's safe to say that we all have opinions on what should be done by Tulane's administration, but in truth have gaps in our knowledge of all the considerations that need to be made in determining all policy associated with the efficacy of conducting a Spring semester at Tulane. As a parent, I am proud of my son and recognize his desire to return to campus to complete his education. While respecting his opinions, I am concerned that he does return to a safe environment. Care will need to be taken by him or any returning student since I cannot conceive of a city being as safe to come back to after withstanding a Category 4 hurricane and an ensuing flood. There will be problems!

To parents like myself, reality check, tulanemom08, et al, I think the word is patience and perhaps some faith that the school administration will do the right thing. The town hall meetings scheduled to go on around the country sounds like a good start in getting our questions answered as one post has already indicated.

I want to say that I hope I have the pleasure of meeting most of you this Spring when the students come back to campus in an environment that is safe and in an atmosphere of purposeful contentment. And with the hope for a great New Year and new beginning for Tulane, for New Orleans and all our children.
My very best to you Brett for a good New Year(L'shana Tovah).

2:47 PM  
Blogger patty said...

As a student i would like to say that this has put many of us in a very difficult possition, especially the freshman. We were making a big jump in begining our lives, and were hit with a hard blow. For me it is hard to think about not going to Tulane. That would be giving up before i even started. Many of us do not have the choice of transfering, or will not receive the same assistance we did at Tulane. I just hope the parents realize that this is a large milestone in there childrens lives, and will let them make the decisions we need to with your support, whether they be mistakes or not. We all must make them, and for many of us this is our second big decision in life, the first was that we were going to Tulane. Now we must decide if we should stay. We are confussed and we are trying to start our lives, please be there to support us.

3:36 PM  
Blogger patty said...

on a lighter note. I want to know who will be helping me move my stuff back to the 11 floor. I about died the first time.

3:41 PM  
Blogger ben said...

I was on St. Charles today and the campus did look good. However, parts of St. Charles avenue and most of the streets immediately surrounding the campus were still in bad shape. The mayor's office is sponsoring a "Let's clean up Magazine Street" program. With Tulane's clout as the largest employer in the city, I think it would serve them well if a similiar program could be instituted for the area around the university. The haze and smell in the city were also a problem today, is DEQ or the EPA monitoring daily air quality?

4:22 PM  
Blogger Ben W said...

I’ve researched some of the dangers of entering new Orleans again and asked my dad who is the director of environmental health and safety at Princeton about specifics. The following sites contain all the information anyone would ever want to know, and more, about the risks Katrina has left.
(On the second web address click on the safety awareness for responders PDF file which you can find by scrolling down)

Basically, mold is an issue for those with allergies, asthma and weak immunes systems. Aside from that most of the risk is being dealt with by the workers who are clearing up campus, there shouldn’t be any standing water, downed power lines, carbon monoxide from auxiliary generators and such, fires and burning debris, chainsaws and anything else. Before the hurricane they sprayed campus weekly for mosquitoes and I'm sure they will resume spraying again. I hope the information helps and can calm some of your fears about returning to campus, I know I felt a little better about returning to campus after reading through the information I listed.

4:35 PM  
Blogger thanxi said...

hi ben, are their more people about? Did u notice if any hotels along st charles are open yet?? I'm aware of all the military on campus, but is their a large police/military presence around where you were?? Thanks for any info!

4:39 PM  
Blogger ben said...


There was almost no business activity on St. Charles. The Garlic Clove was the only resturant that I noted had lots of activity. One or two hotels were open, but I can't recall which ones. I think you could go on and look at the business listings which are open. Plenty of National guard and several NOPD units in the uptown area. The traffic was heavy and delayed due to traffic lights not operating. I think the area will be safe and livable at some point, but there certainly is alot of work facing the residents and business owners.

5:17 PM  
Blogger Brittany said...

Hey everyone,
My name is Brittany Sims and im a junior at Tulane. Im am currently At Fordham in the bronx anxiously waiting to get back to new orleans....
I made t-shirts to sell to raise money for hurricane relief. Its been slow going getting them made, but they turned out great- everyone needs one! Its a white shirt with green writing, the front says "Mardi Gras 2 0 0 ? " and the back says "Save the Party" and has a very cool graphic. They are 15$ each (plus shipping)

If you are interested in purchasing a t-shirt (or even better purchasing in bulk and selling them at your respective schools) please email me at

remember to leave your contact information ( name, shipping address, phone number, size tshirt- small,med,large,xl-, and quantity)

i can send you a picture of the shirts if you need further convincing OR I am making a facebook group with a picture of the t-shirts as well.... search for NOLA LIVES in the groups. You all obviously know how much help new orleans needs so i am not going to get into it too much.. the proceeds are most likely going to the nola hurricane fund ( Tulane CACTUS organization.

5:30 PM  
Blogger HSophieNewcomb said...

First of all, from a student who grew up in New Orleans, there is always mold. It's in the dorms, in the houses, in the academic buildings, in stores, in attics, it grows in the air vents, and is there all the time. The places on campus that will have the worst trouble with it are the Aron apartments, Rosen, and the offices under Reily. The students who live in the most severely flooded dorms are not freshman. They are seniors, grad students, med students, and law students, many of whom had just started out on their own, no longer under the shelter of mom and dad's credit card. The problem is worst in Rosen, where married students and their young families live. They, along with those flooded out off campus, are the ones with the mold problems. If my child lived on Monroe 12, I'd be more worried about lingering asbestos than mold.

That being said, I agree with much that you all have said. Tulane needs to push back the withdrawal date, they need to let us back on campus, and they need to make sure everything is safe for us to return. What I don't agree with is the near-paranoid assumption that the University is out to leave steal our money and leave us in the cold. And i do understand the frustration, because I'm the one paying the bills. I'd like to know all the details just as much as any of you, but it would be even better to get a well-thought-out answer with those details, to let me know what plans the university has made.

Tulane is trying to make a win-win situation out of no-win situation, and that's not easy. I'm glad I have a library and dorm waiting for me, even if half my stuff was destroyed. If letting some kid from Dillard or Xavier share my room is what it takes to rebuild the university and the city, then I'll share with 10 of them (providing a viable shower schedule could be arranged to everyone's satisfaction).

In the end, Tulane is not going to be any more of a mold-infested disease-ridden bacterial breeding ground than it already was. That is, until the parrots develop H5N1.

Then we're screwed.

8:13 PM  
Blogger RealityCheck said...

At 3:36 PM patty said...

"We all must make them, and for many of us this is our second big decision in life, the first was that we were going to Tulane. Now we must decide if we should stay. We are confussed and we are trying to start our lives, please be there to support us."

I understand how you feel. Someone on my blog asked: "I can't imagine why a freshman would want to return to Tulane."

My response was:
This is going to be a little positive, so please don't shoot me. :-)

These kids spend a lot of time looking at college, most for at least a year and a half before they would get to go. They filled out applications, wrote essays, got recommendations, visited the campus, went to local recruitment functions, met with alumni, and then waited in the mail for that large envelope. They probably had several schools to choose from, and after a lot of discussion and anxiety finally decided on Tulane a minimum of 4 months before they could even start there. They told their friends, put "Tulane '09" on the AIM profiles, looked at other Freshman on Facebook, met other kids in the area that were going, shopped for school, and were looking forward to their 'once in a lifetime' chance at a freshman experience in one of the most interesting cities in the country. They plan everything, get their courses, say goodbye to HS friends and home, travel to New Orleans, get a brief taste of it, get welcomed, move in, meet some new people, and they are about ready to get rid of their parents when their told for their safety that they have to get out of there with their parents ASAP.

Its like giving a starving person a whiff of New Orleans food, and then pulling it out from under their nose (ok, now I'm hungry) and leaving them with stale bread and water. I could give the virgin and sex analogy, but I'll leave that alone.

They are 18 year old kids waiting a very long time in 'teen age years' for something, and now its gone. On top of that, their parents who are thinking like adults, looking at the big picture and concerned for their kids safety are telling them that it may not be safe to go back. Whatever us parents say, the kids will want to do the opposite. Does that mean us parents should have immediately 'go back, things are fine'? No, but understand what the reaction will be in most of the kids.

They want to go back because they think like 18 year olds. They think they are invincible, and nothing can hurt them. They are playing down the fears of the safety and will put up with the inconvience to try and recapture the dream that is all that is good about Tulane and New Orleans. In some respects, the Freshman may have more emotional investment in going back then Sophs or Juniors. The Sophs and Juniors have experienced it, and know the downsides and reality of Tulane and New Orleans, and they know that the good that they had before may not come back before they are gone. In some ways their Tulane experience was as good as its going to get.

The Freshman have nothing but hope and dreams of the good. Most of them are very emotionally invested in it. Those that aren't won't go back. Those that are will go back no matter what. Those that do go back will be trying to recapture the dream. I just hope the reality of the situation doesn't ruin it for them.

8:24 PM  
Blogger greenwave said...

Realitycheck that was very insightful. You have been slowly changing my attitude about you because of your posts the past few days. You have gone from seeming like a souless greedy person to someone who actually cares about the school. I have a feeling it has something to do with your daughter's love for the school but I could be wrong.

9:07 PM  
Blogger TUStudent2 said...

Very good observation, Reality Check. And so true.

9:10 PM  
Blogger MMOSS said...

To Ben W, thanks for the information and the website. I really appreciate the response although I'm still somewhat leery about the extent of the dangers. At least it provides some degree of comfort.
To Reality Check, your last post was really great, very reflective and insightful. I'm appreciative of what those words should mean for students and parents alike who have had trouble bridging a communications gap. It couldn't have been stated better. Thank you for sharing that. I'm very sincere!

7:19 AM  
Blogger nancy s said...


With your permission, I'd like to add your "response to Patty" post to the Tulane Moms Blog site.

nancy s

9:50 AM  
Blogger TUStudent2 said...


You must be really enjoying your new found respect on this board! Now they WANT to post your messages! Congrats!

10:57 AM  
Blogger RealityCheck said...

nancy s said...


With your permission, I'd like to add your "response to Patty" post to the Tulane Moms Blog site."

You have my permission to post on on the Tulane Mom's blog site. Please attribute it to me.


10:58 AM  
Blogger julia said...

My roomate and I are going back down to NOLA next week to get some stuff. does anybody know of any hotels that are open? i've called a bunch that are open, but they say they arn't taking reservations...what exactly does that mean?

11:15 AM  
Blogger ncgwmom said...

Julia, it may mean that they are open but being used for FEMA and others like them. I can tell you that the Ponchartrain is taking reservations for January, but that's all I know for sure. However, if you go to hotels., you will find a fairly reliable listing (pretty far down the page) of hotels that are open or will open soon.

Forgive me for posting even though I'm a parent. Would you prefer that I keep information people request to myself?

12:10 PM  
Blogger IllinoisMom said...

I heard Metairie is in good shape and it sounds like most of their hotels are open. Its a good choice if you can't find anything closer to campus and they have availability.

RC-- Now that was a pleasant surprise!

12:48 PM  
Blogger thanxi said...

ncgwmom - I believe brett has opened up this blog to us parents/alumni/students as a least for the time being....

12:51 PM  
Blogger ncgwmom said...

Oh, well, I'll be sure to slap the duct tape back over my mouth the moment I hear otherwise!

1:00 PM  
Blogger greenwave said...

I don't think anyone has a problem with parents posting as long as they aren't ranting about how Tulane is a terrible school or how Scott Cowen is a buffoon. I'm not saying that they can't disagree with anyone, but people who can't have civil discussions shouldn't post here.

1:41 PM  
Blogger TU Junior Mom said...

Well, if info from parents is OK... Julia, I was unable to find a hotel within 75 miles of N.O. (this weekend or next). but flights and rental cars are available.

1:51 PM  
Blogger TUStudent2 said...

Now really...........Greenwave. What parent has said TU is a horrible school and SC is a buffoon? I've not read that anywhere - maybe I missed something.

2:33 PM  
Blogger poojones said...

Scott Cowen can only do so much to protect the safety of all the students just as the government can only protect its citizens to a certain degree. I want to remind people that Scott Cowen is the president of Tulane, only capable of so much and is only doing what he thinks is best for the school, students, and community. Yes its true, there is no telling how bad the mold problem will be, future problems from it, and other things. This is out of his control. Most parents who post on this website are of freshmen or sophomores and your children are most likely living in the dorms. If this is the case you need not worry because I can guarantee the admististration will take care of EVERY health issue ON campus. They took care of an entire mold problem in my dorm freshman year and will continue to do so. However the major issue is posed to the upperclassmen or off campus students. Not only are we paying rent right now to hold our houses but have no idea how safe they will be upon our return. We do not have a governing body who will be inspecting them and making sure its up to par as will be the case on campus. So all you parents who NEED to see what campus is like, I urge you to look at what New Orleans is like instead because campus will be up to par. It is the city that is may not.

You cant hold Scott Cowen responsible for making the entire city of New Orleans safe. It is beyond his control and to be brutally honest, it was never safe. He is strictly responsible for the campus and university operations and I have full faith that they will be in the same state they were (minus a few trees) prior to the hurricane.

Going into New Orleans and living there will be venture into the unknown in some sense. yes, noone really knows how safe the water is and how bad the mold problems are. By going back and staying...You are taking a risk, SIMPLE AS THAT. But if you are extremely worried about your childrens safety ....dont send them back. You have been given that OPTION. But please stop bitching about seeing campus when it is the people who live outside of it that are truely in a dillema. Remember, if a senior tranfers, s/he needs 60 credits taken at the new institution to graduate. That means if we leave we have to stay an extra year at a new place. Option underlcassmen need not worry about.

The school has been extremely flexible and has done everything it can to this point. letting in people now not only inhibits reconstruction but puts the visitors and in sifgnificant DANGER. Tulane wants to take as few risks as possible. The last thing they need is someone getting injured retireving their belongings.

About Loyola....
letting there students back to retrieve belongings isnt as much as an issue for them. There campus population is MUCH MUCH SMALLER than tulane's. It would be insanity and utter chaos if Tulane let 3000+ 'on campus' residing students back to stampede the campus to get their belongings and check out the campus. Not to mention these 3000+ will have family members with them most likely so well say thats at least 6000 people. meanhwhile the school is trying to be efficient and reconstruct the school, this as mentioned before, is taking away from PROGRESS.

Have some patience.Look out for yourself, but dont be overly Selfish. Chances are there are hundreds of other Tulane parents in YOUR situation. Best of Luck.

2:36 PM  
Blogger AcceptableScreenName said...

TU Junior Mom said...

Well, if info from parents is OK... Julia, I was unable to find a hotel within 75 miles of N.O. (this weekend or next). but flights and rental cars are available.

Not sure what your plans are but I don't think that they will allow you to return it to a different location. Just in case you didn't know.

2:39 PM  
Blogger poojones said...

Also, you may know that Loyola Campus limits are St. Charles and Freret. All their dorms reside in this area. This area was not flooded when compared to the area between Freret and Willow (which we all enjoy fording when it simply rains). The area between or on Willow and Freret is where ALL the Tulane dorms exist. They have had WAY more damage than Loyola dorms. That is also a reason it will take Tulane longer to let students back.

PS Ive gone to the school for three years, NOT 3 days....u get my point

2:42 PM  
Blogger AcceptableScreenName said...

They took care of an entire mold problem in my dorm freshman year and will continue to do so.

There a bed bug problem too where they gave free board to the everyone in the dorm a few years back.

2:44 PM  
Blogger Freshman Mom said...

I just spoke with a friend who is a teacher in NOLA. She had been staying here in Dallas until this past week.

I have to preface this by saying I don't know the layout of the Uptown area, having only been there one day. She lives in the Uptown area, between Broadway and the Garden District. This is her report:

CONDITIONS: She hasn't ventured out to the totally flooded areas, but she felt comfortable reporting to me about the conditions in her neighborhood and near the Tulane campus. Someone asked me specifically to find out about the 800 block of Broadway: she said that area seems fine, "not too bad at all" was how she put it. She said that while a lot of places did get basement flooding, she said that the River-side of Freret was really fine.

SMELLS: The stench that we've heard so much about is really coming from the refrigerators. She said that the smell was awful when she first entered her home, but once she got rid of the refrigerator, it's fine. One challenge in her neighborhood has been the lack of garbage pick-up. While they're starting to pick it up, refrigerators are everywhere, which is attributing to the smells outside.

RESPIRATORY ISSUES: She has not had ANY respiratory problems, and she's been there for since Thursday. She has heard that it might be an issue in the areas where mold hasn't been remediated, but not in the Uptown area.

HELP WANTED/NEEDED: Another problem has been lack of available workers. She said there are Help Wanted signs EVERYWHERE. Restaurant owners and chefs may be ready, but there aren't servers, dishwashers, etc. around. Same thing throughout the city. For example, public library staff members were fired during that 3000 person lay-off by the City, so noone is taking care of the library grounds that she she's out there mowing the lawns of the public libraries. Employment is a HUGE problem right now because so many of the workers lived in the flooded areas.

MOOD: She said that there is a lot of sadness in the city but that it is NOT overwhelming. THE PREVALENT MOOD IS A TREMENDOUS SENSE OF OPTIMISM AND COMMUNITY! She said that she truly believes that NOLA will be a stronger and better city than it was before Katrina; people EVERYWHERE are helping others, the bonding of the communities is absolutely incredible and she said that Tulane students will most certainly be a huge boost when they return. She said that Tulane students have always been very helpful in the general community and they're looking forward to the students, staff and faculty returning to help with the rebuilding of NOLA.

HEALTH ISSUES: As I said, she reported no upper respiratory issues at this time for herself. She said that there is medical care available, as needed, and that some of the media coverage HAS been exaggerating the situation, although admittedly, SOME areas are much more severely affected. The water is fine...or as fine as it WAS pre-Katrina. She's really not worried about safety or health in the uptown area.

Another friend,staying near me in Dallas, who lives in the Lakeview area, is returning to her neighborhood this weekend (just for the weekend). I expect to hear a totally different report from her; her husband has already told her that they're going to have to bulldoze almost all of the neighborhood, but she's going home to salvage whatever she can. Her husband said that it truly does look "third-worldish" in their Lakeview area, but that it IS getting better already. One problem they're all having is the insurance adjusters...nothing can be done until that situation is a lot of the mess sits unattended to. I'll report on her experience next week, although I imagine it's going to be a lot tougher for her to talk about it.

I asked my friend (who is a teacher of the poorest children in the flooded-out sections of NOLA, and has no children of her own) about her feelings about our kids coming back to the city, and she said IF she had a college child, she would DEFINITELY feel confident in encouraging/allowing the student to return to Tulane in January.

This is just one person's observation, but I thought some of you would appreciate reading about it. I'm trying to "tell it like it is" from a non-Tulanian, with no hidden agenda, etc.

2:50 PM  
Blogger TUStudent2 said...

PoopooJones: If TU suffered more damage than Loyola, why are we letting Loyola share our campus instead of visa versa?

2:50 PM  
Blogger AcceptableScreenName said...

Poojones, Good post. You are right that a campus tour isn't going to tell anything. The school has the resources to get the campus back in shape quickly. The landlords however, do not. Reading articles online about the infrastucture of the city is probably more valuable than going there.

The only point that I don't necessarily agree with you on is that all 3,000 students wouldn't arrive at one time to pick up their stuff. They could open for a couple of weekends and the week in between and then perhaps by apointment. The reason they are not allowing people to pick up their stuff is that they just don't want them there -- yet.

2:53 PM  
Blogger greenwave said...

We aren't sharing our campus with Loyola. Tulane and Loyola are offering space on both of our campuses for the students of Dillard and Xavier because their schools were severely damaged by Katrina.

3:03 PM  
Blogger AcceptableScreenName said...

Pictures of the dorms and some mold -

3:04 PM  
Blogger TUStudent2 said...

Student Belonging Retrieval and Campus visit information can now be found at What dorm is this in these pictures? Seems like they have finally worked out a plan, and have clarified alot of their own misguided information that was coming from the call center. See you all in November!

3:25 PM  
Blogger TUStudent2 said...

I stand corrected greenwave! Whoops! However, it looks like TU did come up with a plan!

3:29 PM  
Blogger greenwave said...

About time. Hopefully this will please the ranters who are claiming a big conspiracy by Tulane to mislead everyone about the condition of the campus.

3:52 PM  
Blogger TulaneSenior said...

I found a hotel for this weekend.. It is the Soniat Hotel
Also, le Pavillion has rooms available.
If you search for operating hotels on, they will give a list of #s.

4:09 PM  
Blogger TUStudent2 said...

Gosh greenwave, your tone is beginning to sound like the one you've complained about for months. Stop being so negative!!!!!!!

4:09 PM  
Blogger jdyo said...

tustudent2, I think the pictures are of a ground floor room in leadership village.

4:25 PM  
Blogger greenwave said...


sorry if my elation about not having to hear from some very annoying people anymore upsets you.

are we going to be receiving course catalogs in the mail, or is the whole process going to be strictly online?

8:45 PM  
Blogger patty said...

I am very sad. My one chance to get my belongings was nov. 1, because i am going to voodoo fest in memphis sep 30. My date to pick things up is Nov. 4 or 5. Oh well.

9:19 PM  
Blogger patty said...

correction Oct 30

9:24 PM  
Blogger tulane0? said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12:09 AM  
Blogger ncgwmom said...

Those sound like reasonable concerns, but you should probably contact your coach to get good answers. If you can find out something and share it here, that would be a great service!

4:27 AM  
Blogger marylandtumom said...

Someone on a previous post stated they have reservations at the Pontchartrain Hotel for January. I just wanted them to know that they better reconfirm those reservations because I just called their 800 number 5 minutes ago. I was told that the Pontchartrain is not open and is not taking ANY reservations for January or any other month until further notice. The hotel will remain closed to business for an undetermined amount of time. They said the only people allowed in the hotel are the ones who are doing repair work. So I'm not sure how anyone can have reservations there. Please advise.

5:53 PM  
Blogger Tulaneparent said...

You can search for hotels. In the first couple of months after the hurricanes, there were no listed hotels taking reservations. Now, there are a handful in the quarter, if you want to pay $200 - $300 per night. I have found airlines in and out of the city are limited, improving service, but limited. For example, a few weeks ago, Southwest was flying in from our area once/day with flights arriving at 4:30 to 5:00 pm. Well, with no hotels, or few available and a curfew at dark, I'm not sure that will work. The other option seems to be to fly into Baton Rouge and drive down. All in all, a quick trip in for the weekend is sounding very expensive.

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