Monday, October 03, 2005

Tulane Will Live Again!

Please note- there are two posts today! Read them both, as one asks you to help Tulane out.

It has been hard to measure the effectiveness of this site. We have had over 111,000 unique visitors. Since Tulane's population is under 14,000 that seems like a whole lot. Nevertheless, I've gotten emails from students and parents alike, saying how much this site has helped or hurt their hopes of a Tulane future. Right now, I'm going to prove this site worked in generating the support that Tulane needs.

The naysayers took over this site for quite some time. There was little news coming out of Tulane and Rita was about to hit. Things just didn't look good. Once I got rid of the anonymous option, both positive and negative posts declined but the number of visitors increased exponentially. Interestingly, many of the naysayers disappeared for good. We all know of one particular naysayer, who has created his own site to bash Tulane and the community. He is an alumni and a parent of a student; and he preached of a "reality" that Tulane will never be the same. He inferred that students would never come back, and the city should be “razed”. He told us that we were all in some kind of coping defense mechanism and that we should give up hope. I’m sure he bothered many of you, but I’m not going to attack him because of his opinions. He has the right to say what he wants, I’d rather him do it somewhere else; but if he needs to do it here, so be it. I never deleted his comments because I do stand for the freedom of speech- as long as its relevant to the site. He posted stuff that I thought had no factual basis, and shouldnt have stayed on this site. But I figured that soon, his day would come.

And I think it did, as I found this on his site:

"I was supposed to get my kid back from her ‘visiting’ school last night. What I got back was someone who was straight out of the Brett Hyman school of unbridled optimism. The whole drive home from the train station was like reading Brett’s blog. I also keep hearing many other students are acting the same way. Which made me think of the old expression, “there must be something in the water”. The conotation of course is that all of these people who are acting the same way because someone laced the water with something. The reality is, these kids are spread all around the country, and most didn’t even have a chance to drink the pre-Katrina Tulane water before being evacutated. So their attitudes must come from some other source. Kool Aid (Jim Jones – The People’s Temple reference) can’t be the answer either.

So what is it? I don’t know, but I’ll spend the next few days finding out."

Am I going to claim that this site created that type of enthusiasm and support in a student who hadn’t spent more than a few hours on campus? Nope. I think YOU guys did it. I’m sure the site was a great starting point for them, but I know that you are all out there confirming what I’m saying about Tulane. The naysayer is right; many didn’t have a chance to taste the water. But they did have a chance to read this site, and talk to all of you! They realized that Tulane is an unrivaled, unparalleled family of students and faculty that have a unique relationship with the city and the community.

Hearing this on his site did my heart very well. Emails are flooding in from tons freshmen who made the decision to return upon Scott Cowen’s announcement of a Spring semester. Even the ultimate naysayer couldn’t explain why a freshman would be so excited about the fact that we are coming back in the spring. But we know exactly why. Oh, we’ll be back in the spring- and boy am I excited.

PS- If he comes on here to bash us, don't listen to his rants. Form your own opinions about the issues. Even is you disagree with me, just do it with your own facts and beliefs.

Now, check out the following post!!!


Blogger sophmom said...

As a parent of a sophmore who is intensely committed to returning to Tulane, I just wanted to reaffirm to you how meaningful this site has been to me. You have provided me with an enormous amount of information, and although, the decision for my son to return to school was made up the day he left,I now "get it" and understand his passion.

5:57 AM  
Blogger ncgwmom said...

Of course you were right about leaving rc's posts up. I questioned the decision before his tone became more civilized, but thanks for the explanation, anyway. Even over at our Tulane mom's blog, there's dissent about how optimistic we ought to be about the conditions in NOLA, but we're all entitled to our opinions and, fortunately everyone down there working for us and our "kids" as well as on their own behalf still has almost three and a half months to get it done before January's start date.

I see the opportunties for social justic coming out of this situation being a major draw for some sudents, like, my own. Of course Tulne will live. It already does.

7:09 AM  
Blogger greenwave said...

I don't know if this will help anyone, but I live around Jeannette on Broadway in a "basement" apartment and my landlord said that the water line was 4 feet. It's dry now and all of the walls are being replaced, but should be ready by January. So you might be able to use this to figure out how much water you got in nearby houses.

10:57 AM  
Blogger DrG said...

I am a Tulane faculty member, and have reassembled my research group up in St. Louis for the semester. I have been back on campus twice, once between the hurricanes and once this last weekend. Tulane Campus suffered little damage, and already the few broken windows I noticed last time have been replaced. Most of the off campus uptown housing will only need minor repairs, esp. on the riverside of freret.

But more importantly, I just want to say that I have had the opportunity to talk to some of the undergrad students here at Washington University, and I have no fear for the future of Tulane. They were resolved to return to Tulane as soon as possible, like myself--and when they arrive in January, I will be there ready for them.

6:56 PM  
Blogger Sammi said...

I just got back from New Orleans this weekend. I had gone to go check on my apartment, salvage what I could, and to check/ salvage other friends apartment.

My apartment was near the corner of Claiborne and Jefferson and had about two feet of water, but two other apartments I went to had none. One was at Nelson and Fern, just off Claiborne and Carrollton, and the other was at Upperline and Daneel. The Upperline and Daneel apartment even had power while we were there.

I didn't get a chance to go to campus, but we drove by it. There didn't seem to be too much damage along Willow or St. Charles, and the security we keep hearing about is actually military security. There was a bunch of them playing football in front of the Tulane sign on St. Charles when we drove past.

Broadway didn't seem to have been too damaged, and a lot of people were actually in the city clearing up what they could. Every neutral ground and sidewalk was completely covered by trash that had been taken out of houses. But every where we were, we could get through. None of the roads was blocked, except Dryades when we tried to take it from Jefferson to Upperline. Some of the streetcar lines were down, but they were already starting to fix those. And, also, it seemed like everywhere we went in Harahan and Metairie, the businesses that could be open were open. The daquiri place on Clearview in Harahan was even open.

Just thought y'all would like to know.

9:39 PM  
Blogger Sammi said...

P.S. Sorry if that last post is a little bland or there are blatant errors. I'm extremely exhausted from this weekend (after going to NOLA we ran into some problems on the way home), and my mind's just a little fuzzy right now.

9:44 PM  
Blogger California Mom said...

Thanks Brett for a great site. I have appreciated your updates, the pictures of the campus from one great person! and the community spirit. My daughter is a junior architecture student at Tulane and has not been happy about being back in California. Your site has helped me understand in a tiny way the spirit of Tulane students. Returning to campus will definitely be her decision and one we will support.

1:05 PM  
Blogger TU Junior Mom said...


I really miss the Tulane Moms blog. I liked having a sane place for parents to share info, so we could give this site back to the students.

I read on Reality Check's site that you shut it down due to obnoxious comments.

Sorry you had to deal with that.

Students, hope you don't mind the occasional mom on this site.

It is now the only site where sanity reigns.


5:50 PM  
Blogger greenwave said...

The only parents I have problems with are the ranters

6:53 PM  
Blogger displaced_student said...

It seems like a lot of the parents are comlaining about having to pay full tuition to Tulane and only $3-$5 K to state schools; why didn't their kids just go to state schools in the first place for an equivalent education and save money?

I am planning on withdrawing and transferring because every employer and recruiter will know I got a slipshod education in the hurricane aftermath. I think everyone should do the same...

A lot of the people that are hyping the school have a vested interest; e.g. are faculty, deans, etc...what do you guys think?

6:57 PM  
Blogger TU Junior Mom said...

Displaced Student,

As a parent, I have concerns regarding health issues, the city's infrastructure, and the availability of off campus housing.

I am absolutely certain that my son will receive a highly enviable education from Tulane University.

I have worked for one of the Fortune 10 - not 100 - companies for over 20 years. In speaking with several senior managers, not one expressed dismay over my son returning to Tulane next spring. Quite the opposite, they encouraged him to apply for an internship this summer.

7:38 PM  
Blogger greenwave said...

I think you are wrong. The people who are hyping the school are the ones who love the school and can't imagine attending any other school. I don't believe that employers will see you staying at Tulane being a negative and that you got a slipshod education. If anything, they will view your commitment to Tulane as something positive.

7:45 PM  
Blogger TU Mom in Texas said...

Displaced Student:

Future employers and grad school admissions may, in fact, view the Tulane experience post-Katrina as a once in a lifetime character building opportunity. There are alot of valuable life lessons to be had there that "book learning" can't provide.

And,I suspect the administration will be overly conscientious about making sure that the educational experience is exemplary, as they know their performance on all fronts will be scrutinized from many directions.

I know this is a hard decision, but think about it somemore before you do anything...and Good Luck!

8:09 PM  
Blogger oregontumom said...

MY daughter is going back on a red eye from Portland Nov. 2.
Yeah, her house will be a mess, but us Oregonians aren't afraid of damp and mold, we have an immunity that comes from living amongst fungi.
I'm planning on coming down in Feb to run the Mardi gras half marathon. Beats an oregon winter all to hell for sure.

10:46 PM  
Blogger nancy s said...

To all Tulane Moms

The idea of a Tulane Moms Blog site arose from a need, expressed on the Tulane Student Blog, for a place where moms, in particular, could post concerns, share ideas, and support one another, without intruding on the student's space.

Tulane Moms was created for that purpose.

Tulane Moms II is created because the need is still there. It is a member's only site not to exclude opinion, but to curb abuse. So, no, it is not an "open" Blog site, in the sense that anyone can post any comment without consequence. As abhorent as censorship is, unrestrained disrespect for other members, regardless of point of view, is unwelcome.

Membership is through invitation. Any interested member of the Tulane community may receive an invitation by e-mailing a request to Nancy:

2:52 AM  
Blogger whitney s. said...

I just wanted to remind everyone that you can contact advisors at your college at Tulane (newcomb, tulane, etc...) and even certain specific department professors. Their contact information is on the website. I was beginning to worry how my courses at the school I'm at for the fall (DePaul) would transfer over in terms of what level and specific course they would be decided the equivalent of. I've emailed my newcomb advisor several times, sending her course discriptions and course syllabi. In one case she had me email a tulane department head to get his perspective on how courses in his department would be received back at Tulane. Especially since the courses for the spring will be up soon (yehh!!!!!), everyone should begin to check with Tulane to see where they will be in terms of their requirements. That being said, I hope everyone is excited beyond belief for January and tell anyone who questions whether everything will be ready by then a resounding YES!

1:25 PM  
Blogger Vanessa said...

As a student at the University of Southern California, I have had the pleasure of meeting several Tulane students who are visiting us for this semester (which you know because you are on of them). I just wanted to say that I completely understand the fervent optimism that so many Tulane students have displayed about returning to Tulane in the Spring. As a senior here at USC, I cannot even fathom having spent three years at this institution and then suddenly having to leave. Like any senior at any school across the globe, I have spent these years forming friendships and making memories; this is my school, my home, my family, and if for some reason I was forced to leave it, I would come running back the moment I was given the chance to. There is something to be said for the bond one forms with the people, the place, the entire college experience. It has been a pleasure having you all here, but I wish you all the best and hope that you will all get the chance to finish out your college careers at the school you call your Alma Mater.

9:43 AM  
Blogger TUAlum2002 said...

Displaced Student -

You place far too much emphasis on "slipshodded education" it's not only about where you went to school, but about what you've done. A Harvard diploma is no guarantee of anything, and if you treat your diploma like that, you are already heading down the path to failure.

Tulane will do well by all of its students, regardless of whether it is excactly the same or not. In fact, to hope it'll be exactly the same is false... It won't be the same... It'll be better, stronger, and more sure of it's place in the world. As an recent alum, i wish you would reconsider your decision and think about things in a little clearer manner, but as a true Tulanian I wish you luck whatever you decide.

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