Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Tulane Takes a Deep Breath

Reality begins to set in. My analogy of Tulane’s reopening is as if you’ve been shaking a bottle of champagne for 4 months, and then pop the cork. Joy, happiness, fulfillment, and relief will be just a few of the emotions that we will share, together. We are the blood of Tulane. When its heart starts pumping again; our bond will be greater, our resilience stronger. I know it’s been difficult. I’ve received countless emails from people who are experience unbearable circumstances in their new situations. But the news is official; Tulane will reopen January 17th, 2006.

Let’s dispel the obvious immediate assumption: what if New Orleans isn’t ready? Well, then Tulane won’t open. Tulane will wait until the appropriate time before it lets students in. They can’t hold classes if half the students have hepatitis C. Don’t even try to suggest on this site that they will do otherwise. But delving deep into that further, we can look at a few facts prove New Orleans will, in fact, be safe. The French Quarter has power (see New Orleans Fresh Quarter Comes Back to Life). The Central Business District had power. All of uptown will have power in the next few weeks. Potable water will be delivered to these parts of New Orleans in the next 5 weeks. These three areas are all we need in order to enjoy New Orleans in the same way in which we once did. The trash on campus is mostly cleared away (new pictures will be in soon). Facilities are being rebuilt now. There’s no way that New Orleans won’t be ready by that date. It’s been about a month, and look at where we already are. Imagine what we can do in 3 months. In January, the spirit of New Orleans will live again because the people who make up its soul will return. Case closed.

Now, we’ve heard comments from wonderful people who seemed to take pleasure in putting down the possibility of a Tulane reopening for Spring. Are you all going to eat your hat? My bet is some of them will come back to this site and tell us bad stories of what will happen when we go back. Some of them will talk of our houses being destroyed and of New Orleans “never being the same.” But please cross reference my last post about the New Orleans family and remember: New Orleans is more than just a bunch of cool streets, it’s about the people. It’s the students, the locals, and even the tourists. So, I’m going to have to say you are wrong. By typing this particular paragraph, I know I’m challenging the people who still naysay for whatever vain and narcissistic reason they have (which is not my intention). However, we’d appreciate if you’d start your own site about it, and leave us alone. Also, if you want to rant about New Orleans; maybe give us an idea on how to make things better, rather than just putting it down. For example, if you don’t like Tulane, suggest how to fix it. I bet you will get a lot more respect that way, and people might believe you “love New Orleans” like you suggest you do. You know who you are.

And if you want to get negative, I’ll get a little negative. I’m worried about off campus housing. By most reports, many houses will be fine. But there will be a few, maybe 100 students, maybe 500 students; who might be without homes. To solve this, we will need to think. I’m sure Tulane’s administration is worrying about this too; it seems to be their one largest problem. My bet is that they find some sort of temporary housing, I heard cruise ships. I’d do that for sure. I’m going to do some serious research about how we can handle “the mold problem.” I’ll get back to you soon. Don’t worry yet.

So let’s talk about what I’m not worried about, and that’s spring semester’s possibility. I’m energetic and enthusiastic to get back. I’m optimistic and confidant in the new government commitment after their successive failures. I’m realistic and practical about the many logistical issues that we’ll face. State and local officials are going to work hard to make the city come back as quickly as possible. In one month, New Orleans will be a different place. Most of the major services and businesses will be back and the individual businesses will then start to rebuild.
Today is a joyous day for Tulane students around the world. Today we had the chance to see the future. We are again given hope. Our dedication will demonstrate to the world just how important Tulane is to us. Our devotion to New Orleans will single-handedly bring it back to life. We will be a community once again.

Brett Hyman

PS- Stay tuned for a post on the lagniappe semester, graduation, and other fun stuff.

Monday, September 26, 2005

My Tulane Family

It’s time to bring this site back to the students, so spread the word. Today I’m going to talk about why it is that we are just so obsessed with getting back to New Orleans as soon as possible, because no one gets it- not parents, not friends from other schools, not even many alumni. It seems that many of these people just can’t seem to fathom why we would be in such a hurry to go back. Some of us are in “better” universities than Tulane, others are in bigger schools or with our “best friends from home.” Why would we be so eager to get back to New Orleans when we can be with our home friends in our hometowns with our wonderful parents?

I know people at USC, UCSB, UCLA, Boulder, Stanford, Michigan, Texas, Arizona, and Yale; and very few of them understand why we are so eager to go back to a place that could have virtually no amenities (which we will but that's another argument). Each of those universities is unique in its own way, some small or big, some with mostly instate people and some with out of state people. So why are we so different from every single one? I should also mention the parents, who are generally terrified of the possibility of students returning, even though Tulane would never let us come back until it was 110% safe. Parents keep saying “I’ll never let my kid go back there” or “Why would you even want to go back?” Hey parents, I don’t expect you to understand. But students will.

I want to go back because Tulane is my second family, it's that simple. Allow me to elaborate. Something about New Orleans and about Tulane compels the students to bond in a way that I have never seen at another university. Clearly, something brings us together; you can say it’s simply the availability of common social locations such as the Boot, or a love for the community around Tulane. It could be that many of us all have this general craving for adventure (which is true, Tulane students seem to be very adventurous). But another major factor that is often forgotten is that we make New Orleans our homes, not our second homes or our temporary homes, but our primary homes. In many universities, students opt to travel or go home on the weekends, never fully establishing a permanent connection with their surroundings. I think this severely impacts the way they interact socially, if for anything, because these people retain very intimate relationships with their home friends. Many, not all, of these people have stronger connections with their hometown than with New Orleans, and that’s just not the case for us Tulane students. Now, I’m sure that there are people who are outside of this analysis; but I’m just trying to generalize things so we can analyze the situation further. It seems to be that since we all stay in New Orleans, without the opportunity or desire to leave every weekend, we bond on another level; that of family. We make connections on hundreds of levels, from the campus life to the restaurants, from the people to the transportation, from our classes to the supermarkets social scene (Whole Foods for sure). Tulane replaces your home situation, your family structure. This is a great thing because we all need a permanent local family (even if it’s just until we graduate). To me, my friends are my brothers and sisters, the university is my parents, and Bourbon Street is some weird uncle who is fun for the first 10 minutes of the party until he’s had a few too many drinks.

The good and the bad of my experience as a student at Tulane have fit neatly into a family structure. And thus, when I’m without New Orleans, I’m without my second family. At Tulane, we develop tradition; be it a crawfish boil on Fridays or Five Happiness Chinese Food on Sundays (hope they are still there). At Tulane, there is a sense of community; such as peoples’ relationships within the Hullabaloo, TEMS, Hillel, TUCP, CACTUS, sports, or the Greek system. These mini-communities become a focal point for our emotional stability. We use them to connect with each other under a common bond, and enhance our emotional states. At Tulane there’s a lot of love. Some of us love the music of New Orleans- from jazz to hip-hop. Others of us love the food, the culture, or the wild party life. You can’t get this unique blend of cultural elements anywhere, not even in major European cities. At Tulane, there is happiness. It seems that the students are just generally happy there. I base this on a 2 factors. 1) The sentiments I get from students all around the country, that nowhere and I mean nowhere, compares to Tulane and 2) The expression of content that students have with the school (read about it on the “what I miss about New Orleans” section). Finally there’s a major sense of unity. It seems that we the students have a general love for each other, and thus, a general respect for the community- a respect for the family. And hey, MAYBE IT’S LIKE THIS AT OTHER SCHOOLS, but I don’t know one person who understands my feelings about it and really, it doesn’t matter.

What about Tulane University itself? Well it’s just an amazing academic institution. The professors are remarkable. We could not do without Lesmond, Beau, Burrows, and Hogg (and that’s just people in the b-school). The facilities are new and high tech. The administration cares. When I want to talk to my advisor, I call him on the phone and HE answers. If you need to talk to a professor, you can email him or her and actually get a response. Most of my professors give me their home numbers. The students are intelligent, and always work together to help each other out. The food…well let’s just say we’d like Subway back, please. The campus is gorgeous, even in the latest pictures. Yes, Tulane costs a lot of money. It was a big factor in my decision where to go to school. But I think it’s worth every penny and so do my parents. You get your money’s worth- a quality institution with life at your fingertips.

So what about the potential class of 2010? Or the class of 2009? I don’t think that videos or even speeches from Administrators are going to entice a class of people who have a lot of other options for colleges. They know Tulane’s a good school. They know they are going to have a great dorm life. They know that New Orleans is an interesting city. But there are 100 other cities that can provide them with all these fabulous things. Why should they even bother when they can try to get in to Michigan? Family is the word. Tradition, community, love, happiness. This unique blend of culture and community can’t be found anywhere else.
To the class of 2010: This is your life. This is your future. It doesn’t matter whether you go to a school ranked 30 or 40, it matters on what kind of personal experience you can bring to your career. If your gut tells you that you might benefit from the array of opportunities that await you at Tulane, then I challenge you to take the plunge. I challenge you to try out the one university that will become your second .
family The decision on where to go to college will affect you for the rest of your life. No college is the same, and maybe Tulane isn’t for you. But if you are looking to gain valuable intellectual, cultural, and social experiences that can’t be matched anywhere else; then Tulane is the place. Plus, the other colleges will always be there, but you won’t find this experience anywhere else.

Look, am I saying New Orleans is perfect? No way. Could we do without a few things here and there? Absolutely. I’m saying its better. I’m saying that I’ve been a lot of places, and there’s truly nothing like it. The experience that I have taken away from Tulane is incomparable. I grew and matured in ways that leave my friends from home in awe. My parents think that I made the best decision coming to Tulane, where I grew culturally as well an independently. I’m saying that there are good reasons why these students want to come back as soon as possible. I’m saying there are good reasons very few people (if any) are permanently transferring. So those of you who don’t get why we want to come back- stop asking us why, and start asking us when.

Miss you all,
Brett N. Hyman

Friday, September 23, 2005

Change, Change, Change

A few things:

1) If people have specific topics that they would like to discuss, feel free to write an article and send it to me. I cannot promise it will get on, so if you don't want to waste your time, then send me an idea and we'll talk about it. I will probably get a lot of requests for this, so please don't be offended if I dont put yours up. I just have a way of doing things here, and I obviously can't put up 5 articles in one day. Plus, you always have the comments forum! The email for this is TulaneStudentBlog@gmail.com Only send them to that email.

2) Quit the personal attacks. If you want to attack me send me an email just ripping into me. I will gladly read it and respond. I really don't think people need to post just mean stuff on this site. We are NOT going to debate the greek system on this site. If you want to do that, go and make a site for debating the greek system. I bet people really care about that in this emotional time. Again, send these attack emails to TulaneStudentBlog@gmail.com. If you want to attack some one who is not me, then read number 3.

3) I'm getting rid of the anonymous feature. I've gotten a ton of requests to do it, and I actually think it'll do good. You also should put your email at the bottom of your comments, so other people can contact you when you post something really ridiculous on my site.

4) I hope everyone is doing well in their new schools and new situations. Sorry this site has turned into a bit of an immature Tulane/fraternity/Scott Cowen bashing session. I hope everyone that has contributed positively to this site will still come check it, as I think these changes will make a significant difference in allowing us to provide relevant content. I am keeping hope alive for this blog, and will continue to post my thoughts and analysis, as I always have.

Brett Hyman

9th Ward Takes Another Hit

Water poured into the streets of the ninth ward, as an 8 foot storm surge from Tropical Storm Rita overwhelmed a significantly weakened section of the Industrial Canal levee. The Industrial Canal levee was one of the first levees to break because of Hurricane Katrina’s storm surge. Army Corp of Engineers Brig. Gen. Robert Crear did not expect a breach this early, and they expect it to continue for several hours. The main pump that usually pumps water from the ninth ward is still not functioning, due to damage from Katrina. Moreover, FEMA claims to be working with parish officials to find ways to pump out the water.


This will have little impact on Tulane, as the university is very far from this particular area. As long as there are no other levee breaks, New Orleans should be able to recover from this relatively quickly. FEMA says the breaks are just in areas that were temporarily sandbagged and that the permanent part of the levee is still intact. Let’s hope it stays that way.



Thursday, September 22, 2005

New Orleans Under Tropical Storm Warning

The National Hurricane Center announced a tropical storm warning for New Orleans as hurricane Rita passes the gulf coast. Oil refineries are in danger and Galveston is could be destroyed; but preparedness is at a new high. No one is taking Rita lightly, and I think we will see an extraordinarily coordinated disaster effort. Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco announced she wants 15,000 federal guard troops to help with evacuation procedures, as she encourages western Louisiana residents to go north. Reports coming in from Texas show that millions are still stuck in the Houston area, as highways are standing still for over 100 miles. The Army Corp of Engineers is saying even 3 inches can overwhelm the significantly weakened levee system. Most areas can handle 6-9ft storm surge, but any more will damage the levee system. Let’s hope Rita pushes west.

Monday, September 19, 2005

For the Future

This isn’t about us. This isn’t about the next year, or even the next 5 years. Many argue that Tulane and New Orleans will never be the same. I happen to disagree with that, but that’s not my point. If you haven’t figured it out, I care about Tulane and New Orleans deeply. Some of you actually believe I’m a naïve kid, just here to cheer on my school, only to graduate in the next year. If you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m not.

Go ahead and claim that Spring semester won't happen, or that "New Orleans is covered with E.Coli." It will be back because there are enough people who appreciate the importance of the experience. I care about New Orleans because of the experiences that I’ve had at Tulane over the past 3 years. I was introduced to culture, music, and independence in a cauldron of love and joy; as I witnessed Jazzfest and Mardi Gras. I started to comprehend hospitality, loyalty, and tradition; as I learned about New Orleans’ fascinating history. Most importantly, I met lifelong friends with whom I shared hundreds of unforgettable memories; as we experienced a side of life, a side of reality, that many will never see. Tulane brought us together, and New Orleans has been a canvas in which we all painted our own interpretations of life.

It can take away my house, and all my stuff, but the hurricane cannot erase my memory. I will never forget the memories I have from Tulane, and I will always use the life lessons that I have learned. And all I want in this world is for other people to have the opportunity to experience this. I can only dream that every college was as unique as Tulane. I truly wish that there was a college with a uniquely distinctive mix of people, such as those that I found at Tulane and in New Orleans. But there just aren’t many colleges like that, or for that matter, many places like that on Earth. I spent the summer traveling all over Europe, meeting wonderful people and experiencing remarkable cultures. However, nothing compared to the culture and community of New Orleans. No experience even comes close to the memories I have from my time at Tulane. That’s why I won’t let it go. And all it takes are people like me, people who believe in something, to make change. Conviction must come before unity. Unity will found our vision. Our vision will devise our objectives. Unified objectives will generate action. Many will work together to bring back the essential culture of New Orleans. Miracles will occur.

Let’s agree, New Orleans might not be the same for quite a long time. It’s a fact. But is that reason to give up? No. Should we just surrender and say, “New Orleans will never be the same?” Never. Do you care enough about this city to make a difference? Then do something. We must step forward into positions of leadership and say, “I will not let New Orleans fall by the wayside. I will not watch Tulane suffer as their student body diminishes. We will rebuild the community. We will restore the culture. We will resurrect the spirit of New Orleans.” Not for me, not for you, but for the future.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Pictures Prove There's Life at Tulane

These have been posted on my site a few times, and I think everyone needs to see them. These pictures punctuate exactly what Scott Cowen has been staying, Tulane sustained very little damage at all. I think the real concern is the surrounding housing. The person who took these pictures shows there is significant mold in his house. However, if we can get in and assess damage, or have landlords do it, most places can be cleaned up in a reasonable amount of time. In the uptown area, the mold and water levels were relatively modest, so I think the effort will be substantially smaller than other parts of the gulf coast. I think we are moving from the hoping phase to the action phase. Therefore, I do plan to launch my non-profit fund next week, and get the word out on my reconstruction effort. Try to stay tuned, because I need your help to make these ideas come to life.

Pictures of Tulane

Brett

Friday, September 16, 2005

Return to 70118

The rumors are rampant. The talk is clear. Scott Cowen is making the ultimate claim- we will be back in the spring. It’s hard for some to believe, that New Orleans will be up and running by January. My prediction is that around this time in January, we will be starting our first day of classes. President Bush gave a speech tonight in which he committed unprecedented and unmitigated support for New Orleans. I know that the amount of money and manpower that will be provided to the gulf coast will facilitate a speedy reconstruction. They can make progress in remarkable time if the federal government keeps their promise to support the reconstruction (and they will). The evidence proves my prediction to be pretty accurate.

Thus, Mayor Ray Nagin’s startling announcement that repopulation of New Orleans will begin next week. With so many negative reports from the news media, no one thought that we would be allowed back into the city as soon as next week. More importantly, the Mayor’s decision to allow people back into New Orleans was supported by an important EPA report that said it would pose little risk for people to return, although some of their evidence is still inconclusive. The Times-Picayune reported “on September 22, residents of the 70118 zip code, also Uptown, will be allowed to return.” The French Quarter will be open a week from Monday, also indicating there is significant progress. While the EPA data is still incomplete, there are many signs that point to the fact that the air is clean and the water is not. The water is still leaving a toxic residue in the mud that still must be cleaned. The big question is the drinking water. The water is still not suitable for cooking, drinking or bathing. Nagin claims that two hospitals will be opened for residents to begin receiving healthcare. Entergy claims that power has already been restored in three-fourths of the areas targeted for resettlement. There will be more soon.

The question is: will there be a New Orleans with only Uptown and the French Quarter? Will we be able to go help rebuild the areas that need it the most? How long will it take for those areas to come back?

I’m looking forward to a great spring semester, and that’s final.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Settling In

Most of us have begun to settle into our new situations. Whether it be a university close to home, a university far away, or taking time off to pursue independent endeavors; it is safe to say that many are beginning to feel a sense of home again. At the same time, I could easily argue that many aren’t feeling a sense of home, but instead, a sense of pandemonium. Questions regarding graduation, transferring and most importantly, HOW WILL WE CATCH UP, are clouding our hearts and minds. Where do we begin to put our lives back together? Do we meet new people at our new school, or just try to find all the Tulanians? How much money is this relocation going to cost us?

The past few days have been uniquely difficult. I have to make a tough decision whether to drop one of my majors, as it is just too hard to catch up three weeks in four classes. Moreover, there is significant stress resulting from moving in a new place, getting acquainted with a foreign university and trying to sustain some type of social interaction. For me, this confusing state of mind has been mitigated by the support of the school that I am now attending, USC. While catching up (we started three weeks behind) has been difficult, the faculty and students have shown complete support for the 112 students from the Gulf Coast who joined USC classes. From the hundreds of emails I receive, it’s clear that many schools have done the same for other students. So to members of our host universities, I’m saying thanks. It’s been very comforting to have such great support from our peers and from the professors. Some Tulane students have even said to me that they feel like “celebrities” on campus. When wearing Tulane gear, everyone comes up to them. This new community is inviting, but it's not home. It’s unique but it’s not Tulane.

One hour of one of my classes was allocated to discussing the hurricane. With seven out of 30 students coming from Tulane, we had a great discussion about everything from the federal, local and state failures to feelings about our individual experiences. During the discussion, a few very interesting points were made. I stated that something about the Tulane community is different than the way it works at other universities. And then I think I figured it out. Tulane is very much made up of people from far away. I would say Tulane is one of the unique schools where many students don’t have the option to go home on the weekends. This compels us to make New Orleans our primary home. We actually develop a relationship with the city, and thus the people of Tulane, where we are comfortable with our environment. When people come to USC from out of town, they become a part of Los Angeles. When you go to New Orleans, New Orleans becomes a part of you. That’s not to say it’s a bad thing to come to Los Angeles, it’s just different.

Another interesting point was made by another Tulane student in my class. People asked us if we “lost everything,” and what that meant. The immediate response was no, most of us didn’t lose much of anything, and then we’d explain how many people’s lives will not be the same for many years, if ever. But the second part was the interesting point. A Tulane student said she didn’t care about losing some stuff, that there’s just no way we can when people lost everything. But she is upset about losing one thing- the experience. If anything, Katrina took away a good 4 months of memories, experiences, and relationships that we all know you just can’t get anywhere else. There is no replacement for the French Quarter, the streetcar, Voodoo Fest, Halloween in New Orleans, the Broadway party scene, ect. You can go to the best university in the coolest city, but I just can’t imagine you’d find even half of unique cultural features that make up New Orleans.

So my best advice right now is to hang in there. Some people are happy, some are still very depressed. Enjoy what you can of your new experience, whatever it may be. Things are truly coming together. The outlook for uptown has never been better. They say they are planning to open next week for people to come get some stuff. That would be extraordinary. We will be in New Orleans in the spring, and I can only imagine what kind of celebration will welcome us back.

Brett Hyman

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Send Me Your Tulane Spirit Pictures

Katja , Malinda , and Jess living it up in the BU dorm














Take a picture of something that is Tulane-spirited and I'll post it on the site! Send pics to bnhyman@gmail.com.

Censorship?

I have no deleted comments, even the ones I find wildly offensive. Please, feel free to do or say what you will. My most recent post is just trying to ENCOURAGE you all to speak respectfully to people you may not know. I don't know how many times I have to repeat, I don't care if you want to be negative about the situation, but there is a mature and productive way to get the administration to take action. Apparently that is too much to ask of some of these parents. Therefore, do as you will. Your attacks on my character don't really bother me, cause you really dont know me at all. I know, in my heart, that I'm doing the right thing. If you don't like it, then feel free to post that, anonymously or not.

Check back for a lot of new articles soon. They have already been written, I just wanted to let these posts marinate before I resume posting.

Brett

This Site Will Go On

The time has come for me to make a tough decision. The short sidedness of just a FEW ignorant people has turned this site from a positive discussion about the Tulane community, to a ranting site with misinformation and purely malignant commentary. I’m disgraced that any of those people would call themselves members of my community, the Tulane community. The Tulane community is the wonderful group of people who showed support and love at the inception of this site. They have continued to care about the future of Tulane, despite the challenges it faces due to this catastrophe. This site's intent hasn’t changed, even though the situation has. We are still here to discuss the positive aspects of the Tulane community. But there are just too many people poisoning this site’s content, for me not to say something.


Do you have the right to question the people in charge? Of course. Do you have the right to answers to your questions? Undoubtedly. Do I mind if you voice opposition on this website. Not at all. However, you do NOT have the right to personally attack the administration and, more importantly, each other. Yes, there are questions to be answered, but there is a mature and respectful way to ask them. My Tulane Student Blog is for students, alumni, staff, faculty and parents to communicate about Tulane issues. Some parents have embarrassed the Tulane community beyond any belief, by obsessing about a few tuition issues, which are making positive progress each and every day. Certainly, you all have issues with the current situation, as it is extraordinary. I want you to have an opinion. I want you to have a place to voice that opinion, which is why I created this blog. But there is a tactful and productive way to get answers. Why do I have to explain to parents that ranting won’t solve anything? Isn’t that something we teach to a 10 year old child?


Other parents have been wonderful, many of which are communicating with me about how they appreciate my supply of useful information and analysis of the issues. To all of you, thanks for the kind words and please keep voicing your support. The site turned nasty when money came into the picture.


Let me first affirm- everyone is obviously entitled to their money. You are right to be worried, confused and uncertain. I do NOT disagree with any of your opinions. I do, however, disagree with the way you present them. Do you think your tone resonates well in the outside community? What do you think the CNN producer is looking to do a story on? She wants to report about how disgustingly obsessed some of these parents are with their money. She will tell the world how some of you can’t just wait a day to see what Tulane does, but instead demand and command before even knowing that facts. We all know that this type of person is in the minority of our community. But why isn’t it clear from the site? The interesting thing is, I entirely believe there are plenty of people who are not in comfortable enough financial situations to handle this. It’s terrible we all have to go through this and I think this ranting is only hurting those who really need the help. Those who really need the help are going through the proper channels- the university. Yes, it is nearly impossible to contact them, but they all know that in due time, they will be able to get their problems solved.


I’ve been told to shut down this site. I’ve been told to shut it down by students! These students are people who are having their hopes of a Tulane future shattered their own parents. These students can’t bear to read what these so called “parents of Tulane students” are saying. How could you be a parent of a Tulane student if you hate the institution so much? How could you claim to support your child while brutally criticizing the institution that he or she loves? Maybe you should talk to your kids and get their opinions. If you as unhappy as you say you are, maybe you should take them elsewhere.


I had to seek out the advice of my wonderful parents in dealing with this situation. I was so hurt by the scathing attacks both on my university as well as on the leaders of my university; I really didn’t know how to respond. My parents read your comments and gave me two pieces of advice. The first, “don’t shut down the blog, keep it positive and the students will still benefit from it.” So I won’t shut it down. Instead, I will keep posting my articles and thoughts, and hope that the students can benefit from what I’m saying, if nothing else. The second piece of advice came when I told them that I didn’t know how I could write again, because your comments brought my spirits so low. They told me, “This isn’t about them; it’s about you and the students who care about Tulane. Read their comments or not, just don’t become one of them.” So I won’t, I won’t stop my belief in Tulane. I won’t stop my belief in a future New Orleans. I won’t stop believing in the wonderful community that makes up Tulane University.


Let me reiterate this argument. I am only speaking to a few parents who have truly crossed the line. Everyone is entitled to your opinion, and if you want to speak out against the school, you are welcome to do it on this site. But remember, you are examples of the Tulane community both to students as well as many people who are looking in from the outside. What do you want them to see?


Therefore, I’m going to continue this site as a resource for students. It’s going to get a bit more political as I start to talk about issues surrounding the relief effort. Expect to see some days with 2-3 articles. I’m still working on the non-profit organization as well as a concept to help Tulane recruit a 2010 freshmen class. Tulane, I’d like to share my ideas with you so email me.

To those who want to bring us down: if you hate Tulane so much, then take your business somewhere else. To those who love Tulane as much as me: join me by showing it on this site. Cheers to the future of Tulane University, to the future of New Orleans, and to a stronger Tulane community.


Brett N. Hyman


PS- If you really want to defend you comments, say who you are and put your email address after you comment. If we don’t stop the anonymous and mean spirited comments I will get rid of it as an option.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

More Than Just a President

My post last night was intended to create intelligent discourse on the possibilities and implications regarding the money issue. I stated very, very clearly that we shouldn’t judge Dr. Cowen or Tulane before we hear their policy and acquire all the answers to our questions. But what did some of you do? You judged them. I was thinking that this negativity would destroy the unity between the students and hurt our support for Tulane, until I realized the truth. About 75% of the comments that responded to the money situation in opposition of Scott Cowen weren’t written by students at all; but by the parents. Many of the comments were belligerent ranting, not intellectual discussion. Threatening Tulane and calling for Scott Cowen’s resignation will solve nothing. Expressing concern and discussing your side of the issue, on the other hand, will result in an equally accommodating response from the university. If you are not a student, you have little basis calling for Scott Cowen’s resignation. Other than this unimaginable experience, what has he done to make you think he is an unworthy president?

Let me first tell you what I know about Scott Cowen. He is truly amazing. He belongs at an Ivy League school; and he considers Tulane no different from one. Have you ever heard him speak? He’s engaging, articulate and straightforward. He understands the needs of the students, and works tirelessly to make Tulane more than a university, but a home. I don’t know of another university who is lucky enough to have such an involved president. He spends much of his own time walking around campus and interacting with the students because their input is important to him. He sincerely cares about his students and is fully committed to the Tulane family. Since I’ve been at Tulane, there have been no protests against him – not from one single group. This is wildly uncommon, as usually university presidents have trouble finding a balance between their academic requirements and the students’ need for a social life. He has improved the university beyond what anyone could have dreamed. The new business school is astounding, and the new school for tropical health will be revolutionary. He made Tulane a leader in the community. For example, when there was lobbying in Louisiana for a raise in minimum wage, Tulane did it before it was passed (and when it was looking like it might not pass). Scott Cowen works 7 days a week and probably 320 days a year. However, I had the fortune of seeing him speak to my TIDES when I was a freshman, and at Hillel every year. In other words, he takes time out of his busy schedule to work with small groups of students. I’d love to see another university president succeed in being half as personal.

Now let’s talk about Scott Cowen’s current situation. Do you actually blame the man? Do you really believe he has intention of screwing over even one person?? The minute people started ranting on my site, Tulane posted two important answers 1- everyone who isn’t enrolled in classes will be credited their tuition and 2- if you don’t head back to Tulane you WILL get your money back. Yes, the situation in regards to state school tuition is going to be difficult. But why couldn’t you wait until they posted that? Why did you have to blame Scott Cowen, as if he personally wants your money? Scott Cowen’s responsibility is to look out for the long-term viability of my university. This is what I pay tuition to have him do. And never would I ever make personal attacks against him for doing his job. He will come up with a plan, and I guarantee it will work for almost every single member of the Tulane community.

If you want to know what Scott Cowen has done, just ask any student. How many people do you know that are so attached to their college that they will wait, in a semester of hell, to order to go back? In 99% of cases, most kids would have transferred after the first day. Not at Tulane. Thousands of people have commented or emailed me directly, saying that they will be waiting for Tulane to come back online. Scott Cowen has not only shaped an institution for higher education, he’s created a community of people who love each other, and are unconditionally devoted to their university.

In conclusion, let me express my disappointment with such negative comments. And students, you need to speak up. I a proud to be part of Tulane’s community, and I would devastated if we were to lose Scott Cowen and his leadership. Tulane would never be same, especially at such a critical and vulnerable time. How could anyone even complain, when the obvious alternative is the collapse of Tulane as we know it?

Over the past years, Scott Cowen has worked hard to give us the experience of a lifetime; he is our leader through this tragedy and deserves everyone’s support and, at the very least, our respect.

Brett Hyman

PS- This forum is for private use only. No newspapers are entitled to use quotes in their ad, because this is meant for communication between members of the Tulane community only.

The $18,000 Question

There's going to be a lot of attention to this issue very soon. I’m writing this blog to present some of my views on the issue, and hopefully get a lot of your views in response. The New York Times is planning to write some kind of story on this issue, and I think that when Tulane announces their official position, there’s going to be a lot of controversy. The issue at hand: the tuition money and whether we will see it again or not.. To some, it sounds ridiculous for rich kids to worry about their money when there are people who lost everything. But there are tons of people at Tulane who need their money very badly. Contrary to popular belief, there aren't very many people who can drop $18,000 without asking a question or two. I want to the focus on this site to still be regarding uptown and any information that I get, however I’m foreseeing a big fight over this in the next couple of weeks and I want everyone’s opinion.

The Chronicle of Higher Learning, in this interview, said 'Tulane plans to keep tuition revenue that it has already received from its students for the fall. (and quoted Scott Cowen as saying) "That allows us to have some source of revenue this fall, while we are closed."' I do not think this is Tulane’s definitive policy. I think, and hope, the policy will be flexible. There will be exceptions to it. There will be people who appeal it. There will people who “strongly dislike it.”

Let’s look at both sides. Tulane needs the money, there’s no doubt about it. They might have $600 million in the bank, maybe more, but that doesn’t mean they are supposed to spend it. They have a specific budget and have probably gone 10 times over it (in terms of extra unanticipated expenses that will not be covered by insurance). They have to pay their staff, faculty, expenses, new insurance premiums, and all sorts of other stuff. Without our money, Tulane could be hit pretty hard. But the implications are bigger than that. Tulane is the largest employer in New Orleans. Tulane is a world leader in scientific research. Tulane is the a community leader in environmental protection and in many, many other areas. So if Tulane is substantially affected, the impact can be enormous. We need Tulane to stay up and running; millions of people need Tulane to stay up and running.

However, should it be the case that we pay full tuition for a university that is sub Tulane? Should we have to pay money to go to a school that doesn’t have half as good professors as Tulane does? Well, maybe the question is, are we still Tulane students? If we are Tulane students, “visiting” another university, then essentially we aren’t going to any other university, we are still attending Tulane. It seems that the biggest issue would be for people who don’t attend classes. Is there any justification for Tulane to keep some of the money of the many students who opt to work this semester? (there’s no way they won’t give most of it back) What about part time students? Is there any justification for Tulane to keep the money of part time students?

The final word is that Tulane does not have bad intentions. They aren’t going to do anything without substantial justification. They will be understanding, they will be accommodating. Let’s NOT judge them until we heard the final policy. Let’s wait to see what they’ve got to say before we jump to any conclusions.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

An amazing deal!

We have gotten some great offers on this site, but this one is something you all will really love:

www.goclothing.com is offering 35% off ALL of their merchandise to Tulane students who are displaced by the hurricane. You can pick any thing you want (except sale items or close out items) and get 35% off your entire order.

Go Clothing is ready to take orders NOW! In order to get the discount use the coupon code "Tulane" and then provide your @tulane.edu email address in the customer notes section. Make sure you provide your other email address so they can confirm your order. Note: you must have an@tulane.edu email address to prove you are a student. Yes, they know the Tulane email addresses don't work yet. Enjoy, and make sure to thank them!

What are you doing this semester?

Log on to this resourceful site to post your info and check up on your friends:

http://tulane.spatang.com/

Stay tuned for details on my innovative New Orleans Foundation, to be launched at the end of the week!!

Monday, September 05, 2005

Warm Waters

I've been hearing an interesting argument. Although some may argue the implications, this should not be a political issue. The issue is global warming. I saw Stanford Professor Steven Schneider on Bill Maher the other night, and he brought up some interesting points. First, he explained that hurricanes only happen during summer and fall- times when the water is warmer than usual. He said that warm water is the energy behind a hurricane. Last week, the temperature of the water in the gulf was about 2 degrees above normal, allowing Hurricane Katrina to maintain category 5 status until landfall. The warm water also led to a massive storm surge caused the immense destruction of the gulf coast. Professor Schneider explained that the increase in temperature could have been caused by our “use of the atmosphere as a dumpster for our fossil fuels.”

Now, let’s put this in perspective. Those of you who disagree, I did some research and it seems like there isn’t much hard evidence actually linking our pollution to the increase in temperature. However, it seems logical to me. So whether you believe the argument or not, can we agree that the issue should be explored? If anything, we should probably spend some time, and inherently some money, on studying the true effects of global warming.

More Info Coming From Tulane

While I know the info is scarce and vague at best, it seems that the Dean of the Freeman School posted some answers to questions. I'm going to post the link below.
http://brocktice.com:20000/abfreeman/show/QuestionAndAnswer

Check back later for the beginning of a series of commentary looking back on the evacuation and looking forward to the relief.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Why I love Tulane

Here are just a few things that I love about Tulane and New Orleans, feel free to post in the comments section what YOU love about the experience:

It's value of all types of music
The culture of the "Big Easy"
House of Blues
Audubon Park
100% Humidity
Ms. Mae
Red beans and rice on Monday
Bruff (well, we could probably live without it)
The TIDES program
F&M's on Thursday
David Lesmond
The greek system
The b-school not having class on Friday
Jambalaya and Gumbo
Potholes
Crawfish boils
Sharp and Monroe
"Party Buses"
50 cent night on Tuesday
The Brennan family restaurants
The same 15 songs playing in the boot
Beau Parent
The library social scene during finals
thefacebook
Broadway
B-school free pizza
Brass bands
The sound of the street car going by
Pregaming
Hearing people say y'all
Dough Bowl pizza
Parades

But most importantly, I am going to miss all of you, the students. No where in the world have I met the finest collection of people. When I moved to New Orleans, as a freshman, I became part of New Orleans and its culture. But quickly the tables turned, and New Orleans became a part of my life and my culture. New Orleans is a part of me.

My Foundation Needs You!

My foundation for New Orleans is in the final process of planning, but we need some professionals who can volunteer a little time to complete the final launch. As of now, we are looking for people who are experts in the following areas, however if you feel that you have a skill that could be an asset to us, please email me immediately:

Lawyer with experience in exempt organizations
Urban Planning Engineers/Professors of Urban Development who have ideas and experience on New Orleans development (we need a lot of you)
Web designer- a good one
Graphic Designer
Publicist
Talent agents or managers with large rosters

Email me at BNHyman@gmail.com as soon as you can. THANKS!

A Dry Uptown

The person who wrote the description of uptown sent me the below pics. Clearly, uptown will need only a little rebuilding, as the damage is just downed trees and debris. Apparently, this whole area faired very well.










Saturday, September 03, 2005

New Pics

Thanks to whoever braved the waters to take these pics. Someone posted the link on might site so I dont know who to give credit to, but wow. These pics are from August 31st, and I am completely aware that all that water is gone now. I thought you all would like to see what it looked like for 1 day. All water has receeded back towards clairborne, and in some areas, clairborne is dry, so please don't let these pictures alarm you.

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE SLIDESHOW



If we don't graduate together I'm gonna cry...

Ok, this is going to be hard. Now that we have been faced with this decision to take classes or work or whatever you want to do, we need to talk about one important thing, graduation. If you haven't noticed, most of us seniors love each other. Sooooooo, when is graduation? Is there an inherent assumption that graduation has been postponed? Some people seem to want to graduate in the spring (I have no clue why anyone would want to go out into the working world), but what do we do about them?

I'm pretty set on staying for 2 more semesters, even if I take classes this semester. Why would I want to give up even one moment of the Tulane experience? So this posting isn't a call to action, because I realize that I have no right telling you what to do with your lives. However, I am going to cry if we don't graduate together, and that's the truth.

Message from someone who was at Tulane TODAY

This was posted in the comments section and I thought was important enough to get to the front page:

"I WAS ON TULANE CAMPUS TODAY!!!
although the city is closed and guarded by the military, i got into NOLA today by putting on scrubs and using hospital badges to get into the city with my dad and a group of dr's from Baton Rouge (they are only letting dr's in). i made my dad drive me by my apt. to pick up my laptop and some clothes cause i left the city with nothing. we drove all the way down I-10 from BR to NO and exited at Williams Blvd by the airport..no the bridge is not messed up at all! we got off at williams WHERE THE ELECTRICITY WAS ON AND THE LIGHTS WORKED and went all the way down jefferson (which also had spontaneous working lights!!!!!) and got onto river road and took river road all the way to where the fly is and we turned on broadway. NO WATER...just trees and limbs down. my apt. is at Broadway and st. charles and everything is perfectly FINE! campus and all around was dry. we later took magazine to downtown (cause there are no trees on magazine so easy to drive fast). THE MEDIA IS SOOOOO OVEREXAGGERATING!!! uptown was perfectly fine...no looters, no broken in houses or cars, as i checked many of my friends apartments! there are some places with water still, including the causeway and parts of claiborne, ect, but is is not bad! the places the media keeps showing is like st. bernard parish, slidell, covington, and other places. after we went downtown to the convention center to help, we picked up my dad's friend's mother-in-law...this old lady who lives in kenner aqnd stubbornly didnt leave. she said there was 3 feet of water in the street last week, but it didnt get into her house and it was gone within 2 days...the streets were perfectly dry in kenner! N.O. looks the same...except for spots of flooded streets, downed trees, and power lines...and deafening helicopters overhead! haha. i saw it with my own eyes a few hours ago and just got back into BR. i took pics of st. charles and the front of tulane and some other areas (but not too much cause my camera broke). i will get them to brett and on this website by tomorr hopefully if my camera stops being reterted.
JUST BE SURE: TULANE COULD BE UP IN 2 MONTHS IF IT WANTED!!!...short of an atomic bomb there is NO WAY that what we consider new orleans (uptown, downtown, kenner, metairie) will be messed up still in 2 to 3 months...it will be perfectly fine!"


this was not just a joyride, we went to the convention center for 8 hours and brought medical supplies and helped...the uptown part was a total of 20 minutes, and we were going to use river road and magazine to get to downtown anyways. conditions were rough at the convention center, but the national guard came in yesterday in full force and EVERYONE at the convention center had food and water, although the conditions were dire as the hygiene was beyond belief. yes, i feel for the less fortunate in othere areas, but my purpose in sharing this was to give some hope to the many tulanians in the uptown area. on a final note, THE NEWS IS REPLAYING OLD FOOTAGE! fox just showed some stuff (flooded areas, ect) that were from 2-3 days ago! i was downtown today driving down a road (st. charles downtown) that fox news showed as flooded as of now! again, this is not to say the situation isnt bad...it is, but the media likes to entertain for ratings (sadly). please donate and give to the cause, but have hope too!

Things looking brighter for New Orleans

There are people uptown with active phone lines. 250,000 just got power back in Louisana. A massive line of helicopers evacuated the last of the refugees from the superdome by a massive line of helicopters. Things are looking brighter, but we still have questions. Where were these helicopers four days ago? Why couldn't they just come and drop some food and water? It's too bad these people had to suffer so badly because whoever is in charge couldn't get it together. Major commercial airlines are donating planes to fly out evacuees to major airports. The government has contracted major Carnival Cruise Ships to house some of the evacuees.

Now the real work can be done. This is what we expected to happen right when the evacuation was ordered. Without having to worry about the evacuees, New Orleans can be rebuilt. If the same amount of people who helped today also help with rebuilding, New Orleans can be back online quickly.

Until then, we gotta start working our end. I am writing a really cool plan on how everyone can get involved in their communities right away. I hope that Tulane contacts me to help me with any other ideas they have before I finalize it. Also, I am completing details to launch my foundation. Stay tuned for a lot more info.

Show me the money

The big question on everyone's mind, where is the money? So every school is offering us free admission, going by the new policy "Do not charge tuition if the student has already paid tuition to the home institution; and if the student has not paid the home institution, charge the home institution's rate of tuition and remit that amount to the home institution." To be honest with you, I think we need to get a lawyer to decipher this jargon. Does this mean we will not be getting our money back if we do not attend class? Does this mean that we will have to pay full tuition if we attend to enroll part time or just take a few classes? (probably what I'm gonna do) Does this mean that we have to pay full tuition for a university that costs 1/5 the amount of Tulane? But most importantly, does this mean that "free admission" really isn't free? I have a lot of friends who are going "abroad" for free through Syracuse, or are going to a east coast school for free. Whats the point of doing that if we have to pay full tuition? MANY of the classes you will take probably won't transfer directly to the major you have. For example, if you go to a school and take General Education classes, but have a business major; you will be paying for an entirely worthless semester. Now, this is just my interpretation of the statement, but I really think its true.

Talk it over with your parents. Make sure they are willing to spend in the upwards of 40k for you to have this semester. If not, I still advocate getting a cool internship or working somewhere productive. Don't waste your money paying for a full semester if you aren't going to get a full semester's worth of credit. Let's get some info from Scott Cowen

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

Friday, September 02, 2005

The Bright Side

Dr. Cowen just annouced there is no fall semester at Tulane, and more importantly, Tulane has no plan to keep us all together. Is this distressing? I don't think so. Let's look at the positive aspects. He is willing to accept credits from all accredited institutions. This means we can go to any school we want to. I suggest that you all see if you can get into a local school and take a light load. While you are at school, spend some time figuring out how YOU can help the effort- not just to help New Orleans but to help Tulane. The first thing is obvoiusly donating to a charity, that's a done deal. Then consider how you can raise both awareness of the effort as well as the value of Tulane in your local communities. We need to establish a grass-roots campaign in everyone's local communities that will help us recruit new freshmen for next year as well as generate morale among current students. Currently, I'm working with a lot of people on two main things. First is to formulate a plan on how you can get involved with the efforts in your local communities- by raising awareness. Second would be to begin my foundation- which will coordinate a massive effort to raise money for victims of the hurricane and spread word about Tulane in the public eye. The foundation would need a lot of help fron every one of you, and with the amount of support you have already shown; I doubt that will be a problem.

Let's just hang on and slowly start to put our lives back together. Nothing is lost, everything is just on hold. I will post again soon, as I begin to start talking about the massive relief effort that NEEDS to take place. I hope you will all continue supporting this site, as I will update you soon with more info on the relief, and of course with any news I get about uptown.

Brett Hyman

More waiting...

There's not much to say about the recent post from Dr. Cowen; except- don't lose hope. I expect them to come up with a detailed plan. Also, there will be new details coming out over the weekend about my foundation and how you can help. I am going to be interviewed by Fox News, which will probably be on later tonight (I will let you know). I will mention this site and how the spirit of Tulane exists in the thousands of people who read and respond to this site every day. Please keep the talk positive, and hang in there.

WHAT IS TULANE'S "MASTER PLAN"?

We've been waiting and waiting. The time is finally approaching. Grab your popcorn and sit by emergency.tulane.edu. Dr. Cowen is going to release his secret master plan within the next "48 hours."

Let me preface this blog by stating that I do think Dr. Cowen is an unbelievable leader and will actually come up with a feasible strategy for some students. But what do you think this strategy will be? Will he be able to relocate everyone to one campus or have to spread everyone out? I think he's going to have a plan to start school right away. Who will want to do this and who will want to stay home? A lot of people will be on both sides, but I think we need to stick together.

I'd advocate that if the plan sounds good, everyone should try to do it. Let's wait until he releases it before everyone starts deciding yes or no. It could be fun. Imagine being in a random city for the semester, but with a bunch of wild Tulane kids. We would run the city, and the school. Moreover, Tulane needs this support. If we show both the world and prospective students how much we love Tulane, I think they will realize that there is something magical about Tulane. I think that we can save Tulane simply by showing unmitigated support for any of their ideas, by at least considering whatever they come up with. Moreover, I'd like to say we should probably wait until this plan comes out before we finalize plans. I know that lots of people are talking about going to one school or another for the semester and then coming back to Tulane when they are ready. That’s fine, but let’s really consider the benefits of all going somewhere in Texas possibly TOGETHER, as opposed to spreading out all over the U.S.

Sometimes we forget that part what makes Tulane so special is the mixture of people who go there. Those of you who are older know this in your hearts. I would have a great time in the middle of the desert if I had a Boot and my amazing group of friends. How many of you feel the same? Hence, I appeal to the older people to remember this when they feel like transferring for the semester. Do you really need to go somewhere else, or are you willing to try something new? To the incoming freshmen, I recommend definitely partaking in whatever Tulane has to offer. You have NOTHING to lose.I hear freshmen say they want "a freshmen year experience." I totally agree, and I bet Dr. Cowen finds a way to accomodate it. And even if he doesn't, we should accept that sometimes everything doesn't work out perfectly. A little sacrifice in the name of Tulane will provide for a much more cohesive class (I think you all will be best friends). Regardless, I think Dr. Cowen will find a way to get all the incoming freshmen together. You will be with all the people who will be your future friends, and feel very at home when Tulane comes back online. I think if Tulane organizes something that keeps you together, or even splits you up a little bit- then it’s a blessing in disguise.

So let’s see what happens, hope for a miracle, and pray for Tulane’s ultimate comeback.

-Brett

THANK YOU EVERYBODY

I just wanted to thank everyone for their unbelievable support for Tulane and my site. I created this site to fill a need for Tulane related updates for students, parents and faculty. You have sent me heartwarming emails regarding the site content and pledging your support. I hope you continue your support for Tulane as well as for New Orleans when they start asking for it. The American Red Cross is, of course, a wonderful charity that is accepting monetary donations now. However, we must not forget Tulane and its need, not for money, but for the support of its constituents. I will be starting a foundation that is aimed not just as raising money for Hurricane victims, but also aimed to raise awareness about wonderful Tulane University. More info to come soon. Until then, keep it up.

Sincerely,
Brett

Exciting News From Uptown

This description of uptown was recently sent to me in an email, and it sounds very positive:

My brother, Drew, is still in his home at Napoleon and Annunciation (he's got plenty of food and water). He's got a fully functioning land line, so I've been in frequent contact with him (I'm in St. Louis).
Yesterday I posted his observations upon walking through uptown. Here's today's report:

Drew went to help evacuate some hospice patients at St. Charles General Hospital this afternoon (after he learned of a call for volunteers), so he didn’t have time to do an extensive walkabout today (plus it rained lightly for a few hours). But he did get around a bit: he went Magazine from Napoleon to Amelia St. up to Prytania and Prytania back to Napoleon. As he reported yesterday, there is no significant damage (only one building on Prytania had significant damage). Water has receded from St. Charles several blocks towards Claiborne (it never got south of St.
Charles), and they’re still evacuating people at St. Charles and Napoleon – there are lots of buses.

During his walk he saw no looted buildings anywhere. No evidence of vandals or roving gangs. Increased presence of National Guard and police. Uptown seems quiet and peaceful.

Drew cannot stress highly enough how on his walk through major and side streets he has not seen any looting or suspicious activity. Perhaps if somebody left a 12-pack of cold beer on their front steps, it would go missing, but other than that, there has been no looting of residences that he has observed. Drew expects that looting is probably happening in some places, but it is grossly exaggerated by the media. Most people in Uptown are simply not that desperate.

Both of us hope everyone reading this is safe. Our hearts goes out to those who are still waiting for rescue, food and water. I wish I could bring it to you myself.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

News Article About Schools

Below are articles about schools that will accept or host Tulane students until the damage is clear:

http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/HurricaneKatrina/story?id=1087501

Please don't make any final arrangements until we hear Dr. Cowen's "master plan." I feel like we really need to consider whatever he offers (see the next post).

(picture of Tulane students enrolling in Kansas)

My problem with FEMA

They are failing on a massive scale. Turn on CNN or FOX, people are dying inside of the superdome. I just watched a clip of a kid going through trash and looking for food. Are you kidding? This is FEMA’s purpose. FEMA is allocated millions upon millions of dollars each year to train, prepare and execute plans like this. Why are people starving? How could there be so many relief failures? Refugees need medicine, food and water. With just these basic essentials, turmoil would not take place. I completely blame the one agency that’s sole purpose is to prepare for national disasters. The violence and unrest needs to stop. The governor should call on the federal government to bring in more troops to stop this insanity. Once we evacuate the last of the refugees, we can begin rebuilding the city that we remember in our hearts.


Uptown Slideshow

Someone recently emailed me this slideshow which has pictures of uptown before and after the storm. Note that ALL of these pictures took place before the big flood that may have affected uptown. Regardless, the pictures show little structural damage to the major properties, just a lot of trees in the streets.

CLICK HERE FOR THE SLIDESHOW

Scott Cowen on the Today Show

Scott Cowen was on the today show, via phone, this morning. He was very optimistic about the damage to campus and would not conceed that this semester was cancelled. He did say that many other schools had been wonderful about being accomodating to students and he will "take them up on their offer." Matt Lauer said, "they are talking about a month before the water gets pumped out and more months before electricity is repaired, is school cancelled for the semester?" Scott said he wouldnt say that just yet. He also said that his concern was Freshmen and Seniors who he wants to keep on track. We should know within the next 32 hours what his big plan is, but I'm guessing he's gonna try to relocate somewhere else and/or try to do a condesed semester. He kept saying they just need time to reflect but should have an answer soon. I, for one, would not go to some random school in Texas. I would absolutely wait it out in LA either working or going to school there.
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