MESSAGE TO UPPERCLASSMEN: START A FACEBOOK GROUP AT YOUR NEW UNIVERSITY- CALL IT “Tulane @ ______” For example “ TULANE @ BU”. Create the facebook group in the TULANE facebook. Do it in the Tulane facebook because I want all Tulane students to be able to search for it and join it. Make sure you search for the group before you create it so there aren’t two group about the same school! We are going to use these groups to connect with Tulane students at our new schools and hopefully talk about issues such as returning to Tulane. Hopefully you can focus on finding a bunch of freshmen and meet up with them. Organize a party or a dinner, get together and tell them why they should be coming back to Tulane in the spring. If you want my help organizing anything, please feel free to invite me to the group and I will try to facilitate things. The least we can do is reach out to freshmen at our new universities. And to the freshmen, you gotta join the group so we know who you are!
Now for today’s post:
The great debate is about the future of the student body. Some people ask how big the freshman class with be, others ask whether there will be one at all. Clearly, a lot of freshmen have seen this site, so let me clear some things up for them. I speak to a ton of people, every single day. I get heartfelt emails from students who were helped by my site. I get confused emails from students who were perplexed by my site. And I get angry emails from students who think I’m merely a cheerleader for Tulane. Listen, I’m not concerned with what you think the intentions are for this site, but here are the facts about why I think you all will come back:
When I first put together this blog, a girl named Alli contacted me via email. She noticed that we were from the same hometown, so she sought a bit of advice about what she should do. Alli was a freshman at Tulane who was on campus for maybe 4 hours. She, along with almost 2,000 other freshmen, was told to go home before they even made a new home at Tulane. Alli and I became friends, and I spoke to her on many occasions about my experiences at Tulane. I told her everything that I’ve said on this site: about the Tulane family and the about uniqueness of the city and its culture. I told her that it may not be the same, but that that didn’t matter because the community will be even better. You see, she wasn’t deciding whether to transfer, she was deciding what she was going to do until she could go back. She didn’t know whether she’d stay home and go to school or go to a college further away. However, she was sure about one thing. She was sure she was going back to Tulane. The thing Alli didn’t know was that I was learning from her too. This remarkable girl was showing dedication to a university that she hadn’t yet attended. She was showing loyalty to the commitment she had made. She was able to sense the Tulane Family that I speak of... It seemed that she had made this decision to return without even reading the site, but I don’t know that for sure. I dont think she knew about the Tulane family that I describe here, but I think she was actually able to sense that something was in fact different about us. So, she spent a couple of weeks deciding what she should do. She flew around the country visiting schools, some academically superior to Tulane. In the end, she came to me with sentiments that nothing compared to Tulane, and she would absolutely be ready to return in the Spring. Remember: she hadn’t been at Tulane even one night! I think this has to do with her ability to sense the family and the love that the students had for Tulane.
I tell this story because it is a perfect example of what Tulane is all about. I only hope that Tulane recruited people like Alli for this year’s freshmen class. I don’t expect every freshman to be as confidant as she is in Tulane, but I do believe that many are. It’s perfectly normal to have questions, concerns and doubts; but in the end, your hearts will guide you. I like analyzing her situation, because it shows remarkable resilience and resolve in someone who had developed virtually no connection with Tulane. She was able to overcome severe emotions in a complicated situation. For that, I congratulate her; that's quite a feat.
I couldn’t imagine in being in the shoes of any freshman. We expect everyone to come back, but the freshmen haven’t been able to experience Tulane or New Orleans. Now they are going to get comfortable in their new universities and many may be doubtful of whether they want to go through the process of coming back. But that statement was recently proved wrong. I learned that a lot of freshmen already decided that they are coming back. Thanks to this site, I’ve been able to communicate with hundreds of freshmen, some confused and others certain about their future. Wouldn’t you know it- turns out we have a lot more Alli’s than I thought. In fact, I would say about 90% of the people I talked to said they were certain they were coming back. Now, don’t feel weird if you are one of those people who aren’t sure about what to do. I’m sure there are a good number of you too. I know it is a tough decision, but I ask you to read my letter to the class of 2010, I think it applies to you too. If you really think you aren’t going to come back, I ask that you try to come back to New Orleans in Nov/Dec and see the place. I bet if we all came back together, we’d be able to show you what I've been describing. And finally, I ask that you find a Tulane student who is at your new university and meet up or talk to him or her. Start or look for a facebook group called “Tulane @ ____” and fill in the name of your university (make sure you search first to see if one exists already). I think many Tulane students will be more than happy to meet up and chat with you about the school and the importance of YOU ALL coming back. What an idea!
Let’s expand on that November or December visiting idea, because I really like it too. If Tulane becomes back up in November or December, they should have a back to school weekend. They should invite everyone back to see the university, the city, and the community. The freshmen can come back and see the place as it is, and they could meet each other. Upperclassmen can come back and do some work on their houses, and of course, act as ambassadors of the university. The whole city might not be back yet, but I’m sure there it will help sooth the fears of parents and students alike.
And speaking of our wonderful parents, I have a small appeal to you- since I know there are a ton of you reading this site. Please consider encouraging your kids to come back, or at least make up their own minds. I have heard of a lot of parents who are influencing their son or daughter not to come back, without giving him or her a chance to make this decision. This decision will affect the rest of their respective lives, and I think it was orignally made with good reason. I know you are worried and I can’t empathize with your feelings (since I have no children). But I can tell you that there won’t be anything to worry about in January. I think there is a reason this site has been around and gotten wonderful support. I also know that there really is a major difference in going to school in New Orleans and at Tulane, especially since I have been attending another university this semester. I promise you that we have the most wonderful collection of people at the school who will definitely be there when you get back. You have to believe in the spirit of New Orleans and the family of Tulane. And if you can’t; well, just know that we, the students, are all living proof.