Hope Deniers

The Academic Appeals Board had three cases before it.  All involved students who were denied readmission to the same college in the university after they had been suspended.  All denials were from the same academic administrator.  Present was the Appeal Board and the administrator.

The first case involved James Cutlip.  He had started well in college but had two very bad semesters.  His GPA was so low that it would take a long time to recover.  When asked why the student’s readmission was turned own, the administrator commented: “I just don’t see why we should be sympathetic to a student who basically wanted a year of college to have a good time.”

The Appeals Board had a statement from James about his situation.  They asked the administrator: “Were you aware that James was battling cancer and that’s why his grades were so bad?  Or that he is now in remission?”  The administrator had never tried to determine why the grades plummeted.

The second case involved Jenny Bartlett.  Her situation was about the same as James:  good grades to start and then a sudden plummeting.  Again, the administrator had never checked on why the grades dropped so much.  In Jenny’s case, her mother had serious mental health issues, and Jenny was serving as her caregiver.  Jenny’s mother had since passed away and Jenny wanted to resume her own life.

The final case involved Robert Beston.  His grades were never great and he was eventually suspended.  It had been three years since Robert had been in college.  Again, the administrator made no effort to identify the cause of the bad grades.  In Robert’s case, he had no money from his family for college.  He was working full-time and going to school full-time.  He had very limited time for homework or studying.  When he was suspended, he went into the military to earn money so he could return to college as a full-time student without working.

The Appeals Board overturned the administrator’s decision in all three cases.  They went further.  They drafted a formal reprimand of the administrator and recommended that the Dean of his college remove him from any further decision-making authority involving student status.

The administrator in this case was totally relying upon past GPA’s in his decision making.  His disdainful attitude toward students contributed to his failure to see why the grades were low.  The students’ personal situations were compelling indicators that they could be successful once the challenges they faced were resolved.  The three students were convincing in their hopes for an education.

There are those who seem to take delight in denying the hopes of others. They rarely take the time to understand why past performance may not seem positive. They rarely ask: “What can I do?”

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“Redemption comes to those who wait, forgiveness is the key.”  – Tom Petty (Singer, songwriter)



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