07 April, 2009

The Last Straw

4/7 @ 11am **There's an update at the bottom of the post!**

::Italics and !!! and ALL CAPS warning::

So graduating from SJSU has been what most people would call a "challenge." I started there in fall of 2006, and my transfer credits weren't applied until mid-spring in 2008, which shot my 2-year plan to hell. However, my credits were finally applied and I was finally able to turn in my graduation plan in summer of '08.

Then, as I began my third year this last fall, I got a message from Financial Aid that I had been at SJSU for too long (ya think?!?) and thus they were not giving me any more financial aid.

After writing them a somewhat snotty letter saying that if they wanted to blame someone for my lack of graduation, they should take it up with the transfer office because clearly they - the transfer office - had nothing better to do than sit on student transcripts for TWO YEARS, Financial Aid replied that they would grant me one more year to graduate. Fine.

The thing about applying for graduation 2 semesters in advance is that there is little-to-no schedule planned for that future second semester. So my advisor and I made up class numbers, and I planned to turn in what is called a "substitution form" in the spring, telling my graduation advisor which classes have changed. Because clearly she is INCAPABLE of looking at my transcript herself and figuring this shit out for herself. But she's new, so I filled out the form. Without, I may add, the help of the Art Department's graduation person, who quit in October after 35 years. The position is rumored to be open sometime this summer for applicants.

In early March, I trotted over to the graduation office and tried to turn in my form. No dice, they replied, it has to be signed by the department chair (whom I have never met) and also by the department secretary person in charge of such things. Who, you may recall, quit.

I got the required signatures - apparently the department secretary can sign for the empty seat - and went straight back. I turned in the form, the nice girl at the graduation desk stamped it, and handed me my graduation advisor's card.

And then I waited. And waited.

And waited some more.

Finally today I could stand it no longer and emailed my advisor:

Hi Advisor,

I turned in my substitution form back before spring break, but I haven't heard anything from you regarding my graduation status. Could you please fill me in on the status of my graduation? I'm getting a bit anxious, as you can imagine.

Thank you,

This is the email I got back:


As of today, this is what you need to take. Just for your information I don't contact the students when updated are done to your file. You can contact me if you have any questions.

B2 Biol 10
F3 Pols 1
Area V & Major Arth 193A
Z 100W
Arth 294, 152, 183B
Art 2A need De Anza transcript can't locate this course

There are so many things wrong with this response, beginning with the fact that every class on the list is either a class I took last semester (Bio, Pols, Arth 152/183B/193A) or one I am currently taking (100W and 294), and ending with the shit-poor grammar. Also that she doesn't contact people to tell them their grad deadline is coming up and they still have a year's worth of classes on the requirement list, or for that matter that she never initiated contact with me at all. Also that I turned in my form in the beginning of March. Which was a month ago.

There are 6 weeks left in the semester. Six weeks, and my 12-year stint as an undergraduate is supposed to end, and it will, despite any challenges this so-called "advisor" puts in my way.

Dear Ms. Advisor,

I will be on campus tomorrow (Wednesday) from 9:30 until 1pm. Please let me know when in that time I can come see you, as this is a fairly important matter and I don't believe it will be solved by email. You can reach me at [redacted], or by email until 9am. Also, could you please send me your manager's email address and phone number, as I would like to address a couple of items to that office.

Thank you,

Tomorrow, if my advisor doesn't give me a signed piece of paper saying that I will graduate in May, I will file a formal complaint with the school. And likely write a Very Angry Letter to the school paper. And maybe make an appointment with the school lawyers. Tomorrow is a makeup, skirt, and glasses day; stay tuned.


All is well. The classes I am taking are the only ones I still need, and everything will be fine provided I can get through this final semester without choking. Or falling down the stairs. Or.. you get the idea.


  1. eek! good luck tomorrow!

  2. You go girl!!!

  3. Holy crap. Go kick some ass - I know you can (and wish I could watch). Sending good vibes your way!


  4. *fingers-crossed*

    Why can't academics (or people doing their jobs) be competent administrators! [or maybe, why did someone thing giving academics administrative functions was a good idea....]

    I hope it all goes well.

  5. I'm mad on your behalf!! Is any of this REALLY SO HARD for your "advisor" (sic)???

    You used many less CAPS !!! and italics than I would have. =)

  6. Oh hon, I am irate... and you don't want to make a pregnant lady mad, we are likely do do something crazy! Let me know what happens!

  7. Well, I hope their "updated are done to your file" now. Because clearly they didn't update your current classes! I would copy that letter and your story to the admissions office and president of the university. It would appear they want students to come to SJSU but not to leave!

  8. Phew! So glad to read the update - I've been thinking about you all day. I still want to bitch-slap your advisor though...

  9. Glad to hear it got all straightened out. SJSU makes graduating entertaining.