No University sympathy for tragic family death

By James Ciulla

UI students: Be aware that if you must drop out due to the death of a loved one that the University will not be sympathetic.

Last summer, while my University application for graduate study was being considered, my 27-year-old brother blew his head off with a shotgun.

The entire family was completely taken aback. We were hurt and confused. Of our entire family, I had been the closest to him.

I was accepted to the University shortly thereafter, but had no idea how to proceed. I was confused and hurting, but decided that I would try it. I thought that perhaps concentrating on my studies would provide enough of a diversion from how torn up I felt inside.

I very early on realized that I had made a big mistake.

I spoke to my professors and to the graduate office – and I withdrew.

Even though I was assured that most of the tuition for the semester would not apply (as I was withdrawing within recognized timelines as set forth in the timetable) – I was “still subject to the regular fees”.

Well, the “regular fees” turned out to be a very large sum.

I did not drop out due to bad grades or laziness – I was literally unable to proceed with the amount of grief that I was experiencing. I think this is horrible that the University seems not to care about the situation at all as long as they get paid.

James Ciulla

Ogden, Ill.