Emerson cares? Think again

by Beacon Staff • April 25, 2007

I am not, nor will I ever be just a number, yet that is how I felt today when I received a letter in my mailbox from Emerson's Office of Housing and Residence Life.,The following is a letter that was sent to Emerson's Office of Housing and Residence Life, Dean of Students and President. It was forwarded to The Beacon and is seen here with some editing.

I am not, nor will I ever be just a number, yet that is how I felt today when I received a letter in my mailbox from Emerson's Office of Housing and Residence Life. It was a generic letter to remind everyone of the procedures and on-campus move-out date.

What bothered me about this letter was to whom it was addressed. It read "To the parents/guardian of Autumn Hope."

Most wouldn't think twice about such a thing, as a majority of the Emerson community has their mail sent "home."

In the almost three years that I have attended Emerson, I have made numerous attempts in person to ask the Office of Housing and Residence Life, as well as the Registrar's Office, to not have these types of letters sent to me.

I am 28 years old and have not lived at "home" since I was 15. I do not have "parents." I have never met my father and I have not been in contact with my mother since she decided she did not want to be a mother to me any longer. Since that time, I have been completely self-sufficient and on my own.

I take great pride in the fact that it's me and me alone who is paying for my college education.

It was my doing, going from a 1.5 grade point average in high school to attending Cape Cod Community College and earning a 3.8 so I could transfer to the revered Emerson College. I will never forget how proud I was when I received the letter of acceptance three years ago.

A year ago, I joined the United States Army Reserves to become a combat journalist. I took a semester off to complete the training and returned this spring.

I did so primarily to receive additional financial benefits for college. I have to leave early this semester so I can fulfill my annual three weeks training commitment from April 14 until May 5.

It will be me and me alone, just as it has always been every time I have moved in and out of the dorms. I will be the one to rent a car so I can move.

If only Emerson would take the time to recognize such individual accomplishments.

The student body at Emerson is not so immense that it would be too difficult to personalize a few letters.

I am deeply proud of my educational achievements and by receiving this letter today, after I have asked not to time and time again, is a slap in the face.

It feels like I am not valued as the unique student I thought I was when this college accepted me.

From being in the Army, I know what it feels like to be a number and have people not care about me as an individual.

I never thought that I would feel that way at Emerson.

Please, may I ask the school again to not send any more letters that say to the "parents/guardians" of Autumn Hope? May this be a reminder that not all of Emerson's students fit so neatly into this category.