Hopkins’ new illness policy has left the family of an undergraduate student in a state of bereaved confusion. Mr. and Mrs. Johnson of Fort Lee, New Jersey were surprised to receive a letter informing them of their son’s status on academic probation due to repeated absences.
Flustered, she called the school to explain the misunderstanding, only to be told that she herself was misinformed. She was told that the school had received no official documentation nor a doctor’s note excusing the student from his classes.
“Stanley is registered as a full time undergraduate and will be held to the same attendance standards as the rest of his peers,” Ms. Lewis, the office of student life secretary, told the grieving mother. She had earlier in the week told Mrs. Fredrickson, of Chicago, Illinois, the same thing about her daughter recently hospitalized with smallpox.
Mrs. Johnson replied that she had been too busy with funeral arrangements to send notification to the school. Ms. Lewis replied, “If only he had gotten a doctor’s note or autopsy from Health and Wellness in advance of his ‘death,’ this wouldn’t have become such a problem.”
A week later, Mrs. Johnson received a bill in the mail for her late son’s next semester’s tuition, as well as a small additional fee for the damage caused to Stanley’s AMR I walls when they fell, crushing him to death.