Archive for Wednesday, May 23, 2007

School apologizes for lack of hoods

About 50 medical students didn’t receive regalia

May 23, 2007


Kansas University has issued a written apology to graduating medical school students for coming up about 50 hoods short at a ceremony during the weekend.

Leaders at the KU School of Medicine didn't realize until Saturday's hooding ceremony was under way at the Lied Center that the order of rented hoods they'd received from an academic regalia company wasn't enough for all 175 graduating medical students. The hood is a piece of academic regalia that's draped over students' shoulders as they cross the stage during the graduation ceremony.

"The university takes full responsibility for what happened, in that, ultimately, these ceremonies are under our supervision and guidance," said David Adkins, vice chancellor for external affairs at KU Medical Center. "For someone who has worked that hard and that long to obtain that degree, it is regrettable and unfortunate that a situation like this would occur."

Adkins said KU faculty members sent a written apology to students via e-mail, and the school is looking into whether the students' $90 rental fee for the hoods can be refunded by the Kansas City-based company that provided them.

When the faculty ran out of hoods midway through the ceremony, a handful of students received handshakes instead of hoods.

"What kind of disturbed me about the situation was that instead of making some kind of announcement or trying to explain the situation, KU just tried to sweep it under the rug," said Ryan Hall, 25, a graduating medical student from Hesston. "Their plan was just to shove the rest of the people through with a handshake and not even give them a hood, which to me was kind of appalling."

That prompted students in the crowd to begin to pass their hoods back to the stage so they could be reused.

"It was a great sign of solidarity," Adkins said.

Eventually, every student was able to pass through the line and be photographed receiving the hood, including the students who didn't get a hood the first time through, Adkins said.

But when the class walked down Campanile Hill on Sunday, those who had hoods carried them instead of wearing them.

"I thought it was really embarrassing to the university that they could let this happen. : This could have been checked weeks ago," Hall said.

Adkins said that as of Tuesday it still hadn't been determined exactly what went wrong, but he said "it can never happen again."

A representative of the company that provided the hoods, Peterson Cap and Gown, declined comment Tuesday.


average 11 years ago

$90 rental? Possibly not even refunded even though there weren't enough? What a biz! Someone go down to Hobby Lobby and see if there is a McCall's pattern for hoods.

perkins 10 years, 12 months ago

In the private sector someone would pay a financial price for such a stupid mistake.

SFA 11 years ago

Wow, I should have been a med student...School of Education made you either purchase one or rent if for yourself.

Jayhawktriplegrad 10 years, 12 months ago

You'd think maybe St. Lukes could have provided them.

usthaiguy 10 years, 12 months ago

ljreader wrote : "They don't have to apologize for it."

Ridiculous statement! Wouldn't you expect an apology if your best man or maid of honor forgot to bring the rings to your wedding ceremony? Would it be OK if you paid for beer at a bar and they forgot to bring the alcohol? Or, would you mind paying admission to a dance club and there is no DJ that night. . .an apology might be in order, at the least. The purpose of a hooding ceremony is . . . to receive a hood. It symbolizes 4 yrs of college and 4 yrs of medical school with little sleep, long hours, and LOTS OF DEBT! The average graduating medical student could buy 3 Lexus RX350 SUVs with the amount of money paid for medical training and still have enough change left over to take the family to Hawaii for a one-week vacation. We received much-deserved apologies.

SFA wrote: "School of Education made you either purchase one or rent if for yourself."

Well, so did the School of Medicine. I also graduated with the School of Graduate Studies. The difference is that the SOGS allowed us take the hoods home before the ceremony. SOM required us to pickup the cap and gown only since the hood was to be delivered directly to the SOM. The latter is more meaningful since you don't get your hood until the ceremony. In contrast, picking up your hood from the bookstore, as SFA did, only to hand it to someone else on stage who will then give it right back to you, makes the whole process less meaningful. I should know, I walked on both stages that day.

The SOM's handling of the shortage was well-done after the hooding ceremony (things could have been done differently during the ceremony). Dr. Meyer and the Office of Student Affairs at KUMC made every effort to collect hoods from graduates who were not walking down Campanile on Sunday and made arrangements to hand them out in Lawrence. Moreover, it should be noted that faculty, not just students, at the hooding ceremony also removed their hoods for graduates who still needed one.

Through emails, Dr. Meyer has been extremely forthcoming regarding the mistakes that were made, pointing the finger first at himself before explaining the series of unfortunate events leading to the shortage. Graduates have been offered a partial refund for the hood only (about $20), and according to Office of Student Affairs, the SOM will not be doing business with Peterson Cap and Gown again.

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