Imagine you've spent four years fulfilling what you thought were the requirements of your major, minor, or certificate, only to receive a thick envelope from the office of the university registrar less than two months before graduation. You open it and find that you've been "audited" by someone who doesn't believe you're really finished.
A number of seniors at the University of Rochester have received such stomach-flops this semester. Psychology and English double major Kara Rozansky was told that she hadn't completed her Primary Writing Requirement. "Are you kidding me?" she says. "I helped people in three, maybe four psych classes write their papers. I know APA format --- I'm good to go."
In Rozansky's case, paperwork from an exemption she received her freshman year was overlooked. Rozansky, who works as a writing fellow and recently wrote an honors thesis, had to make several trips to the Academic Support counters in Lattimore Hall to correct the error.
Health and Society major Kira Epstein received a letter that said she hadn't fulfilled her major's requirements. She tried to fix what she knew was a glaring error via e-mail, but was told that she had to come to Lattimore in person. "I had to wait 45 minutes and the meeting took six seconds," Epstein says. "She looked at my transcript and the requirements and said that I was fine." Epstein was erroneously audited again a short time later, with a message that requirements for her business management certificate were incomplete.
University registrar Nancy Speck estimates that 20 percent of this year's senior class received bad-news letters in March. As panicked, annoyed students made corrections, the number of students actually in trouble dropped to less than 10 percent. "At the end of the day, it's always less than 10 percent," Speck says. "There's always an opportunity to get [problems] cleaned up."
One more wave of thick envelopes will enter student CPU boxes on May 12 --- four days before graduation.
--- Jennifer Weiss
Corner store no more
Plans are in the works for a new business at the corner of Park Avenue and Colby Street, and it's not a corner store. According to Sib Pettix, president of the Culver-University-East Neighborhood Group, the former long-time home to the beloved local grocery Fred & Rogers may soon become a gourmet wood-oven pizza shop similar to Veneto at 330 East Avenue.
The potential owner, who has experience as a chef a 2 Vine, "is proposing a very nice place," Pettix says. In fact, Petix says, he plans to spend nearly $20,000 on renovations to the interior of the building. And during the warm-weather months, there will be space for outdoor seating.
The main concern right now is parking. "He's going to have to apply for a waiver and go through that process with the city," Petix says.
East End benevolence
Mike O'Leary is excited about the changes with this year's East End Festivals, scheduled for June 18, July 23, and August 13. Besides going back to working with Infinity Radio (as opposed to Clear Channel), the East End Festival will now donate proceeds to charity.
"We'll be giving money to Camp Good Days & Special Times," O'Leary says. "We're guaranteeing $5,000, hoping for $10,000."
The East End itself will benefit as well.
"We're also going to give a $5,000 donation to the neighborhood to try and do some kind of neighborhood beautification," he says. "This'll give us an opportunity to give back to the neighborhood, to give back to a charity."
Because the festival has lost a good deal of its sponsorship funding as well as advertising money from the city, this year a $1 cover charge will be added. O'Leary doesn't see a problem. He also addresses the misconceptions.
"People don't have any clue what it costs to operate a festival," he says. "Between police, clean up, security, staffing, bands, we spend somewhere in the neighborhood of $40,000 per festival. And if it rains, I'm still paying most of that out."
"Do we make money?" he asks. "Yes. Are we apologizing for that? No. A lot of people think we get rich. The perception is that everybody is incredibly wealthy. If that were the case, I'd be down in the Bahamas chasing a grass skirt."
And there'll be plenty of skirts to chase (grass or otherwise) right here, as O'Leary expects some 20,000 patrons at each festival.
In his Gut Instincts review of The Mediterranean Cuisine (City, April 28-May 4) Adam Wilcox incorrectly referred to "dolma" as an Arabic word. According to Chambers English Dictionary, "dolma" is of Turkish origin; the same word is used in Greek.
Also, in last week's "Say what?" interview with Rochester Mayor Bill Johnson, we listed the wrong website address for the Regional Innovators' Participation Network, which is sponsoring a May 12 panel discussion on the Renaissance Square project. The correct address is www.ripn.info.