Poor choice to forgo alert

Just like Kaplan, adjunct’s passing warranted campus-wide e-mail

By on October 12, 2010

Adjunct professor Joachim Schnabel died on Oct. 4. This is probably news to you–but it shouldn’t be.

The Quinnipiac community was notified that professor Jack Kaplan died last Friday. Each student, faculty and staff member of the university received an e-mail with this information. The e-mail offered a link to MyQ to read the full statement from Mark Thompson, senior vice president for academic affairs and student affairs. This statement expressed the university’s condolences and sadness for his family and continued to give a brief biography of Professor Kaplan. According to John Morgan, associate vice president for public relations, Kaplan was a tenured professor who had taught at Quinnipiac for nearly 30 years. He was an active member of the campus community who served on several University committees. My thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time.

I would also like to send my thoughts and prayers to Schnabel’s family, as they are currently grieving from their loss as well. I’m sure many of the members of the Quinnipiac community would send their thoughts to his family too, however, most members of this community were unaware of his passing.

Why was there no campus-wide e-mail alert sent out once this news was given to the university?

I was told by Morgan that “as an adjunct professor who was not widely known on campus, we didn’t think it was appropriate to notify the entire campus community about his passing.”

That statement is ridiculous. I still do not understand why the university did not think it was necessary to alert the whole campus that another member of its community had died.

Quinnipiac University’s website clearly states, “A Quinnipiac education embodies the University’s commitment to three important values: excellence in education, sensitivity to students, and a spirit of community.”

By failing to inform the university’s students of another professor’s passing, Quinnipiac is being far from sensitive to its students. I think I can speak on behalf of a large part of the student body that even if we have not had this professor, we would still like to be informed and updated on this kind of situation. I was told that Schnabel’s students were notified as well as the faculty and staff of the university. That is not enough, and that does not speak highly of how much the university values its adjunct professors. The least we could do is send out an e-mail notifying the community of their passing. Maybe they’re not tenured, or haven’t been an advisor to a campus club, but they are still a member of the community.

If a part-time commuter student passed away, would the Quinnipiac community receive an e-mail about their death? I hope the administration would see fit to inform all of us about the loss of a fellow student.

This “spirit of community,” which is said to be one of the three main components of a Quinnipiac University education, has been disregarded in relation to Schnabel.

The idea of “community,” globally, nationally and local, is drilled into each student’s head from the moment they step foot into a QU Seminar course. A community should be informed of the activities occurring within it or around it, knowledgeable of the people involved with the community, and actively promote a cohesive, unified environment for all of those who consider themselves a part of the community.

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