Thursday, December 6, 2012

Unwritten Tepper Rules

An exercise that we had to do in a class of mine was to list all the "unwritten Tepper rules." Some so-called "rules" were thrown in, such as:
- Unattended food in the Master's Lounge is fair game
- Don't turn up late to Margot's Optimization class

and a few others I forgot. But the one that has stuck to me since then (and it was an exercise that happened a couple of weeks ago) was this:

- Don't trust Student Services; their "randomizer" is never random.

The reason it has stuck with me is because it has become a real point of disillusionment and resentment amongst my fellow classmates. Normally the "randomizer" shows up when we are given tickets for an event at the Console Stadium. David Tepper owns a box there (as well as the Penguins), and so he passes tickets along to the school if he's not attending. When the NHL wasn't striking, it was pretty often we'd get the email out for getting put into a drawing for tickets to a game. We all knew that it was up to one of the staff members of Student Services to choose who was going based on whim; the only randomness was who actually signed up for a ticket. Since we had nothing to lose, the majority of us didn't really care.

Then came the Germany Trek signup. For the final mini in the second year, a small group of Tepper students are able to go on a four-week trek around Germany as their capstone project. It's highly popular and space is very limited. When the people who threw their names into the ring didn't get into the trek, some grumblings occurred.

Then came the Corporate Restructuring issue. This class is taught by Dean Dammon. It proved to be extremely popular with our class, with 113 people designating it their top class when pre-registration happened a couple of weeks ago. Even when another class slot was opened, there were too many people to accommodate for the 40-person class. So, Student Services "randomly" placed people in the class and the waitlist. Coincidently, a lot of the people who got into the Germany trek also got into this class; a lot of the people who didn't get into Germany got waitlisted. One that I know of also had an issue with being waitlisted for Corporate and Renewable Strategy in addition to being waitlisted for Germany and now Corporate Restructuring. Foul play was now being cried (although not loud enough for Student Services to hear it).

It puts a bit of a bad taste in my mouth that blatant favoritism occurs in an environment that, by all manner of speaking, should be objective. While I understand, from my Power & Influence class, that life isn't fair and getting ahead is about buttering people up... I didn't expect it with my educational experience. Add this in with the general dissatisfaction I hold for the school services in general (all the other things that come with going to Tepper, NOT the education) this year, and that's a lot of unhappiness on my end. I'm not going to get into the services issue in detail - but tuition increased for the incoming class, and yet funding for our clubs and activities decreased significantly this year. We now have to pay more out-of-pocket for specific Tepper events, such as the Winter Formal that just passed. Tepper is the 6th most expensive school. I really wonder where our money goes towards, and whether it's worth putting our education and experiences on the line for fickle administrators who play favorites.


  1. I hope this is not true. I will keep my ear to the ground to verify if some of these issues play out with our class.

    Did you attend the Dean's Forum the other day? Dean Dammon laid out the financials for the school and mentioned the club funding too. Apparently, it's the same as last year. I wonder if the issue is more about a party that was thrown by the GBA for a large amount of money last spring? Know anything about that?

    The dean also addressed his impacted class and a couple students vented their frustrations. Seems like a thorny subject but at least he added on a second section to accommodate 80 people.

    1. i believe you're referring to the 80's party held by Out&Allied which blew something like $35-$40K. Yes, MANY of us were very upset that they were allowed to do that since we knew it was going to impact all of us along the way.

      Re: his class: There are a few classes that are ridiculously popular that it's difficult to get into. Any of Kelley's classes fall under this classification. The people I've heard complain about not getting in just don't believe the randomization process was truly random.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.