By Danielle Kolin and Reina Factor
Deans Mike Bird, Tamar Adegbile and Canh Oxelson visited Tulane University in New Orleans on Sept. 15 and 16 to learn about how the school has changed since Hurricane Katrina. Tulane hosts a conference for high school college counselors every year to advertise their school, and this year to prove that even after the hurricane, the university retains the caliber of its academics and their programs.
Bird said that she has and will continue to encourage students to go to Tulane if they are interested in the university. Before attending the conference, she speculated that the living conditions in New Orleans would be a drastic change for some students to face. After visiting New Orleans herself, she realized that the area around Tulane isnât that devastated and that the entire community is working together to rebuild the city.
âIt is a great opportunity to be a part of something bigger than just going to college and getting a degree,â Adegbile said. Many Tulane students volunteer throughout the city, such as students in the architecture program at Tulane, who are designing new buildings to replace those that were destroyed by the hurricane. One specific project is a new housing complex for the many musicians living in the area, one of the main staples in the New Orleans culture.
Bird learned that although the media has been accurate in their coverage on FEMA, the locals feel that the mood of the city has not changed, in contrast to the mediaâs representation.
âThe natives believe that the culture is still there and after New Orleans is rebuilt it will be even better,â Bird said.
Tulane representatives told the deans that the changes at Tulane werenât drastic. The university did have to drop some varsity sports programs because of the decrease in enrollment, and a few courses are being phased out. Still, Bird said that 85 percent of students returned to Tulane even after the hurricane, and in the recent edition of the US News and World Report ranking colleges, Tulane was ranked at 44. Bird said that the schoolâs ranking changed only slightly from past years.
âItâs no secret that applications have gone down and that always affects selectivity, but like any school, the whole picture is important,â Bird said.
At the conference, student panels told the counselors about the university and the changes within New Orleans. After the meetings, the counselors took a tour around the school and New Orleans.
Bird said that the area isnât that devastated despite the damage and that New Orleans is a âgreat place to be.â