No room for disabled in Lawrence legislature

Robin Humbert

Ah yes, the fall. As students begin to settle in and feel comfortable, I offer a few words of advice to make your years at Lawrence easier for you: try not to get cancer. “What?” you might ask. Why would you try? That is a horrible experience: the doctor’s bills, painful surgeries, numerous treatments and follow-up appointments, not to mention the whole life-threatening aspect of the matter.

But the main reason why you should try not to get cancer while attending Lawrence is because the school is unaccommodating to such students.

For example, I found out I had a form of cancer during third term of last year. My professors were very understanding and allowed me to miss classes and turn in my work late due to necessary doctor’s appointments and recovery times.

However, when it came to graduation time, the administration was unsympathetic.

Unfortunately for me, my last final was on the same date as my last surgery. I had to request an extension, which, I was told, would not interfere with my graduation. The staff member who told me this information was wrong.

Relying on this information, I completed my final and turned it in one day later, being one day shy of the June graduation date and unknowingly postponing my conferral until December.

Had I wanted a December graduation date, I would not have put forth the immense amount of effort to complete my grades by graduation. I would not have read Shakespeare while lying in the hospital gurney during my pre-op procedures.

Regardless of my effort and the promise that my extension would not interfere with my graduation status, the faculty subcommittee just denied my petition to have on my transcript a June graduation date.

The reason? Because life-threatening cancer is not a “compelling reason to deviate from legislated practice.” To most people, and by law, cancer is considered disabling and an exception, but not at Lawrence.

So with that in mind, the next time you pick up your little cancer-causing cigarettes or go tanning in a deathbed, think twice while at Lawrence. Save that for grad school.