Senior panic epidemic spreads across campus

After enduring four hard years full of homework, essays and exams, a senior’s worst nightmare would be to find out in their last semester that they can’t graduate. Well, for a few California Lutheran  University seniors this nightmare became a reality when their evaluators told them that they were just one credit short from walking in the 2014 commencement ceremony.

Senior Kate Cabebe was a victim of what she likes to call senior panic.

“Panic due to the registrar wrongly accusing you of being short credits and informing you that you will not graduate,” Cabebe said.

“I contracted senior panic in March. The registrar had given me the all clear to withdraw from a class, so I did, but a week later, they informed me I was one credit short and therefore was ineligible to graduate,” Cabebe said. “This was confusing, but also not surprising as the registrar seems to be fond of ‘Indian giving’ credits and registration clearance.”

After Cabebe received the registrar’s diagnosis, she went to visit her academic adviser.

“I ran panicking to my department adviser about signing a petition and she mentioned that I was the third student so far today that had come to her about being accused of being short one credit. My poor fellow sufferers of Senior Panic,” Cabebe said.

Another student suffering from senior panic is senior Gregg Foster, who is also just one credit short.

“I had just about a heart attack when I got the email last Monday and I was shocked that I got it so late because this late in the game, there is not a whole lot you can do about it,” Foster said. “It could have been easily fixed had I known at the beginning of the semester, I could have just added a class.”

“I actually didn’t even talk to my evaluator in the registrar’s office because she was being very unaccommodating,” Foster said. “I said I wanted to set up a meeting with her to speak about this but she insisted on just emailing, so I then made an appointment with Lorraine Purmort and she was able to help me out a lot and gave me a lot of different options to get that one credit.”

This was not the first time Associate Registrar Lorraine Purmort has encountered this problem.

“The first time I came across this issue was back in 2000 because students registered for classes, but didn’t pay attention to how many credits they were,” Purmort said.

“Evaluators are too busy to keep track of every add or drop. I would like to know the specifics because if the student came in and studied their program evaluation and met with their evaluators and used their faculty adviser they should be just fine, most of our students are just fine,” Purmort said.

Luckily for those suffering from senior panic, there is an answer.

“There are always options for these students who are short,” Purmort said. “The professionals program just started and their add drop period goes for another week, so students could add a class through that if its open. Some of our summer school offerings in the past weren’t that good, but now we offer languages and a lot of electives. Or, students can petition to take summer school somewhere else, they just have to show proof of enrollment before graduation and then they can still participate in the commencement ceremony.”

If you’re not a senior, take the time to study your program evaluation and make sure you are registered for the right amount of credits so that you don’t contract senior panic.


Lauren Ray
Staff Writer
Published March 12, 2014