CUNY Diploma Blues – Part 3

Note: This is the third post in my ongoing crusade against the College of Staten Island’s unacceptable waiting period for distributing diplomas. Part 1 is here and part 2 is here.

RING A DING DING! The diplomas for June 2014 graduates are in, I said the diplomas are here and ready to be picked up! That’s what I said, boy!


(Okay I’ll stop now).

The other week while I was at work I got the fateful call from the registrar office and to their credit they not only called but were courteous enough to leave a voicemail on my phone (I don’t pick up numbers I don’t recognize) telling me to come in.

Needless to say I was in the registrar office for 9 am the next day even though I live on Staten Island and don’t have a car. When I arrived I didn’t take a number and wait for my name to be called. I simply walked into the registrar area and headed straight into the back.

I was polite and affable as always when I picked up my diploma and tried not to make it seem like a big deal, even though I was after a five month build-up.


(I felt like this times 10)

The lady in the office (Mary-Ellen) was very nice and said I actually got the very first diploma in the shipment (which I already figured) and handed it to me. I thanked them for the diploma (even though all they did was their job and NOTHING extra) and left the building.

I want to stay on topic with this post so I won’t go into the rigmarole that followed when I needed to get my diploma uploaded to my recruiter as well as apostilled, so suffice it to say that when I got home and was alone with the document I took the time to study it carefully.


(By all accounts it’s an easily forgeable document, Mr. Seegitz)

I took is out of its leather book / holder thingy and held it up to the light.

I turned it over.

I tried looking at it from different angles.

I even had my dog sniff it for any unusually expensive chemicals.


(I have deemed the document inedible, Mr. Seegitz.)

But it was no use.

While most people would feel a swelling of pride from being able to hold their hard-won four year degree in their hands, all I felt was cheated and my time wasted. Try as I might I just could not determine why this simple document took FIVE MONTHS to get to me.

So I slipped the thin leaf of paper back into its book and went to work. Even though my diploma is now in hand I have not forgotten how CSI has effectively STOLEN five months of my life due to their unacceptable diploma waiting period, so I continued forward with trying to make a complaint.

Continuing from part 2, my last stop in the labyrinthine process of making a complaint took me to CUNY admissions. For what reason, I have no idea.

(I’m starting to a form a theory that the entire process has been orchestrated by this guy, watching me squirm).

I’ve been delaying putting a complaint in with CUNY admissions because every time I pick up the phone there’s a waiting period of twenty plus minutes. When I called them last Monday at 1:42pm I was put on hold from 1:44 pm to 2:24 pm. For those of you who went to high school in America that’s forty minutes.

I will say that again: FORTY MINUTES.

This speaks volumes about how disorganized the CUNY administration is in general, especially when you compare it to NYC 311 which has an average wait time of oh…thirty SECONDS before you speak to a representative.


(Even though working for you is stressful, I can’t help but give credit where it is due)

So I get on the phone with the CUNY admissions rep and (surprise, surprise) I’m told I’m in the wrong place. I’m then told I need to speak to the “Dean of Students” at my school if I want to put a complaint in.

A part of me wanted to say, “Don’t you think it’s unacceptable that there’s a forty minute waiting time here?” But…one crusade at a time. Part of growing up is learning how to pick your battles, and I want to focus on righting my particular wrong.

So I grabbed my (metaphorical) sword and continued deeper into the CUNY labyrinth.


(I’m going, I’m going)

I did a google search for “CSI Dean of Students” and came to the page of A. Ramona Brown, the Vice President for Student affairs. I called the phone number listed, and after a negligible wait time I talked about how I wanted to make a complaint and they said I needed to fill out a “Student Concern Form” to do so. I have the option of coming down to 1A-301 and filling it out in person so I decided on that.

I’ll be heading down there either Monday or Tuesday to fill out the form, depending on when I can get a ride, because I live in Staten Island and don’t have a car.

Hm…I should get one though. It’s not like there was anything blocking me from gaining full-time employment for FIVE WHOLE MONTHS, right?


(Don’t blame CUNY, Joe. Making money is simple; just ask this guy!)

That’s all for this week. I honestly don’t want to keep blogging about this experience but I can’t ignore what happened. I’m going to submit the form and see what happens. Either way, I’ll be sure to keep you informed.

Until next time,

J. F. Seegitz

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One Response to CUNY Diploma Blues – Part 3

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