Ferris Fact of Fiction: Straight A's if Roommate Dies?

A popular rumor circulating at Ferris is that if a student’s roommate dies, they will receive straight A’s for that semester.

Anne-Marie Gillespie, educational counselor and assistant professor at the College of Arts and Sciences, said this rumor falls in the fiction category.

Gillespie said there is no straight A’s policy that is offered to the student when situations like this occur. She also said this goes for any other catastrophic event that might occur in a student’s life.

“Sadly, sometimes reality does happen,” said Gillespie.

In the event of a student’s roommate dying, or any other type of related tragedy, Mary Cline, educational counselor, said the university would make every effort to work with the student and their contract if the student made the choice to go home.

If the student does decide to stay, The Counseling Center and other services, such as the Housing Office, will work with the student.

Cline said she does recall an instance where counselors from the Personal Counseling Center met with students in a residence hall where one student had suddenly died in a car accident.

Depending on the circumstance, a student might request a backdated withdrawal of a class or classes due to trauma.

“Some students might opt for a backdated drop,” said Cline. “It all depends on the student…those would be handled on a case-by-case basis by the college in which the student was enrolled.”

Angie Palmer, office manager at the Office of Housing & Residence Life, said students will get the opportunity to move to a different hall or room if it is uncomfortable for them.

“Just as a courtesy, we offer that [option],” said Palmer. “Fortunately, we have not run into that.”

Hurdylyn Woods, assistant director of Residential Programs and Services, said there have not been a lot of cases involving the death of a student’s roommate.

There are no written policies for a situation such as the death of a roommate or any other related instance, but for courtesy and depending on the case, a student does have the option to move.