Friends and strangers combine forces to help Paul Paterson graduate
Issue date: 9/3/10 Section: Focus
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Paterson's final required course was ENGL 398 (Professional Communication for Engineers), a course offered in three sessions this semester, all of which are currently filled. Due to financial reasons, Paterson had a hold on his account and was unable to register.
"I ended this previous spring semester with a significant amount owed to Case," said Paterson. "I was unable to get it paid off and have the financial hold released until one week before classes."
Once Paterson discovered he could not register for the class and would be unable to graduate at the end of the semester as intended, he sent a message to friends explaining the situation. He also offered $200 compensation to anyone willing to drop the class for him. Fellow Delta Upsilon brother Joseph Bashover started a Facebook group, "Help Paul Paterson Graduate," and in four days, 100 people had joined in support.
"I was very surprised by the Facebook group," said Paterson, "A large majority of the members of the group are unknown to me… I am very grateful for all the support I got from everybody."
In his attempt to join the class, Paterson spoke with Dr. Eve McPherson, who manages all the sections of ENGL 398. Overriding the hold on enrollment proved to be difficult. Graduate teaching assistants were contractually unable to assist more than 20 students, the classroom is unable to hold more than 20 students, and in addition to Paterson, a number of other students were attempting to override the class's hold as well.