With a simple inquiry on credit hours, FAU senior Brandon Roberson spent the past six months searching for the right academic advisor to answer his question, eventually packing his bags and heading to Istanbul, Turkey. Roberson’s question, regarding foreign language credit hours, could have been answered with a simple 20 second Google search. However, due to it being his second to last semester at FAU, he wanted written confirmation that he could graduate without taking American Sign Language 3.
Roberson’s adventure began as soon as he stepped into the Arts and Letters Advising office, where he had to go through the standard four-step process. As explained by Tanya Hershell, Director of Advising:
- First you need to be here on time. We’re open for walk-ins one day per week from 8:00 A.M. to 8:03 A.M.
- If the walk-in period has passed, you must make an appointment. Competition is high here, so we encourage students to physically fight to the death over the good advisors. This is not required, but if no effort is put in on the student’s side, they will receive an undergraduate sophomore Education student whose dad knows the Dean.
- Once the day of the appointment arrives, students must complete a 19-hour fast in the waiting room. This spirit quest gives them a chance to reflect on whether their diploma is even worth it and question dropping out. If any of the students are too weak to survive the fast, we simply drag them out of the room before their name is called.
- Finally, once the meeting occurs, we guide our advisors to always find somewhere else they can send the student. Even if the student’s question would take only a 20 second Google search, we send them to some place like Financial Advising or give them a fake email address to direct their concern. Anything to get the smelly kids away from our advisors.
Once Roberson completed these steps within the Arts and Letters department, he was on his way to the lead advisor at the Career Center. Sources believe he then traveled to 22 different people in succession, including an advisor in the Astronomy department and the lady behind the counter at Outtakes. His quest at FAU eventually led to President Kelly himself, who gave Roberson a crumpled up piece of paper that contained coordinates and a crudely drawn map.
It was this single creased note that brought Roberson to Istanbul, Turkey. Determined to eventually walk across the FAU stage and receive his expensive piece of education paper, he then traveled 6,000 miles in search of the unnamed advisor who may or may not have told him that he satisfied his foreign language credits. Roberson lost track of time through his travels, and all of his peers had already made it to graduation by the time he came back. Thankfully, though, President Kelly livestreamed Roberson’s video blog at the graduation ceremony, in which Roberson finally found the unnamed advisor only to be told, “You need to talk to the advisors at Arts and Letters. That’s their territory.”
At press time, Roberson was found training for the fast he would need to complete for his appointment four months from now. “I believe they’ll answer my question soon,” he said. “They’ve never led me astray before. Why would they start now?”