University of Connecticut Director of Orientation Services Maria Sedotti’s comments to a student via email were the subject of a post in Facebook group Buy or Sell UConn Tickets from incoming student Kazi Iqbal, who over the weekend posted screenshots of emails between the two regarding financial aid eligibility.
In the email correspondence, Iqbal emailed Sedotti requesting that the orientation fee for he and his sister, who will also be attending UConn, be waived due to financial need.
“We have already spent a combined $600 on our deposits and we think that the combined $460 for orientation will be a financial burden on our parents,” Iqbal said in his email to Sedotti. “I was wondering if there was any way to get this fee waived.”
Sedotti’s response was what drew criticism from students and Iqbal.
“We always have multiple students from single families attending orientation at the same time and do not automatically waive their orientation fee,” Sedotti said in her email to Iqbal. “Usually families decide in advance if they can afford a college before they place a deposit. It is unfortunate that you are just realizing what your college expenses along with your high school expenses are now.”
UConn Spokesperson Stephanie Reitz said the correspondence was not appropriate.
“It’s important that all UConn employees treat students and others with courtesy and respect,” Reitz said. “This interaction fell short of that standard, and the University will address it appropriately.”
Reitz later added in a statement that Sedotti would be personally apologizing to Iqbal. Iqbal posted an update to his original post, confirming this.
“Maria Sedotti has reached out to me with her sincere apology…Thank you to all of you for lending a hand in getting this to the right people,” Iqbal said.
The post in Buy or Sell got nearly 100 comments. Sedotti was not available for an interview and Reitz did not comment on what punishment, if any, Sedotti would face.
Luke Hajdasz is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.