Not your regular ‘Twilight’ vampire problem

Cartoon by Giovanni Garcia/FIUSM 

Giovanni Garcia/Staff Writer 


Universities are now being targeted by vampires of all kinds.

The time has come for vampire hunters to grab their gear and start looking for…Wait, they’re not that kind of vampire? Oh well, better luck next time, Van Helsing.

So who are these “vampires?”

The answer may shock some, but the vampires are….graduate students. And they are not regular graduate students, they are the students who take the most time to pass and are close to being kicked out.

You may be wondering why these students would be considered vampires.

Well, these students eventually latch onto their adviser emotionally within the years, making the adviser grow sympathetic towards his or her struggle.

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Cartoon by Giovanni Garcia/FIUSM

An article from The Chronicle of Higher Education, “The Case of the Vampire Student,” breaks down the struggle of a professor’s experience with a student of this nature.

It began when this professor, who doubled as the student’s adviser, read the student’s thesis that was was riddled with errors and mistakes.

The professor gave the student what was needed for improvement but the student just took it for granted and left. This student also failed the comprehensive exam the previous year.

The student did not take any initiative to improve nor prepare for the upcoming exam and their thesis was still not ready to be defendable. The professor explained to the student that finishing their degree was beyond their capability. The student cried and begged to stay in the program and promised to succeed.

The professor looked into how to cut the student loose, but the procedure to do so would take too long. The professor feared having another semester with this student. In an effort to find clarity, the professor confronted another professor about his or her “vampire” and was assured that everything was done. If the student fails even after given advice or help, it’s not the professor’s fault but the student’s.

Unfortunately, this professor managed to grow attached and fell into the student’s grasp, delaying the inevitable.

I honestly think these students just enjoy taking advantage of poor advisers. The fact that the advisers manage to emotionally worry for the student’s inefficiency is really a sad scene. I can understand being the “coach” and trying to help, as long as the student manages to rise to the top of the steps of success. But these “vampires” expect to have an escalator installed and do less work for their success. Graduate schools are considered “higher education” for a reason; there is no easy way to get your diploma.

On the bright side, FIU has not experienced any of these students at all.

Ileana Lindsay, Secretary for the Department of Biological Science graduate program, explained that students voluntarily leave from the program. The only way that a student would fall into this problem would be in an academic state.

Lindsay also mentioned that there have not been any students who ended up being a “vampire student.”

The Department of Physics also confirms the previous statement and added that the University has a qualifying exam. Students only have two tries for this exam, and if they fail, they are not eligible to qualify for the program.

As long as there are qualifying exams, FIU will be free from vampire students.


1. “The Case of the Vampire Student,” via The Chronicle of Higher Education

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