Maynooth University's Department of Law has apologised to a student following a reply they received when enquiring about exam timetables on Twitter. The original tweet to the valid query regarding timetables for upcoming exams read:
"Hi Clare. First, we don't make the timetable. Second, assuming you have been studying all year, and not leaving things to the last minute, it shouldn't be a problem. Third, you do remember the Leaving Cert, right?"
Following backlash, this tweet was deleted at 2 am on Saturday morning. Maynooth's Law Department issued an apology to Clare yesterday stating that the tweet which was intended to be funny was ill-judged and unthoughtful.
The Department apologises unreservedly for the tweet to @ClareMcCarrick. It was intended to be funny. It wasn't. It was ill-judged and unthoughtful. Crucially, it does not reflect our approach to student support, which we treat with the utmost importance, at all times
— MU Department of Law (@MaynoothLaw) March 31, 2019
Now, I like to think I have a good sense of humour, albeit a slightly dark sense of humour at times, however, there is nothing remotely funny about this tweet. It is patronising but it highlights a common issue in academia. There is a level of emotional intelligence needed to be in student-facing positions. This tweet that shames a student for asking a valid question shows an obvious lack of emotional intelligence and empathy for students.
If the person who wrote the tweet is currently in a student-facing role at Maynooth, it seems like a meeting with student wellbeing services might be needed to remind them that students (like everyone else) have welfare needs and shouldn't be shamed for acknowledging that fact.
— Rachel (@Rachelagain) March 31, 2019