Random breakout rooms perfect place to unearth decade-old, never-before-discussed traumas

Humor by Kathryn Zheng
Sept. 17, 2020, 10:25 p.m.

Following its dedication to celebrating the diversity of its student body at New Student Orientation through programs like FACES and Beyond Sex Ed, Stanford announced its new policy of assigning frosh to randomized breakout rooms for them to discuss their decade-old traumas.

“Every year, we showcase the powerful voices of our students and their stories through FACES and Beyond Sex Ed,” stated Stanford President Marc Tessier-Lavigne. “While the structure of these programs may have been altered by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we feel we can nevertheless present them to students through platforms like Canvas and Zoom. Additionally, we understand the need for our students to connect with their peers, so we decided to add a new segment in which students would discuss their deepest-seeded fears and traumas with classmates they’ve never even talked to before.”

Tessier-Lavigne suggested that students could find comfort in discussing deep-rooted issues like their pervasive fear of abandonment or their struggles living in a household with negligent, narcissistic parents with strangers with whom they share no connections whatsoever. 

“We recognize that all of our students come from varied backgrounds and experiences, and many of them have never before been able to open up about their trauma to someone trusted,” Tessier-Lavigne said. “As a result, Stanford decided that the best solution would be to place students with classmates in breakout rooms over Zoom, particularly classmates with whom they share no interests, classes or identities, allowing them to show their truest, most vulnerable selves to each other.”

At press time, in Stern Hall Breakout Room #4, after a two-minute-long silence, Zack Levinson ’24 managed to scrounge up the courage to state, “So, uh, I thought what all the speakers had to say was like, super powerful and meaningful,” which was received with a chorus of relieved nods from his classmates. 

Editor’s Note: This article is purely satirical and fictitious. All attributions in this article are not genuine, and this story should be read in the context of pure entertainment only.

Contact Kathryn Zheng at kszheng ‘at’ stanford.edu.

Kathryn Zheng ’24 is from New Jersey. She is majoring in Economics and currently writes for Arts and Life as a columnist under the Culture desk.

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