Satire by Nathan Phuong
Stanford leadership set forth an impressive display of optimism in a livestream of a YouTube video of a Zoom conference of the University’s president and provost on Monday, Nov. 30. The information session constituted a new addition to the Campus Conversations series.
“We continue to remain hopeful that students will soon return to campus,” Provost Drell stated. “That said, out of an abundance of caution, and in compliance with county guidelines, we’ve begun implementation of new and exciting preventive steps against the virus for students traveling to the premises. I think we’ll all agree that these small sacrifices are necessary given the current state of the pandemic.”
Stressed the provost, “In no way do these supplementary measures signify our deepening concern that students will be unable to head back to Stanford come winter quarter.”
Since March, the COVID-19 pandemic has spiraled out of control, with the most recent models suggesting that daily infections may be super extra bad going into 2021. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump is reported to have mistaken COVID-19 for an alternative stock market index, tweeting case counts alongside figures from NASDAQ and the Dow Jones Industrial Average as proof of America’s thriving economy.
At the Campus Conversations address, in contrast, Provost Drell revealed that “students moving to campus from outside ‘the bubble’ will be kindly asked to surrender their clothes, including those that they are currently wearing. These articles are to be immediately incinerated in an undisclosed location. But don’t worry — official Stanford bathrobes will be for sale at the gates. I believe the going rate is $399. On an entirely unrelated note, please ignore the smoke from Hoover Tower.”
University President Marc Tessier-Lavigne added, “I just want to thank the entire Stanford community once again. To our world-class professors, to our incredible student body, to our department heads and administrators, to our wonderful temporary instructors and guest lecturers, to our invaluable Board members, to our IT crew, to the devoted groundskeeping team, to the food service workers in our dining halls and restaurants, to our campus bus drivers, to our plumbers, to the generations of construction workers and surveyors who helped build our beautiful campus, to the electricians who keep our lights on and to the environmentally conscious Cardinals who turn them off … [redacted for concision] … and finally to that one squirrel who always stares at me through my office window, I say thank you.”
“And in the spirit of appreciation,” said Provost Drell, “All of us here in person will show how much we respect one another by following our basic safety protocols. The full list can be found on the Stanford undergraduate website. While some of these rules may seem daunting now, I’m sure that they’ll help all of you to love campus even more.”
Among the highlights of the list: “Upon arrival on campus, a protective coat of bleach will be applied to students’ corneas, inner eyelids, upper respiratory tracts and ear canals,” “Students will soak in a vat of Microban® solution for forty (40) minutes before entering any and all facilities; oxygen tanks provided” and “COVID-19 probes must be left within the nasal cavity at all times for maximum viral detection; appropriate alterations to masks to allow for modified facial profiles are permitted.”
The provost observed that one important procedure had been omitted. “Students are to be tossed in holding cells — excuse me, ‘admitted to isolation chambers’ — sorry, ‘welcomed into quarantine’ for the duration of two weeks when they first reach Stanford,” she disclosed.
Said Provost Drell in conclusion, “I’m sure that we Cardinals will soldier on and find our own ways to be comfortable on campus. We’re getting things ready for students’ return as we speak, and you’re all in for a great time!”
In a follow-up interview, President Marc Tessier-Lavigne (MTL) requested that his name not continue to be shortened to an initialism, clarifying, “No, I was not named after the Canadian city. I wasn’t even born in Quebec. Please stop asking.”
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.
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