Hey Harvard: Pointers for precedented times

Jan. 19, 2024, 12:04 a.m.

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.

Hey Harvard, how ya doin’? Are you holding up well?

We at Stanford thought that it would be good, you know, to just check in and see how you were doing. After all, Stanford went through this with our own president’s accusations of academic dishonesty and fraud, but we did it last year because we’re just innovative like that. Better, some might say. But seriously, we know a thing or two about the institutional fallout that comes from losing your president, so we thought it would be good to give you some advice about how to get through it:

  1. Remember, you will get through this. I get it, the pain of losing an administrative official who had little to no impact on your daily life as a student because of institutional hierarchies is hard, but I promise you that, given time, trust and just a little pixie dust, you will become stronger.
  2. Check in with a friend. Your pain does not exist in a vacuum. Like me checking in with you guys, ask around and find someone else to share your struggles with. Didn’t Penn just go through something similar recently?
  3. Play your favorite song on repeat. When life gets too much like right now, play a happy tune. I usually put on my favorite song, “Sympathy for the Devil,” by the Rolling Stones. I know for a fact that MTL used to sing “My Way” at karaoke, but, looking back, that was a bit on the nose, wasn’t it? “And now, the end is near, and so I face the final curtain…”
  4. Review your plagiarism policy. Ask yourself, are we holding our students and faculty to a good standard? Is it too harsh? Or too lenient? Because of the student backlash, your policy may be more detrimental than beneficial for students. I think that Stanford found its honor code too lenient and got nervous the next President would be worse than MTL: why else would they be reinstating proctoring during exams? Definitely not because of anything students did, right?
  5. Appoint a classicist as your next president. Yeah, so we did this too. But we’ve been studying classics for what, 1,500 years? So it’s likely that everything a classicist publishes now was said before and will be written again. In other words, in a world rife with academic dishonesty, the classics are a cheat code to get around concerns of plagiarism. Protect yourself and give the Harvard classics department a sliver of hope that maybe, just maybe, it won’t get deprived of funding.
  6. Change your focus. You, Penn and MIT all got in trouble because you didn’t want to make anyone angry. Instead, you just made everyone really pissed. Instead of trying to make everyone happy, maybe focus on making everyone just a bit sad. Not depressed but, like, moderately discontented with the state of affairs. You can even change your students’ focus by distracting them with a new, flashier issue. Look up Stanford’s newest changes to the neighborhood system. You’ll learn everything you need to know…

Contact Sam at thegrind 'at' stanforddaily.com.

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