Photo Credits: MARIO RODRIGUEZ / AGGIE
“How can we keep screwing students if there’s a pandemic?”
In this series of investigative pieces, The California Aggie investigates how the COVID-19 crisis has affected individual lives in our community.
“Ladies and gentlemen, please take your seats,” announces a hooded figure from the head of a skull-shaped table. Her throne is ash black, and screaming faces are ornately carved into the stonework. One by one, hooded men and women shuffle to their chairs. They all wear blood-red cloaks fastened at the neck with a skull pendant.
“As you know, COVID-19 is one of the greatest challenges our organization faces. Never before in the history of California has it been harder…” she pauses. “…to f-ck with students trying to get an education.”
She removes the hood from her death cloak to reveal the face of the UC President Janet Napolitano. “We’ve put millions of dollars into R&D on this one, but COVID-19 presents a unique challenge to our staff. How can we keep screwing over students if they’re safe at home? I’m now opening the floor to suggestions.”
“What if we spend a bunch of money on Zoom licenses?” offers Chancellor Henry Yang of UC Santa Barbara.
“That’s a good start,” Napolitano adds. “That means they’ll have to use Zoom for everything. And when they use it for personal meetings, they’ll feel like they’re blurring the lines between work life and their personal life!”
“We should use this to distract from the COLA protests that are happening too!” exclaims Chancellor Cynthia Larive of UC Santa Cruz.
“Yes! I… uh…” Napolitano hesitates. “What do they want again?”
“A livable wage for Grad Students.”
“Oh, yeah,” Napolitano recalls. “F-ck ‘em.”
“Some students might have hope that they can go to school in the fall. How do we taint that?” inquires Chancellor Pradeep Khosla of UC San Diego.
“Hmmmm… How about we call it something really vague like Hybrid Mode,” suggests Napolitano. “And then raise serious questions about how it’ll be conducted?”
“Brilliant!” says Chancellor Howard Gillman of UC Irvine.
“Now that the cost of school is lower, should we issue any refunds to tuition?” asks Chancellor Gary May of UC Davis.
“No!” shouts Napolitano. “In fact, let’s use the money they’re spending on tuition to fight the lawsuits we’ll get for not returning their tuition!”
All at the table murmur in agreement and clap excitedly.
“Then what should I do instead?” asks May.
Napolitano pauses to think. “Try sending out inspirational emails every week about how hard things are.”
“Will anyone read them?” May asks.
“No, but if you send out enough of them,” she smiles evilly, “it might get on their nerves.”
“Should I do anything?” asks Chancellor Kim Wilcox of UC Riverside.
“Nah. Your guys go to Riverside. Give ‘em a break.”
They all cackle loudly. It echoes through the chambers of the Hall of Doom.
“Now, let’s start planning on that project about raising tuition in three years for some new reason. My yacht won’t buy its own fuel.”
Written by: Matthew Simons — firstname.lastname@example.org
(This article is humor and/or satire, and its content is purely fictional. The story and the names of “sources” are fictionalized.)