Administrator's letter welcomes students to Yale University and tells them to "emotionally prepare" to die from Covid there

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/08/19/administrators-letter-welcom.html

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School re-openings are the most blatant example of TPTB placing the (short-term) economy over public health, both in terms of intent and probable outcome (i.e. a return to lockdown, with any economic gains from re-opening more than wiped out, and more deaths).

We’re past the point where the people in charge have decided widespread death is necessary for the financial wellbeing of American institutions, and at the point where they’re calmly explaining to us the terms and conditions of our demise.

Click this button to accept the Yale EULA.

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Would be cool to think this was a way to provoke resistance to opening classes, but more likely it was an old fashioned, conservative slap on the back toward those asked to take one for the team…

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The reality will be far worse than that. The students may visit their homes while asymptomatically infected, infect their parents or grandparents, and live with knowledge they unwittingly killed their loved ones.

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The point of the letter is so to protect Yale. Come here and you are accepting these terms and conditions, principally that you cannot latter claim that…

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That would sure set the stage for an overall increase in students’ performance anxiety

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The more I stew over this, the more convinced that it’s really about socialized medicine. Since getting sick is an individual’s responsibility (and by implication, moral failing) there’s no collective responsibility for the larger good. Which makes wearing a mask a personal choice.

I know countries that have socialized medicine have also been hit hard, but those countries are also in a position to learn from their mistakes. This one is in a position to dig in.

No single payer health plan on the DNC platform? Do we have to pretend this two party system represents anyone but the wealthy?

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I think it’s unfair to brand her as a bean-counting administrator trying to cover for future lawsuits. She’s an actual professor who is also the head of a residental college, basically a figurehead position previously occupied by those profs who got flak from students about that Halloween letter (remember the students surrounding the guy outside with a screaming girl telling him to keep them safe).

I think she’s legitimately afraid about what’s going to happen and is preparing students for the worst-case scenario, as she should. The alternative is saying “everything will be find, don’t worry about it” so either way, whatever anyone says at a university they’re going to get crap.

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“Ours is not to reason why,
Ours is but to do and die.”

We’re supposed to stay in our lane and let the big brains like Mnuchin and DeVos give us orders. And our party on the left is too afraid of losing the middle ground-- they’re practically useless.

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Surprised they didn’t work in some marketing allusion to Skull and Bones…

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That’s the addendum.
iii.) Never speak of skull and bones or we’ll kill you.

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I’m willing to give Prof. Santos herself some benefit of the doubt, and am going on the assumption that she was wearing her psychologist hat in addition to the other ones when writing this. In that sense, her frankness is appreciated.

That doesn’t change Rob’s larger point, though. Institutions – and in the U.S. especially ones that operate under the dictates of late-stage capitalism – tend to turn their administrators into cold-hearted, arse-covering bean counters no matter what their personal intentions.

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I think this is probably a little unfair to Laurie Santos. It wasn’t her decision to reopen Yale, and might have even been opposed to it, for the reasons she mentions. However, given that the decision has been made, and the safety protocols depend on certain behaviors on the part of campus community members, it isn’t unreasonable for her to try to explain why people should get serious about them.

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What in the actual fuck. This is what the neo-liberal, profits before people, markets are our god mindset has brought us…

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As part of that guarantee, Americans should be able to access public coverage through a public option

This is as close as the platform gets to proposing single payer: https://democrats.org/where-we-stand/party-platform/ensure-the-health-and-safety-of-all-americans/

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And yet, there she is, saying that shit…

Maybe she should instead actively advocate for the student’s health and safety instead of telling them that they might die and thems the breaks…

No. It’s not. It’s using her privileged position as a professor to push for a policy that makes sense in the midst of a public health crisis.

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Also her email was apparently from July 1, when Yale first decided it was sticking to in-person teaching, so it is not a “welcome back to Yale” letter.

Santos is apparently the most popular teacher on campus, so probably not a cold-hearted monster.

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I don’t think she’s pushing for the policy at all. The very text of her letter calls it dangerous, and the subtext (which we all seem to understand) calls it greedy and stupid.

I think this letter was explicitly intended to call out the administration and advocate for the students. And the intended audience is the faculty and administration. It’s clearly meant to make them look bad.

From an academic perspective, it’s a professor telling the administration to go fuck itself.

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A for honesty

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She could be doing both, to be honest. As someone in that position, I’ve been fighting hard behind the scenes, in ways my people will never see or know, to mitigate this insanity. And then also, since they have to come to work or be fired, trying as best I can to prepare them to work as safely as possible.

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