APRIL FOOL’S: This article was published as part of The News-Letter’s annual April Fool’s edition, an attempt at adding some humor to a newspaper that is normally very serious about its reporting.
Following a leak of internal documents from the University, The News-Letter has received confirmation that Hopkins is currently operating an elite private paramilitary strike force to sabotage the rankings of other peer institutions.
Early plans to create this strike force began last September after U.S. News and World Report ranked Hopkins as the 11th best college in the nation.
Emails between top administrators reveal their panic upon learning this. University President Ronald J. Daniels was particularly upset, as one of his goals in his “10 by 20 Plan” is building the “Johns Hopkins’ undergraduate experience so that it stands among the top 10 in the nation.”
“[EXPLETIVE DELETED] [EXPLETIVE DELETED] [EXPLETIVE DELETED] undergraduates [EXPLETIVE DELETED] ungrateful, sons of [EXPLETIVE DELETED],” Daniels wrote in the leaked email. “We can’t provide these students with luxurious resources like a well-staffed counseling center or an Office of Student Leadership and Involvement that gets reimbursements back to students on time. Such requests are infeasible and ridiculous.”
These documents indicate that Hopkins currently has operatives at seven other institutions across the country. Staff rosters show that many of these operatives are dismissed adjunct professors who were investigated by the Office for Institutional Equity (OIE) for sexual harassment or racist remarks.
The most notable one of these operatives is Bert Tertrand, who was formerly a professor in the economics department. He referred to all East Asian students as Chinese and regularly joked about mental health concerns.
When asked about his activities, Tertrand, who is now an adjunct professor at the University of Chicago, said that he was unaware of the strike force.
“What are you talking about? Hopkins really helped me find a position at this school after they fired me,” he said. “And anyway, all the Oriental kids here really love my jokes as opposed to those liberal snowflakes at Hopkins.”
An anonymous professor who claims that she is part of the strike force describes how the University trains them. Her name is kept anonymous out of fear that “Hopkins is going to put lead paint in [her] house.”
“So the [OIE] was investigating me for hitting on lacrosse players in class and then the next thing I knew, I, along with six other colleagues, was whisked away into Shriver Hall — where all the construction was supposed to be happening,” she said. “Then, for the next week, they made us take sexual harassment and racial insensitivity training, except the training was meant to promote those activities, not prevent them.”
The leaked documents also show the strike force’s strategy in sabotaging other schools. Many applied tactics are inspired from the experiences of Hopkins students. In a confidential memo, Director of the Counseling Center Syggy Froid wrote about how useful the Task Force on Student Mental Health and Well-being’s final report was in researching what makes students upset.
“It turns out that students at this academically competitive school have nervous breakdowns if all their professors schedule their exams for the same week,” Froid’s memo read. “Once those feelings are coupled with existential dread about one’s career prospects, it is no wonder high percentages of students report feelings of anxiety and depression.”
The memo then recommends that operatives infiltrate the other schools’ counseling centers and career centers and implement current Hopkins policies.
These internal documents have also revealed that Hopkins is concerned that other peer institutions have already infiltrated the University’s administration, especially given the job turnover rate in positions like the Coordinator for the First Year Experience, numerous positions in the Office for Student Leadership and Involvement and Dean of Student Life (R.I.P. Tiffany Sanchez 2013-2018).
Some students have speculated that this turnover is the result of a University purge of suspected outside agents. When asked by The News-Letter, the University sent a statement denying the existence of its own strike force and that of other institutions despite evidence otherwise.
“No, please stop sending us questions. This was not part of my job description. I just got hired a week ago,” the statement read.
Students have responded with resigned indifference to these revelations.
“This strike force thing honestly does not surprise me. Is there anything real about this school? Is there even an ‘s’ after John or was that a ploy to make us seem quirkier?” junior Freddie Nitcha said. “Can’t they just use this strike force to staff Brody café past midnight?”