Teaching “American Civilization and the Futures of Blood Harvesting”
NEW YORK — A swarm of blood-thirsty mosquitoes has been hired as a 2015-2016 visiting faculty member with the Macaulay Honors College of the City University of New York.
A spokesperson for the swarm of blood-thirsty mosquitoes told press that the mosquitoes had received several lucrative, blood-rich offers from high-profile schools including Yale, Cornell, and Georgetown. The swarm, however, chose CUNY for its historical commitments to diversity and educational accessibility, as well as its hospitality toward the blood-sucking insects.
In a joint-statement, Ann Kirschner, Dean of Macaulay Honors, and CUNY Chancellor James B. Milliken called the hiring “a boon” for a CUNY system seeking to raise its profile in an increasingly competitive public education environment: “We see this as an opportunity for students to finally engage with real mosquitoes without the paternalistic intervention of know-it-all, liberal elitist professors.”
Anticipating the potential controversy in hiring a swarm of blood-thirsty mosquitoes, the statement preemptively defended the choice: “Regardless of their agenda to liberate humans of inconvenient and potentially harmful excess blood, not a person in the world is unaware of the massive social influence of mosquitoes. Our students will have a unique opportunity to learn about the impending blood harvest firsthand from a distinguished swarm with extraordinary experience and expertise in international blood management, sucking technology, and lingering near an ear while making a high-pitched whine.”
Still, not everyone has greeted the mosquitoes with open veins.
Shortly after the initial press release, J.K. Trotter of Gawker reported that CUNY has offered the swarm of mosquitoes a $200,000 base salary to teach only one course per semester. In a system currently plagued by austerity-induced budget shortfalls, some faculty and students have seen this move as ideologically motivated and fiscally irresponsible.
On his website, Corey Robin, professor of political science at Brooklyn College, called the decision “more of the same from the current CUNY administration.” He continued, “CUNY Central has been pursuing a pro-swarm, anti-blood agenda for years now in an effort to court publicity. But a move like this, with its hefty price-tag, takes precious resources — not least of all blood — away from students who need it the most.”
Sources close to the swarm have claimed that the mosquitoes are prepared to decline the $200,000 salary if enrolled students voluntarily submit one pint of blood each to United Mosquitoes for Famine Relief, an organization committed to ending the ravenous blood-hunger of mosquitoes globally.
Macaulay students themselves are divided on the issue of the swarm’s hire. Matt Johnson, a Macaulay Honors freshman, said of the swarm, “I will probably try to enroll in their class. I have always been taught that college is about a diversity of perspectives, and how can you get more diverse than a class that’s team-taught by a swarm? If we aren’t willing to hear them out or take a few welts, then what’s the point of intellectual freedom? We shouldn’t be coddling students.”
Other Macaulay students like sophomore Cora Jímenez, expressed doubts: “Mosquitoes always like me in particular. I don’t know why. I am always very proactive with spray. I’ve tried citronella candles. Nothing works. My bites really swell up, too. I don’t want to be coddled, but if I were to take the class, I would expect at least trigger warnings from the swarm if we are going to discuss biting.”