Just Joshing

Dear colleagues,

I went to the movies recently. It’s good to get out and get away from it all for a bit. I wanted to see Dune but it was sold out. So I ended up wandering into Raoul Peck’s Lamumba: Death of a Prophet. Peck asked something in the film that really got me thinking, “Is a holocaust the only unit that can measure the human race?” Woa buddy! I nearly choked on my BunchaCrunch the question was so intense! But it got me thinking…what would I do in the face of a holocaust? I don’t know. I mean, I’m a science guy, not a historian.

In case you missed it, here are just some of the most exciting things that have happened around the Graduate Center during my tenure:

We’ve successfully recolonized reopened the Dining “Commons.” Faculty and students who want to pay too much for subpar food without having to think about poverty-level graduate student wages or the ongoing genocide in Palestine can simply eat in peace and quiet. It was simply untenable (and unsanitary!) to allow students to be in control of the Dining “Commons.” Students were doing things like organizing clothing drives for migrants, teach-ins for Palestine, potlucks for “Strike School,” and running a “no questions asked” food pantry.

The food pantry system we have is much better: Simply find room 8303 on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday from 3-6pm. Be prepared to show your Graduate Center ID and give us your household demographic information. We decided to put the food pantry in a closet on the 8th floor and only have it open a few hours a week so that way you can properly hide your shame. It would be unfortunate if a friend or colleague saw you grabbing something from the former pantry in the Commons. Then you might talk to each other about how much it sucks that your school can’t even pay you enough to buy food. You might even make a friend or join the strike campaign!

In case you missed it, I continue to uphold the CUNY bureaucratic legacy of welcoming Zionism into the community. Just last month we hosted a conversation with author Adam Shatz. Shatz is capable of such impressive mental gymnastics he was able to misread Frantz Fanon so magnificently he used Fanon’s writings as a way to accuse Palestinians of enacting “vengeful pathologies.” It’s events like these that make us one of the top public institutions in the world!

I’m sure many of you were excited to see our esteemed colleague Paul Krugman continue to bloviate in his newsletter with the New York Crimes. He managed to perform some shotty political economic analysis slathered in an even worse sense of history while making the case to increase the Pentagon’s budget in an Op-Ed last October 31st. That piece was almost as good as my favorite tweet of his from 2020: “Overall, Americans took 9/11 pretty calmly. Notably, there wasn’t a mass outbreak of anti-Muslim sentiment and violence, which could all too easily have happened. And while GW Bush was a terrible president, to his credit he tried to calm prejudice, not feed it.” Keep on trucking, Paul!

In closing, I’d just like to reiterate my comments in response to a student’s question as to why the Graduate Center has not put out a statement condemning the genocide, scholasticide, or the apartheid and occupation of Palestine: “I mean, I think it’s not my job as the President of the Graduate Center to comment on what’s going on. I can’t do things outside, obviously more than just these four walls, or within CUNY as a whole…I don’t think we’re gonna say anything, even if I was allowed to. And I won’t get into that point, um that’s my feeling.” I think I’ve made myself perfectly clear here, but in case you have any questions, my inbox is always open.

These are difficult times. These are complex times. But spring has sprung and with every new crocus that blooms an international student doesn’t get paid on time; with every lily an NYPD officer harasses a Muslim student; and with every tulip, our collective silence in the face of the greatest atrocity of our time grows louder.

But hey, at least I’m better than Garrell, right?

Just Joshing,

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