The following content is purely satirical and entirely fictional. This article is part of The Daily Princetonian’s annual joke issue, which you can find in full here. Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet!
“I didn’t want to climb the social ladder,” said Richard “Dick” Tator ’22, an economics concentrator. “I wanted to break it.”
Tator was recently made host of the Zoom room of his seminar, ECO 420: “Business Ethics II: How to Maximize the Profit Margins of Selling Your Soul,” and the digital fallout has been unprecedented.
When a revealing message was unintentionally sent to the whole class, Professor Tyra Nickle, embarrassed, left the meeting. In doing so, she inadvertently ceded her powers as host to an unassuming student.
The message, meant to be a private chat from Professor Nickle to an unidentified recipient, read “After being rejected at H*rvard, I had to accept a position at Cornell.”
The Daily Princetonian caught up with Tator in a Zoom room that once functioned as the virtual lecture hall of the seminar. It has since been taken over as the student’s personal Zoom room.
“I was just overwhelmed with the power,” said Tator.
The lecture topic on the day in question was the digital job market. It focused on attractive new positions for Princeton graduates where they can apply their digital skills, such as Instagram-caption consulting or Snapchat networking.
“We were all just sitting in class like usual, muted, cameras off,” Tator told us, “When there was a pause in the lecture and we saw a message pop up in the chat. It was clearly not meant for the whole class.”
After Professor Nickle left the Zoom room and Tator was dubbed host, he immediately set to work establishing a new order.
“I had to think quickly because I knew it was only a matter of time before the professor returned,” Tator said.
He enabled the waiting room, which allowed him to vet participants before they entered his Zoom room.
Tator has since presided over the Zoom room, pursuing such stringent measures as requiring cameras to be on and disabling filters, virtual backgrounds, and non-host private chats. While Tator’s peers were initially amused by his antics, his continued reign has lost any of its original mirth.
“Tator has become absolutely unhinged,” one disgruntled student told us. “This is just another example of why you should never trust an economics major — the power never fails to go to their heads.”
“This is completely classic,” said another student in ECO 420. “The whole situation has big Dick energy written ALL over it.”
Another student reports that Tator constantly places participants in breakout rooms, which he then joins unannounced to “monitor progress.”
Students new to Tator’s zoom room have commented on the “horrifying” and “disturbing” image of him laughing silently before they are able to “join with computer audio.”
“It is something that will haunt my nightmares during my two hours of nightly sleep,” said classmate Engi Neerin ’23.
After being asked why they continue to stay in the course, one student explained, “Duh. It’s my stepping stone to HBS [Harvard Business School].”
The ‘Prince’ tried to contact Professor Nickle; however due to the fact that she is still stuck in Tator’s Zoom waiting room, she was unavailable for comment.
“I pray for the day they let her out,” said Nickle’s husband in an email to the ‘Prince.’ He referenced the negative impact of an absent mother on his children.
“I felt really bad for Professor Nickle,” said one student. “She’s so trusting, I’m sure she was fully expecting to be let back in.”
While this level of power and corruption is novel to Princeton’s virtual semester, similar occurrences have been reported on a smaller scale.
In the haze of a midterms preparation frenzy, Professor Hellens accidentally enabled screen sharing capabilities for her introductory classics course. Students in this course, quickly enticed by this new ability, did not hesitate to take advantage of the opportunity.
“Before I knew it, I was subject to the dance stylings of that Jackson Deludo Toktik star, whatever his name is. I will never be able to forget that image,” said Professor Hellens.
The ‘Prince’ believes Professor Hellens was referring to a bootleg performance of Jason Derulo’s underwhelming Lawnparties performance.
The recent proliferation of students taking advantage of professors online has had such a far-reaching impact that it prompted administrators to take action.
“In light of these unfortunate circumstances, the administration will henceforth implement a new committee tasked with digital oversight,” announced President Christopher Eisgruber ’83 in his weekly Campus Message email. “We regret that it has come to the point of action from administration and are deeply disappointed in the integrity of our students.”
However, while this may have been one of the first occurrences of such a circumstance, Tator predicts that it will be far from the last.
“Chris can do whatever he wants,” said Tator. “But until we get back on campus, he’s just going to have to deal with us doing what is necessary to get by in these unprecedented times.”