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Princeton reallocates COVID-19 resources to enforce campus ‘compassion mandate’

<h5><em>A screenshot from the University’s Twitter account.</em></h5>
<h6><em>Courtesy of @Princeton / </em><a href="https://twitter.com/Princeton/status/1503364583301472259" target="_self"><em>Twitter</em></a></h6>
A screenshot from the University’s Twitter account.
Courtesy of @Princeton / Twitter

The following content is purely satirical and entirely fictional. The screenshot above is totally real though … like they actually posted that. 

With its mask mandate expiring, Princeton took to social media to announce a new community-wide policy: “Masks optional. Compassion required.” Few anticipated the immense efforts that the University would take to impose these new guidelines. 

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All resources previously employed by the University to curb the spread of COVID-19 have now been repurposed to ensure compliance with the “campus compassion mandate.” 

Reporters for The Daily PrintsAnything found that now, rather than policing Firestone Library to ensure students’ masks cover their noses and mouths, security guards in the library now stroll around reminding students to be nice to each other. Instead of requiring face coverings, Dillon Gymnasium now requires students to compliment fellow gym-goers at least three times per hour.

“If you walk by someone else without audibly admiring their lifting form, know that I will not hesitate to have you removed,” said one Dillon Gym staff member, who was previously tasked with making sure no runners wore their masks below the nose. 

Other campus departments have found more creative ways to repurpose resources.

“We’ve just been using the extra to-go boxes as fun little hats,” said one Campus Dining employee. “They really put everyone in a good mood!”

Students are encouraged to report any non-compassionate behavior through EthicsPoint, the University’s anonymous hotline previously used for COVID-19 restriction violations.

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The former COVID-19 Dashboard has been repurposed to track transgressions. Fifty eight students have received disciplinary probation for lacking compassion thus far, according to the Dashboard. COVID-19 isolation housing has been repurposed as a temporary “time-out” for these minor offenders.

Seven other students have been expelled from the school for more egregious violations. 

“You forget to say ‘bless you’ when someone sneezes, and suddenly you’re on a flight home,” one anonymous student told The Daily PrintsAnything. 

Some campus spaces have received exemptions to the new measures. Certain environments where the University encourages callousness, such as Committee on Discipline and Honor Committee hearings, will not require individuals to act compassionately. The Interclub Council (ICC) has also preemptively secured an exception to the compassion mandate for bicker discussions next year.  

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Zachary Shevin is a senior in the economics department and previously served as a Managing Editor at the ‘Prince’. He’s really nice (please don’t expel him) and can be reached at zshevin@princeton.edu.

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