University executives to start wearing ear masks to protect themselves from listening to students

8 December 2020

A University spokesperson announced on Monday that wearing ear masks will be mandatory for all members of the University executive committee in order to slow the spread of student complaints reaching their ears.

From Wednesday, all principal management committee members and additional spokespeople will be required to cover their ears when around students for any of the four permitted reasons: checking emails, conducting Zoom tutorials and conferences, visiting coffee shops, and exercising around Parkville.

According to a university newsletter, the 2020 outbreak of student complaints is the single biggest threat facing University executives. Where this phenomenon used to only involve a limited circle of the student population, and affect the emails of a few unlucky staff members, the rise in case numbers is threatening the integrity and public image of university powers. At least one-half of the committee is believed to be seriously infected at this stage—experiencing symptoms such as awkwardness, lowered self-esteem, and feelings of guilt and shame at the suggestion they are not doing their jobs properly.

“It’s time to take drastic action,” the spokesperson told reporters. “It used to just be UMSU and student journalists bugging us about ignoring the welfare of students this, or financially-exploiting international students that…blah blah blah. One delayed half-assed email later, the matter’s dealt with. Wash your hands afterwards, you’ll be fine. But now even the tamest first-years seem to be trash-talking us on social media.”

“If we’re to protect ourselves and our high paychecks, drowning out the noise entirely is the best solution” they added.

Farrago understands that many executive committee members have already been practising social distancing from student complaints for the past year or longer. The mandatory ear mask rule is only expected to last until student complacency levels are sufficiently under control again, but executives have been encouraged to continue practising safety measures—such as ignoring students, taking no interest in student issues, and other methods of protection—beyond the outbreak.

Farrago and other news sources tried to contact The University for more details about what this would mean for students, tutors and casual staff struggling and needing support during 2020—but received no formal response. However, according to a statement posted late Tuesday night from the University of Melbourne Twitter account, the university announced they would not be taking any more questions at this time.

“We can’t hear you and don’t want to risk doing so,” it said.

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