Following the news that Persis Drell will be taking a self-imposed 20% pay cut while the University grapples with the coronavirus’ financial implications, Flipside reporters caught up with the Provost this weekend to see how she’s been handling the change. We found her amidst the swamplands on the edge of campus, in a crumbling wooden shack lit only by a few sputtering candles. After our feeble knocking almost broke the door off its rotting hinges, a withered hand appeared and beckoned us inside. “What brings you to my humble abode, O speakers of the best satire publication on campus, definitely better than those rat bastards at the Daily?” a shrouded figure asked, its voice weak but still recognizably that of Drell.

“Well, it’s about the pay cut you’ve volunteered for yourself, Provost,” one reporter explained as we got settled inside. “We understand that you’ve made some personal sacrifices to help things at Stanford run as best they can, and wanted to ask you about that.” Drell offered us a tea made from chewed-up grass — which we politely declined — before laughed wretchedly. “As you can see,” she began, gesturing about the cramped room, “I’ve been forced into the bitterest of poverty, subsisting only on ‘deliciously imperfect’ vegetables and free refills from a Panda Express water cup.”

“Now I know how it must feel to live in Crothers,” she added. “But don’t mistake my attitude for regret. No, I sleep well at night knowing that by living like this, I’m helping out a group no less a part of our community than you or I: campus service workers.”

This gave us pause: “Ah, um, well. We think that maybe, probably, some of them were kind of… laid off… anyway. Some of the subcontracted ones, that is.”

“Is that so?,” the Provost mused, cracking open one eye to gaze balefully at us. “Well, don’t go around announcing that too loudly. I’m already doing my part! Now, shoo — I have my daily hour of wallowing to get to.”

With that, we scampered off. Though the night chilled our bodies to their core, our hearts nevertheless burnt bright with pride for the noble sacrifices being taken by university leadership in these trying times.

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