As of April 1, 2016, more than one hundred Drexel University students have been hospitalized with an ailment that is believed to be connected with reintegration to the quarter system after experiencing six months of the cooperative education (co-op) program. The illness was initially suspected to be the norovirus, which has recently swept nearby campuses such as Ursinus College and Lafayette University. However, the symptoms found in students on Drexel’s campus were determined to be unique from these previous incidents.
Richard Head, a medical student at the Drexel University Medical Playground (DUMP), was able to find a few spare moments to speak to The Rectangle about the influx of student patients. “We’re seeing a lot of people coming in the same way. Their eyes are glassy and they seem to be looking into the distance, as if they’re questioning all of their life decisions up to this point in order to determine where exactly they went wrong. Most have a very artificial smile plastered on their faces, while a select few have burst into uncontrollable sobs. Some will be doing both simultaneously,” he said, looking worriedly at his notes.
“It’s been particularly difficult because I can’t seem to get anyone’s medical history,” Dr. Doug Graves, a physician at the hospital, explained in an interview. “Every time I ask the students about their past conditions, they give me what sounds like their elevator pitches. One patient just kept pulling resumes out of her bag over and over. She must have had at least a hundred in there. We eventually had no choice but to sedate her.”
Matt Tress has been hospitalized for six days, and only recently became well enough to speak to the newspaper. “I was in the middle of telling my engineering class my five year plan. The next thing I knew, I was here [in the hospital],” Tress explained. “I just want to go back to work. I don’t remember how to study. Oh, god, what if I don’t get a job again because I’ve forgotten how to study? What if I fail out?”
Tress then proceeded to give the reporter a copy of his resume in case there should be any paid openings at The Rectangle office. At this, the reporter buckled to their knees in uncontrollable laughter. They have also since been hospitalized.
“We have the utmost sympathy for those afflicted and wish them all a speedy recovery. However, I have failed to find any evidence that directly ties this illness to our innovative co-op program and the university in general.” Drexel President Frizzle Fries stated in an interview. He also expressed that students should not allow their morale to falter, as they always have the Schuylkill Meters initiative to put them back to work in the near-ish future, lest they do indeed fail out.
“I see no reason to cancel classes because of this epidemic. I just don’t think it’s what the students would want,” Fries elaborated. “Our motto here is ‘think different.’ Most students get an education and then get a job. At Drexel University, they learn to do both at the same time, regardless of the mental trauma. Their bodies are just trying to annihilate themselves, and guess what: that’s all part of experiential learning. To cancel class would interrupt that learning – unless any other college in the city decides to cancel class, then we’ll go down like a wet domino. Wait – has someone else cancelled class? Can somebody check?”
Although it is unclear how the ailment spreads, students who fear they may be afflicted should be on the lookout for the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, a firm handshake, sleeping in your interview blazer, dry heaving, a sudden urge to drink excessive quantities of alcohol, existential crises, depression, crying into your coffee, mild to severe diarrhea, and obsessive resume editing during class time. If left untreated, victims may suffer the tragic fates of GPA death.