President McCartney Email to Students Concerning Bubonic Plague


Cassie Follman ’20, associated editor and managing editor

In light of the recent outbreak of bubonic plague on Smith College’s campus, President Kathleen McCartney sent out an email detailing when vaccinations and treatments will be available to the Smith community. The response from the community has been generally positive, at least, from those who have read it.

The first diagnoses of the bubonic plague came last week. A nameless student went to the health center bleeding from her orifices and shivering with what she assumed was stress-induced symptoms. She was told by health services to fill out the correct paperwork and come back the next day, as there were no available appointments.

The student spoke exclusively to The Sophian about the incident, “I mean, I guess I get it. Without paperwork, how could they know what was wrong with me?” The student, originally diagnosed with a sore throat was prescribed with three cough drops, but returned to the health center a week later. There, she was diagnosed with bubonic plague. The nurse who examined her left the premises immediately and has not been heard from since.

Unknown to the student (who shall remain nameless, even though her identity was leaked last night on the Smith Confessional) she infected at least 300 students in three days. The student said, “I feel bad you know, but like, I’ve gotten some wicked bad colds from people in my house, so you know, karma.”

In response to mounting concerns, President McCartney sent out an email to assure the Smith Community. “The infected students are undergoing treatment and appear to be responding well,” it said, adding, “There is no cause for concern, and all classes will continue as normal. However, Smith offices will be closed until further notice.”

The email included that experimental vaccinations will be given out to students that are, “not lazy enough” to get them. They will be given out on 1:15-2:43 a.m. on Tuesday, Monday and Wednesday.

No student or staff deaths have been reported, and the original student has returned to attending her classes. When asked by The Sophian if she felt supported by teachers and the administration after suffering such an illness, she said, “Well, two of my teachers have been awesome, but when I emailed another about getting an extension he replied, ‘You’re alive aren’t you?’”

The email from President Kathleen McCartney concluded, “I hope that the Smith community has not been too alarmed by this recent outbreak. This Smith administration is treating it with the greatest priority and attention. Please refrain from creating another petition. I have 543 sitting in my inbox currently. All is fine. But, please...I mean it about the petition.”


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