Dear University Community,

As we wrap up the academic year
And look forward to summer,
We would like to tell you about
A new and exciting
University initiative entitled
“Rethinking Community,”
Which is inspired by our
Brand – I mean motto –
Pro (Some) Humanitate.

Communities are very important
To universities
Because universities
Have them.
Things that are not universities
Also have communities,
So all of this just goes to show
How great they are
And that we should support them,
And think about them,
And rethink them,
In any way possible.

The first step of our
“Rethinking Community” initiative
Is to “rethink”
The university’s day porters
Over to a company
(Or community)
That is not the university.
As this company
(Or community)
Is not the university,
So we, the university,
Have precisely zero control
Over their labor practices.
In fact, you might say that
These labor practices
Could be characterized
As mysterious
And fundamentally unknown,
Which is sort of thrilling,
Like contemplating what happened
To the Lost Colony of Roanoke
Or the careers of actresses over forty.

This is a real relief to us
As things like salaries and benefits
Take quite a long time to work out,
And there are just so many numbers
And pieces of paper.
We trust that this other company
Will handle all of this now,
The way you might trust
Your pet snake Theodore
Not to bite you.

Our current day porters
Have the opportunity
To reapply for their jobs
With this new company
Slash community.
This reapplication process
Will no doubt remind them
How much they belong
To a community,
Just not quite the same community
That they belonged to before.

Indeed, some faculty members
In the humanities
Have no doubt noticed that we
“Rethought” the day porter
Who used to work in your building
Over to another building,
So you will never see him again.
But we trust that this other building
Will prove to be an exciting
New community for him
As he considers his new salary,
Which has also been rethought.

Day porters who have worked
For the university for decades
May wish to consider early retirement
In light of these rethought salaries,
In which case they can look forward
To the enriching communities
That come with that phase of life.

Our new contract facilities staff
Will also have the opportunity
To work in the middle of the night,
Thus fostering the kind of community
Enjoyed by people deemed
Not fit to be seen.

And these new employees
Will join the wonderful and enriching
Community of outsourced labor
On this campus, which includes
Our dining services employees,
Who work for ArrowMark,
Fine purveyor of hockey puck-esque
Chicken cutlets
And poverty wages.

The money that the university
Saves by implementing this initiative
Will be hoarded in a cave
Modeled on the dragon’s cave in Beowulf
And occasionally dispensed
For community-building events such as
Puppies on Campus.

This new labor arrangement
Should also benefit our student-clients,
As we hope to communicate to them
Not only the core values of
A liberal arts education,
But also a strong sense
Of who matters
And who does not.

Have a great summer!

Cordially, Your University’s Administration
(Not currently being rethought in any way)