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With the Icky and the Eeeebola…

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Well, this sounds like a sensible and reasonable precaution:

Navarro College is not accepting any new applications from students residing in Africa – all of Africa, not just those five countries on the continent with confirmed cases of the Ebola virus.

The Texas community college made the news cycles last week for sending rejection letters to Nigerian applicants that said “Navarro College is not accepting international students from countries with confirmed Ebola cases.” Navarro initially apologized for “misinformation” provided to prospective international students, but later, Dewayne Gragg, the college’s vice president of access and accountability, issued an updated statement saying that administrators believe it to be the responsible course to postpone recruitment “in those nations that the Center for Disease Control and the U.S. State Department have identified as at risk…. We are eager to resume accepting student applicants from these countries as soon as possible.”

In an interview Gragg clarified that non-African countries with Ebola cases – which would include Spain and, yes, the United States (where Texas has been ground zero) – are not encompassed by the new application policy. By contrast, he said that the college’s policy is to return new applications from any African country.

And the kicker:

Asked why the policy is so broad as to include prospective students in African countries without any Ebola cases, Gragg said the interview was getting into territory that isn’t relevant, but added, “We have made this decision based on what we feel is best for the safety of our students.”

Pity is, this may well turn out to be a remarkably successfully publicity stunt, with Fox News viewers elbowing each other aside to send their little darlings to Navarro…

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  • Asked why the policy is so broad as to include prospective students in African countries without any Ebola cases, Gragg said the interview was getting into territory that isn’t relevant,

    That is the most stunning misuse of the word “relevant” I’ve seen in a while, and I object to discovery requests for a living.

    • DrDick

      They are all of a suspiciously dusky hue.

      • mojrim

        Bingo!

    • J. Otto Pohl

      What about lecturers? If I applied for a job there would the rejection letter actually say, “Sorry, but we can not accept anybody who has worked in Africa because of the threat of Ebola?” Because I would like to have a letter like that.

      • DrDick

        That really would be a hall of fame worthy rejection letter.

      • Warren Terra

        Sorry, Otto, to protect myself from risk of Electronic Ebola I’m not going to be reading your comments. They’re coming from Africa, after all! One can’t be too careful. Heck, they’re even coming from West Africa, which makes my deliberately parodic precautions slightly less absurd than those of Navarro College.

      • that kid in the corner

        DO IT OTTO

        (To make sure you get something on letterhead, include a SASE.)

  • Nothing new. I’m barred by the American Red Cross from giving blood because in 2001-2002 I was sexual active with a woman who was born in Nairobi and lived there 1968-1972. See, even though both of us tested negative for HIV in 2002, she might have given me HIV cooties.

    • Gregor Sansa

      But at least not being able to give blood doesn’t harm you very much. Not being able to go to college certainly does (even if it’s a bigoted redneck college).

      But yeah, the blood-giving restrictions do represent extreme petty-mindedness. It makes sense to use the existing questions as an initial screen, as in, if you’re currently eligible, you don’t have to answer any more-detailed questions. But then, if you’re not currently eligible, there should be some way to still clear things up, for instance, “but there are enough tests to show I’m clean even if seroconversion took 5 contagious years”, which is clearly the case for your example.

      • I think I speak for most LGM readers when I say that not being able to attend Navarro College is a benefit, not a detriment.

        • Warren Terra

          I know nothing about Navarro College, but the very purpose of the Community College is such that they’re not supposed to be worth traversing the globe to attend. They’re there to provide remedial and vocational education in the community, to make people already there more employable, to enable them to transition into the university system, and to make their lives richer. These are all worthy, important functions, ones that serve the institution’s Community – but you shouldn’t be drawn to one from across the globe. Any recruitment of international students that this place is doing likely amounts to fraud – either a fraud on the students, who don’t realize how limited an educational institution they’ve selected at a massive expense, or a fraud on the immigration authorities, who’ve approved educational visas for people with no real academic goals who plan to illegally perform unskilled labor and to overstay their visas.

        • prodigal

          During the 1980s it had an excellent program for teaching nurses and great Radio/Television classes, but based on this nonsense it’s gone way downhill in the last three decades.

    • Schadenboner

      Damned slutty bears.

      • Keaaukane

        Yeah, but the “Readers letters to LGM” could be even better than battleship blogging or Friday creatures.

        Dear Sirs. Like many of your readers, I have sometimes doubted the veracity of your readers letters. However, I recently had an experience…

    • MAJeff

      I’m barred because I’ve had sex with a man (at least) once since 1978.

      • DrDick

        I am barred because I had sex with a woman I was married to who got aids from her second husband after we divorced.

        • IOW, Both you and Jeff are barred for reasons as stupid as the reason I’m barred.

    • ChrisTS

      I’m barred because my blood is bad for me and anyone else.

    • Warren Terra

      I was barred because I lived in Europe for a time during the Mad Cow scare (which exclusion also affected vegetarians, not that I am one). I actually only recently discovered there was a time limit on this exclusion (of a decade, I think); not knowing this, I’ve never given blood (except a vial’s worth for the bone marrow registry).

      • Emma in Sydney

        Me too. Even though I was far too poor to eat beef when I lived in London. There’s no 10 Year rule in Australia. They let me donate cord blood when I had a baby later though. Different rules.

      • No time limit on the BSE exclusion for the NZ Red Cross either. Admittedly I was probably eating a lot of bovine spinal tissue when I lived in the UK, in the form of meat pies and hamburgers.

        • Admittedly I was probably eating a lot of bovine spinal tissue when I lived in the UK,

          Yes? Yes?!

          in the form of meat pies and hamburgers.

          That sentence started with such promise and ended so meh.

      • There’s a time limit now? Huh. Good to know. I gave blood regularly until the late nineties, when they retroactively discovered that because I’d lived on an army base in Germany (Fürth, near Nürnberg) from 1979-82, I was at risk of spontaneously becoming a mad cow.

        (I donate in Canada now, where they’re more sensible about that sort of thing. Although now I’m barred because I spent time in a Forbidden Zone in Mexico less than a year ago. Oh well.)

  • KmCO

    So I wiki’d Navarro College and found this:

    The college offered an explanation on October 13, stating that that the rejections were not a result of fears of Ebola, but that its international department had recently been restructured to focus on recruiting students from China and Indonesia.

    As far as excuses go, out of the frying pan and into the fire.

  • MattF

    Haven’t quite gotten to “Exterminate all the brutes,” but I suspect it’s just over the horizon.

  • Hogan

    Are they turning away applicants from Dallas too? I hear they had an outbreak.

    • Are they turning away applicants from Dallas too?

      Yes, but only non-white students. Because mumblemumble.

      • Gregor Sansa

        Wait, are you serious, or is this snark?

        • efgoldman

          Wait, are you serious, or is this snark?

          On this blog? Talking about idiot assholes? Surely you jest.

        • It is snark. But I’m sure there’s someone at Navarro who’s grumbling that all of those kinds carry diseases…

  • DrDick

    In fairness, it is probably far safer for the students if they do not go to Texas. If nothing else, you are more likely to die of ebola there than in Zambia or Nigeria.

  • heckblazer

    My father just left on a trip to Tanzania. He’s about as worried about getting Ebola there as he is getting shot at by Ukrainian separatists during his layover in London.

    • Aimai

      Hey, he should be more careful. That shit happens.

      • heckblazer

        Well, he was transiting Nairobi when those terrorists shot up the shopping mall…

        Though currently he avoids flying through Nairobi due to the current lack of an actual international terminal.

    • Davis X. Machina

      Sister landed in Llongwe, Malawi yesterday on business. Same deal.

      She laughed at the one Facebook freak-out her safe-arrival post elicited.

  • efgoldman

    Why in FSM’s name would anyone from more than 20 miles away want to go to a community junior college in Texas? Is the cafeteria food that good? Do they offer an associate’s degree in beers of the world? Do they not prosecute sexual assault? What?

    • wca

      Why in FSM’s name would anyone from more than 20 miles away want to go to a community junior college in Texas?

      Many community colleges have international exchange programs, so there’s that. My college has international students from S. Korea, Germany, and a few other countries.

      Also, some people go to faraway community colleges to play sports. No, I don’t understand it either, but it happens.

  • Todd

    I’d rather go to Dave Navarro College.

    And in the least surprising news, Navarro College currently offers degrees/certificates of some sort in: Biology, Registered Nursing, Medicine, Medical Lab Technology, Licensed Vocational Nursing, and Emergency Medical Technician…

    • wjts

      I’d rather go to Dave Navarro College.

      I’m pretty sure that the college’s founders mistyped “Nabarro” when they drew up their articles of incorporation.

    • Hogan

      I would totally go to this guy‘s college.

    • wca

      Navarro College currently offers degrees/certificates of some sort in: Biology, Registered Nursing, Medicine, Medical Lab Technology, Licensed Vocational Nursing, and Emergency Medical Technician…

      The absolute last thing any administrator at a community college would do is to consult a (hack, spit) faculty member before putting his foot in his mouth.

      • MAJeff

        The absolute last thing any administrator at a community college would do is to consult a (hack, spit) faculty member before putting his foot in his mouth.

        FTFY.

        • Ahuitzotl

          The absolute last thing any administrator at any community college would do is to consult a (hack, spit) faculty member before putting his foot in his mouth.

          FTFY.

          FFTFY

  • mojrim

    You know, ebola was just the excuse they were waiting for. Now they can focus on recruiting all those high-IQ Asians rather than dangerous and slovenly Africans.

  • RPorrofatto

    Didn’t a school board in Maine put a teacher on leave after she traveled to Dallas to attend a conference that was 15 miles from the hospital where Ebola patients were?

    Although, to be fair, while it was unlikely that the teacher could get Ebola just from being in Dallas, it’s a certainty that she was exposed to Texas. So who can blame them?

    • efgoldman

      Didn’t a school board in Maine put a teacher on leave after she traveled to Dallas to attend a conference that was 15 miles from the hospital where Ebola patients were?

      It was 10 miles, but yes.

      Although, to be fair, while it was unlikely that the teacher could get Ebola just from being in Dallas, it’s a certainty that she was exposed to Texas. So who can blame them?

      Since governor Mucilage of ME is trying to turn his state into a cold-weather version of TX, with mooses instead of cattle, that’s a feature, not a bug.

  • KarenJo12

    Apropos of nothing, the branch of Texas A & M in my hometown offers classes at the Corsicana campus of Navarro. So Commerce, Texas can be on the national news for being stupid. Thanks, guys.

  • FirstDano

    The new black plague has them all a-feared. I’ve invested in companies that make laundry soap and Depends.

    Best,

    D

  • burnspbesq

    There is no (I repeat, no) truth to the rumor that Navarro has hired Campos to be the inaugural dean of its new law school.

    • Joseph Slater

      School motto: “Don’t go to law school here UNLESS you’re not from Africa.”

  • RobertL

    Every time I see someone say that “we” -meaning the US – should ban flights from Africa or students or whatever it makes me want to ban the US in the same way. After all the US has multiple confirmed cases. I don’t think that the person calling for the ban would cope with that.

    • “Visitors who have been in the United States or Spain during the last 22 days are now required to report their medical condition – regardless of whether they are experiencing symptoms of Ebola,” said a statement from Rwandan officials.

    • MAJeff

      We should have closed the borders with Texas. Ohio wouldn’t have be dealing with any of this mess if flights out of Dallas were grounded.

      • Lee Rudolph

        It really is (no joke!) a good thing that she flew rather than taking Greyhound both ways.

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