Shalala’s April Fool’s Day e-mail confuses some, has real meaning


Many students woke up Wednesday morning with a few questions after checking their e-mail boxes. Was it okay to walk on the grass? Wasn’t it before? Had someone hacked university president Donna E. Shalala’s e-mail account?

The truth is much simpler. No, the message sent to the student body wasn’t an April Fool’s Day joke. But it definitely didn’t have the serious tone of previous communications from her.

“So here’s your charge for today. Make getting from your Point A to B a straight line. YOUR straight line,” Shalala wrote in her e-mail, which was received by students this morning. “Ride your bikes and walk across the grass and the Green.”

Shalala has mentioned in the past that she would like to see students use the grass more in their everyday routine, noting that campus planners observe frequently-used grass paths for possible paved paths in the future. This fact was mentioned in the e-mail.

When contacted by e-mail, Shalala told The Miami Hurricane that the tone of the e-mail was affected by the day, and that the message was driven by the “perfect weather.” She plans to follow up on the message if students seem receptive, but it depends on the effectiveness of today’s message.

To read the full message from President Shalala, click here.