A Cornell University lecturer sent out an email asking his class for help identifying two maskless students, including one with a ‘fairly prominent hooked nose,’ so he could flunk them for not covering their faces.
Bruce Monger, a senior lecturer in oceanography, sent out the call last week, complete with detailed physical descriptions of the two rebellious students.
‘One student is a male with red hair and a fairly prominent hooked nose,’ Monger wrote. ‘The other student is a male who was sitting to the left of the red head.’
Using the online learning platform Canvas, he warned the class: ‘If/when I find the identity of these two students, I will be failing both for the semester as I promised I would in class last Wednesday.’
Cornell, in Ithaca, New York, has an indoor mask and vaccine mandate for students and faculty meant to minimize the spread of COVID-19.
Bruce Monger, a senior oceanography lecturer, called out two students by their physical appearance in an email last week. He said one had a prominent ‘hooked nose’
He was asking for help identifying two students who showed up to a class without a mask
Monger messaged the entire class through the online learning platform Canvas. The email first published by the Twitter account Libs of Tik Tok
The email was first published by the Twitter account Libs of Tik Tok on Monday.
Monger sent the message to his Introductory Oceanography class, one of three courses he teaches at the Ivy League school, according to his faculty page.
‘I wanted to ask you for your help in identifying two ocean students who were photographed with their masks off during the ocean class last Friday,’ Monger wrote. ‘They were sitting next to each other in the balcony’s front row of seating.’
He went on to include vivid descriptions of the students’ appearances.
‘One student is a male with red hair and a fairly prominent hooked nose.
‘His hair was pretty long (just below the bottom of his ears) and is pretty thick and wavy. He was wearing a blue sweatshirt and was eating something at the time.
The other student is a male who was sitting to the left of the red head. He has short brown hair maybe 1 – 1/2 to 2 inches in length and small a nose. He wore a grey hoodie sweatshirt. He spent the whole lecture with his mask down around his chin.’
Cornell requires all faculty and staff to wear a mask on campus unless they’re in a ‘private, non-shared space (e.g., office or dorm room), when alone in an office, or when eating.’
The university also requires students and faculty to be vaccinated, citing an executive order by President Biden that requires employees of federal contractors to get the shot.
Cornell, an Ivy League college in Ithaca, New York, has an indoor mask and vaccine mandate
The university said Monday that Monger acknowledged the email was not ‘appropriate’
About 97 percent of the campus population is vaccinated, the university says.
Cornell stood by Monger on Monday afternoon, saying that the lecturer ‘regularly advised his students of the mask requirement, noting potential consequences for failing to comply.
‘Dr Monger has since acknowledged that his approach to dealing with unmasked students in class was not handled in an appropriate manner.’
Social media users were shocked by the professor’s brazen descriptions and his intention to fail the students for not wearing a face covering.
‘What is wrong with these people? It’s not that serious. Failing for not wearing a mask? It’s ludicrous,’ one person wrote.
Another one said: ‘would be funny if he lost his job faster then identify the students… also the “hooked nose” parts sonds very racist if no antisemetic for me…’
Not everyone was critical, with some praising the teacher for standing up for his other students.
Monger’s email prompted backlash when it was first posted to social media
‘Yeah, ignore that the lecture hall is packed with 800 students and immunocompromised students have voiced their concerns to the prof time and time again. Ignore that Monger told the class this multiple times beforehand, and reminded everybody about the mask policy,’ one person wrote.
Cornell’s response was also slammed.
‘How about you fire him instead of making some lame statement on a Twitter post that does nothing but virtue signal and gives a facade that you’re actually doing something? This behavior is absolutely uncalled for,’ one person said.
Introductory Oceanography is mostly ‘spent covering standard topics found in almost any introductory oceanography class. The students, however, are given a much more realistic view of the role of microbes in carbon cycling in the ocean than is typically found in most introductory courses,’ the university says.
Some defended the lecturer for looking out for his other students during a pandemic
‘The last third of the semester is spent describing environmental threats facing the ocean and the issue of global warming.’
Monger holds a PhD in Biological Oceanography from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, according to his CV.
A 2019 article in the Cornell Daily Sun, an independent daily student newspaper, portrays Monger as someone who uses his position to impart civic knowledge.
‘Monger is known for his passion to keep students civically engaged. In previous years, he has handed out voter registration forms, and personally brought them to the post office. He also assigns students to complete a letter to their respective government officials, arguing for environmental policy change,’ the newspaper wrote.
A student said: ‘I think my favorite part of the class is the fact that he tries to push taking care of the planet and conserving the planet that gives so much to us.
‘He wants us to understand that the planet is not something that we should be playing around with because we’re going into our sixth mass extinction.’