Yale’s Pandemic Emails as Zodiac Signs

Written by: Ashley Anthony

Edited by: Sophie Lai

Aries: Yale’s Response to the DOJ. 

As an Aries myself, I will attest to our WILL FIGHT YOU nature. Based on my totally comprehensive research (several memes which I found on Tumblr), the rest of the world concurs. I think that you would all agree that the most Aries (read aggressive) email from our beloved Yale University during this season has been Yale’s response to the DOJ. Salovey said, “Uh, I have a spine, thank you very much. Yale College will NOT change its admissions process. Your move, boys.” 

The exact quote, though, was “The department’s allegation is baseless. Given our university’s commitment to complying with federal law, I am dismayed that the DOJ inexplicably rushed to conclude its investigation without conducting a fully informed analysis, which would have shown that Yale’s practices absolutely comply with decades of Supreme Court precedent.

Yale College will not change its admissions processes in response to today’s letter because the DOJ is seeking to impose a standard that is inconsistent with existing law. We will continue to look at the whole person when selecting whom to admit among the many thousands of highly qualified applicants. We will continue to look at what students have accomplished and hope to contribute to Yale and the world. We will continue to create a student body that is rich in a diverse range of ideas, expertise, and experiences.”

Taurus: Marvin Chun’s email after the first faculty meeting on UP/F 

According to Quora user Destiny Reynolds (INFP, 4w5, Lover of meditation and all things spiritual), “Most people don’t understand the ways of the Taurus and don’t care to either. Taurus is represented by the bull for a reason. Think of a bull. Bulls are stubborn creatures. If they don’t wanna do something, they simply will not.”

If that doesn’t read like Dean Chun’s email on April 3 about Universal Pass/Fail, I don’t know what does. Remember when he said that a majority of students supported UP/F and that the majority of the faculty present at the meeting they last held also supported UP/F? And then followed that up with but I still can’t make a decision just yet because before that faculty meeting a survey that we sent out trended the other direction so therefore this discrepancy means we have to redo the survey before we can come to a decision

Yeah, smells like a Taurus to me. 

Gemini: Dean Lazarribar’s email about student belongings 

According to my friends who are better versed in astrology, Geminis are notoriously indecisive and sometimes communicate nothing to us. Do you guys remember when Yale kept emailing us and basically said, hey just a reminder, we have your stuff? I’ve never have a read an email that said more nothing than the following:

Dear students with on-campus housing,


As you finish the last week of classes, I wanted to follow up on the matter of reuniting you with your belongings.

I want to reassure you that we are looking into several different solutions. For the time being, Connecticut remains under a mandatory shut down order until May 20th, and it is not yet clear if that order will be extended or what safety and distancing measures may be in place once the order is lifted. We will advise you of our plan as soon as we can.

I know that this situation creates challenges for everyone. You have been understanding and patient, and I wish I could offer more certainty. I want you to know that this is a priority, and that we will address it at the first opportunity.

As always, I’m thinking of you and hoping you and your loved ones are well. Good luck with finals, and I promise to be in touch with details as soon as possible.” 

Cancer: Laurie Santos’ returning-to-campus email

Cancers are super emotional, very sensitive and incredibly dramatic. This leads me to crown the Cancers of Yale with Laurie Santos’ returning-to-campus email. Unlike Dean Chun’s cautiously optimistic email which basically said, hey guys you can come back to campus if you promise to be really good, Santos laid on the emotion. We got a super dramatic and frightening email, with some infamous quotes being, “We all should be emotionally prepared for widespread infections — and possibly deaths — in our community.You should emotionally prepare for the fact that your residential college life will look more like a hospital unit than a residential college.” If that doesn’t scream Cancer to you, I don’t know what does. Plus, this isn’t even an email that just Silliman or even just Yale students got worried by. Somehow, the email got leaked to the news (months later), and I got messages from my mother about going back to a campus that’s preparing for deaths. Fun. 

Leo: “Looking Forward to a Fall Semester” by Peter Salovey

Everyone knows that Leos are basically in love with themselves. Yale is also in love with itself. There are so many examples of this, but I’ve settled on Salovey’s email from August 14 about returning to campus. Of course Yale’s going to want to make us feel as though they’re doing everything to make it safe for us to come back, but I couldn’t help but feel as though the email was one huge pat on the back. Big Leo energy. A great quote includes, “As a research university, we have a responsibility to contribute knowledge and understanding, particularly during times of turbulence. We must also demonstrate to others the importance of taking actions for the common good based on scientific evidence. Together, we handled the abrupt, unexpected disruption to our work and lives last spring by embracing expert advice. Together, we will continue to be vigilant in the coming year to safeguard public health while maintaining the continuity of Yale’s commitment to education, research, and scholarship.” 

Virgo: “Short and Sweet–and vitally important” 

Refinery 29 describes Virgos as “prissy, critical and anti-fun.” Look, I’m starting this quote with a disclaimer. PLEASE obey social distancing rules, as they are in our best interest and promote the health of the community. That being said, a lot of people on Librex really branded the email from Salovey on August 21 as prissy, critical and anti-fun. The most memorable quote reads, “No student in the New Haven area, whether enrolled, withdrawn, or on a leave of absence, may host, invite others to, or attend a party with more than 10 people, whether on or off campus. Yale is prepared to enforce this policy with disciplinary action if necessary.” Whoops. 

Was Laurie Santos right? Perhaps. But more than angering irresponsible folk who wanted to throw ragers as if there wasn’t a pandemic already raging, the email definitely has big Virgo energy. You can tell that Salovey is stressed, but still trying to hold his ground on reopening even after many colleges have been forced to close due to irresponsible behavior. It’s like he’s a nervous middle school theater teacher who knows that funding for the music department depends completely on how well the school’s production of Fiddler on the Roof goes, but also knows that the Tevye’s actor is incompetent and can’t sing for his life. I have never met a Virgo that doesn’t exude that exact nervous energy, and I also have never met a Virgo that wasn’t tangentially related to theater. 

Libra: “COVID-19 – Moving courses online and other significant updates coupled with COVID-19 Update – First Confirmed Yale COVID-19 Case; Extending Online Instruction to End of Spring Semester; Campus and Staffing Considerations”

Libras are supposedly people-pleasers. Do you guys remember when Peter Salovey told us that we were trying to get back on campus by April 5?  He really said, “When spring recess ends and through April 5 at the earliest, classes will be held using Zoom, Canvas, or other online tools. I know classes take many forms across the university, so this shift to online teaching and learning raises many questions. Deans will be communicating with their faculty and students to provide further details in the days ahead.”  

Four days later, Yale got its first COVID-19 case and classes were moved online for the rest of the semester. He tried to please us so badly in that first email by making us feel as though we would be able to return to campus some point soon. Thinking back, I can’t believe how naive we were. 

Scorpio: Dean Chun’s returning-to-campus email

Listen, Scorpios, I’m sorry. I googled Scorpio stereotypes and it literally just said snakey. I don’t make the rules. I also know some Scorpios and uh, no comment. But anyway, you might be wondering what email screams Scorpio? This choice isn’t perhaps the most obvious, unless, of course, you’re a sophomore. 

I am obviously talking about Dean Chun’s returning-to-campus email. For most of the people hoping to live on campus, the email was a welcome buoy in the insane sea of quarantine. It was a beacon to the poor, tired masses of college students who were struggling to adjust to being home with their parents and siblings. Yet for sophomores, the elation they felt when that email hit their inbox slowly faded away as they continued to read on. The email which seemingly promised an on-campus return quickly revealed that it was an on-campus return for some. More specifically, a return to campus for everyone but the sophomores. Yes, that’s right, even the first years! Name a snakier move– I’m waiting. Sucked for you guys man, but as a member of the class of ‘22 I can’t relate…yet. 

Sagittarius:Looking Forward to a Fall Semester” by Peter Salovey

Supposedly Saggitarii are idealistic, optimistic, and promise more than they can deliver. I know I already tagged this email as Leo energy but I’m bringing back “Looking Forward to a Fall Semester.” For different reasons, I promise. 

I have never heard anything more blindly optimistic than the sentence, “I look forward to the start of this extraordinary academic year.” Extraordinary indeed. Not to mention that this was followed by, “Together, we will make the fall semester the best it can be. Together, we will educate the next generation, provide solutions to pressing challenges, and ask questions about our world. Together, we will establish new ways to conduct research, share knowledge, and connect with one another. Every obstacle we overcome makes us more capable of addressing the next challenge.”

Capricorn: “Library Reopening Plans for the Class of 2022”

Capricorns are reportedly boring. So you guys get tagged as the Bass reopening email because, honestly, who’s thinking about libraries right now? I’ll tell you who– Capricorns. Power to you guys, I’m sure you’re also the best-prepared for this pandemic and will certainly outlive us all. I’m not quoting this email, it’s literally about the logistics of the library reopenings. Why would you care? 

Aquarius: Yale Alert: TORNADO WARNING

According to, “Aquarians don’t feel compelled to follow anyone’s rules, not even their own. They don’t let people dictate what they should or shouldn’t do; they think for themselves and are rarely influenced by what other people suggest.” 2020 must be an Aquarius (Aquarian?). But perhaps the most unpredictable thing that happened during this pandemic email cycle was getting that Yale Alert about a tornado in Connecticut. Guys, I’m not American, but I thought that this didn’t happen here? I have to be afraid of blizzards and tornadoes? In a pandemic? How is that fair? 

Pisces:Retrieving Essential Items from Your Room”  

Pisces are, according to the Internet, kind and selfless. I’ve focused a lot on the negative stereotypes of Zodiac signs but I feel like we have to end on a somewhat-positive note. Therefore, Pisces get the email from Lizarríbar on March 17, because of the pure and LOVELY PS that she left at the end: “I am concerned that some of you may have pets hidden in your rooms. Now is definitely the time to ’fess up. Please write to your head of college or me now to arrange a rescue mission. Do not use the form; email is faster.”  

I’ve asked my friends if they knew anyone that kept pets in their room expecting them to say, “Oh yeah, I knew someone with a cat.” No, instead they said, “I knew two people with snakes.” Now I’m reconsidering my friends. 

All gifs included in this post were sourced from @grandedame on giphy