An Open Letter to President Kaplan, who “was wrong”

Lindsay Giovannone, Sports Editor

To President Kaplan,

This week, we have learned that being in a position of authority does not place you above the rules. On Sept. 9, you were seen in the Beckerman Recreation Center with your face covering lowered, and being used as a chin strap, rather than as a preventative health measure. A student reported you to the COVID Task Force.

That night, you sent the University of New Haven community a 151-word email with the subject line, “I was wrong.” You addressed the situation and said that you “let your guard down.” You stressed that you were committed to following public health measures and apologized for “this lapse in judgement.”

You are vaccinated. Over 90% of the university is also vaccinated. And if you knowingly choose to not wear your mask properly, then why should 6,961 students also not have lapses of judgment? You made a mistake, and we appreciate that you acknowledge it, but the adage, “Do as I say, not as I do” doesn’t work. The COVID-19 Student Directives in the 2021-2022 Student Handbook highlight, in excruciating detail, every mandatory health and safety protocol, as well as the consequences for violating those measures. Consequences for intentional non-compliance can include suspension, academic probation and cancellation of housing contracts.

Your mask slid down your nose; it’s happened to most of us. But it’s a tough look on the integrity of university leaders. We just want to know – are you apologizing because you truly feel upset you violated stringent policies, or because you were witnessed doing so?