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OP-ED: Amy Gutmann Will Die One Day and This Makes Me Sad


Photo by Daniel Xu / The Daily Pennsylvanian

Amy Gutmann — eighth president of the University of Pennsylvania, world-renowned scholar, and certified Bad Bitch — is the pinnacle of human achievement. However, she is mortal, and that means that she will die one day. This fact makes me very sad. 

Although she has done the University of Pennsylvania endless good and it may seem that her rule will perpetuate forever and ever, this is simply not true. Amy Gutmann ages, just like the rest of us. And when you age too much, you die. And when you die you can’t be the president of the University of Pennsylvania. Amy Gutmann is such a fiercely determined woman that she might try to continue her leadership from beyond the grave. That won’t work, because dead people can’t be president of the University of Pennsylvania. 

My world will literally be crumbling after President Gutmann dies, in a figurative sense but also in a very literal sense. Amy G. doesn’t want to divest from fossil fuels because she knows that she’s going to die before the rest of us. But those of us who aren’t privileged to die before Dr. Gutmann will have to live in a world with a significantly lower quality of life because (1) Amy Gutmann will be dead and (2) the Planet Earth will be dead. This also makes me sad. 

There is no solution to this problem because death is inevitable, but, maybe if we cryogenically froze Amy, we might be able to unfreeze her 100 years from now and then she can continue to rule this university with an iron fist. That is if the human race still exists 100 years from now. Because after Amy G., there isn’t really much of a reason for the rest of us to keep on living. And also because climate change will wreak untold havoc on our society and livelihood 20 years from now and cause an untold amount of casualties. But hahahaha fossil fuels are pretty cool, yeah? 

I am not so sad now because Amy Gutmann is still alive. But I’m still pretty sad because Penn still invests in fossil fuels. Maybe if Penn didn’t do that I could be a little bit happier now. Because if Penn doesn’t divest, I’ll be really, really sad 50 years from now, when both Amy Gutmann and the planet will both be dead.