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University Admits "Hybrid Experience" a Typo, Should Have Been "Online"


All Photos in the Public Domain

Looking around on Penn in Touch, where many professors are posting a course prospectus explaining the course format this fall, I couldn't help but notice that the in-person classes that were going to make up the "hybrid" experience are surprisingly missing! But surely a hybrid experience must be a mix of online and in-person, as the name would suggest. 

While of course, safety comes first and I would never want professors teaching in-person if they weren't comfortable with it, I was struggling to see how the University could call the fall semester a hybrid experience. Fortunately, I was able to interview President Gutmann and now, it all makes sense to me!

I explained my confusion and Gutmann was an active listener, consistently smiling and nodding her head. I felt that she really understood where I was coming from! She explained to me that the school was embarrassed to report that they had accidentally written the wrong thing in the first email, and had just kept it for simplicity's sake. "Basically, it was a simple typo, we were not at all worried that people would take a leave of absence (They can! We're fine with it!) if they knew that school was just going to be online again and we certainly didn't want to promote misinformation."

I was impressed by Gutmann's genuine admission of a simple mistake. Of course, the University meant to type "online" but accidentally wrote "hybrid," then, out of the goodness of their hearts, didn't correct the mistake so as not to confuse the students. I felt proud to be a part of such an honest, student-minded organization.

"We apologize to anyone this mistake may have harmed," continued Gutmann. "We were actually totally going to explain the mistake before housing confirmation on the 31st so that you could make an informed decision. We were NOT trying to misinform and again full-heartedly apologize."

As I left the interview, Gutmann began drafting an apology email she had scheduled for midnight of the 1st.