The Hoof is a satire column created to find the humor in the daily life of Cal Poly students. If you’re looking for news, this is not it. If you’re looking for sports, this is kind of it, because we’re having a ball. Ha. Puns.

Nicki Butler is a political science junior. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of Mustang News.

In a recent letter to the editor, biological sciences professor Pat Fidopiastis stated that he “didn’t win the prestigious University Teaching Award at Cal Poly by creating an environment of fear and retaliation.” He also boasted his student evaluation scores in an effort to defend against anonymous students claiming he has made unsafe and racist comments about COVID-19. 

Things were getting pretty sticky, but thank goodness, a white-presenting man who makes six figures quickly came onto the scene to defend his own honor. One may think that the best way to address controversy is by taking accountability, but genius, father of two with a PhD Pat Fidopiastis knew better. He saw the pain and hurt that his reckless actions and racist comments caused students and applied the only thing he could think of to make it better — gaslighting! 

Fidopiastis said in his letter to the editor, and I quote, “giving people some autonomy over their health would have gone a long way toward easing tension in society.” I am so glad that Fidopiastis brought forward the novel idea of bodily autonomy. As a woman, I have never thought about how much more relaxed I would be if I had the rights to my body. 

In the last paragraph of his painful “apology” (for lack of a better word), Fidopiastis expressed his “frustration that politics has seeped into public health.” It is tragic that for the very first time, in the year 2020, politics has finally clawed its way into the public health sector. Perhaps Fidopiastis forgot about the time that Africans in the United States were decreed by the prevailing medical authority as medically different from whites, therefore justifying slavery. He must also have forgotten about the 60,000 disabled, Black, Indigenous, immigrant or poor Americans who were sterilized due to eugenics. Not to mention the 400,000 Jewish individuals that also were sterilized under that bunk science. I guess the more than a thousand abortion restrictions passed since Roe v. Wade also slipped his mind. I guess public health has been plagued by politics for quite a long time, but poor Fidopiastis didn’t notice much until it affected him. 

Fidopiastis also states that he believes the “worst-case scenario public health model of Dr. Fauci and others greatly exacerbated our problems.” This was a relief to hear because I was a little worried about the current state of the pandemic. After 3.15 million deaths and 150 million cases, I was starting to feel like this was the worst-case scenario. And as far as the sly shot at America’s sweetheart, Dr. Fauci, I would have thought Pat would have more respect for a person who has received dozens of awards. After all, I’m sure Dr. Fauci didn’t win the prestigious Presidential Medal of Freedom by creating an environment of fear and retaliation. 

Fidopiastis spent 1,183 words to tell the Cal Poly community this: he knows he made students uncomfortable with his racist, white-male-centered, and reckless actions, but it shouldn’t matter because eight years ago he got an award from the place he works, goddamnit! 

We’re so lucky to have such an accomplished individual like Pat at Cal Poly. Since he likes bragging about awards so much, The Hoof would like to honor him with the Worst Opinion Ever Award.

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