It began with a seemingly harmless question: “So, like, what internships have you done?” 

It might as well have been a slap across the face. 

Before long, the two UR pre-med students were engaged in an uncomfortably passive-aggressive conversation over who had a greater claim to the divine right to study medicine.

The incident occurred in the First-Year Quad after Karen Who (B.S. Neuroscience ‘22, Expected M.D. ‘26) and Vanessa Oz (B.S. Brain and Cognitive Science, B.A. Economics with minors in Legal Studies and Japanese and clusters in Dance and Optics ‘23) broached the subject of how busy they were. 

“Between overloading, being president of four clubs, and volunteering at Strong, I just have no time to relax,” Who said. “But I just love the grind, you know?”

“I totally get you. Being so totally busy totally reminds me of my internship this summer where I’m totally exploring how rats react to poorly written TV shows,” Oz replied.  

In a particularly heated moment, onlookers reported that it appeared Oz tried to papercut Who using her laminated CV. 

“Don’t worry. Brain surgery is not for everyone, Karen. Maybe you should look into pediatrics instead,” Oz was heard saying. 

Reactions to the incident have been mixed. 

“This is why I’m not a pre-med,” a representative from the Society for Biology Majors That Are Not Pre Meds (SBMTANP) commented.

“This is literally her first time coming out from the library. After our first week, she moved her mattress into Gleason and started sleeping there,” Karen’s roommate, Samantha, said with a sigh. She paused to wipe a tear. “I thought I was finally getting my roommate back. But then this happened. Her ego is shattered.”

Administration briefly commented on the incident in an email, making a vague reference to an undescribed event and reassured students that the incident was “not consistent” with the “diversity and culture of inclusiveness that the University seeks to foster.” The email ended with a reminder to all students that “pre-meds are humans, too.”

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“I think the biggest challenge, honestly, for nonprofits, and for leaders and managers, even in the most progressive spaces, is capitalism,” Rich said.