Open Letter Regarding SASS

Dear Harvard Business School Community,
We have received a flood of inquiries about the new Severe Acute Show Syndrome (SASS) that is affecting scores of people within the HBS community. CDC and WHO have updated their recommendations regarding the outbreak of SASS, and suggest you look for the following symptoms amongst your fellow students:
o Whispering to self in a mysterious accent
o Babbling deliriously about getting
a “solid four hours” of sleep last night
o Incessant humming
o Rifling through your closet
seeking things that “suit my character”

Many of these symptoms flare up in the presence of other infected parties. Humming volume may increase; accents may become more pronounced; and cackling laughter ensues about seemingly random events involving Gaurav or Taylor. Patient’s history may include an unexplained period of professional dancing, acting, or singing that has nothing to do with a business career. In weeks seven and eight of the infection, the patient will cease to make comments in class. At this advanced stage, discussing any topics other than “The Show” will cause the patient to have glazed, watery eyes and withdraw from further social contact.

RC student Larry Wasserman describes the insidious nature of the disease: “The lethargy in class, the rapid weight gain from not going to Shad, the inability to sustain conversations with members of the opposite sex for more than 30 seconds. If I had SASS, maybe I could use it as an excuse for my behavior.”

Administration is keeping careful watch on the outbreak. Dean Clark is shocked by its rapid escalation: “Infected students walk by me in the halls and snicker while avoiding eye contact. What happened to a simple smile and ‘Hello’?” (NOTE: If you happen upon someone with SASS, the safest action is to provide them with a writeup and quickly remove yourself from the area).

While there continues to be confusion and mystery surrounding the disease, authorities agree that the best defense is knowledge. In light of this, students with SASS will be holding information sessions in Burden Auditorium on April 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 5th at 8pm.

Our thoughts are with all sufferers of SASS and their families during this difficult time.

March 31, 2003
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