Officials say Iraq internship poster is a prank

A set of posters and an e-mail purporting to advertise a new Undergraduate Career Services internship program called “Bulldogs in Baghdad” are a practical joke, and no such program will take place, UCS Director Philip Jones said Thursday.

“While the alliteration works, the concept does not,” Jones said. “There is no such program.”

Signs for Bulldogs in Baghdad were posted across the Yale campus Thursday, and an e-mail was sent from the UCS e-mail address to Yale undergraduates on Thursday night detailing the fictitious program.

The e-mail, with the subject line “Announcing Bulldogs in Baghdad,” promised Yalies “exposure to a dynamic and challenging professional environment” in Iraq. It described a pre-summer orientation program focused on security for students and listed activities for participants in the program, including a day trip to the Holy City of Najaf and a tour of the Al-Aqsa Bazaar in Baghdad. Among the companies listed for possible internships were Blackwater Security and Halliburton.

The letter ended with a time and date for an informational meeting for the program, and was signed “David Quint, UCS.” Quint is a comparative literature professor at Yale, but is not involved in Undergraduate Career Services.

Many Yale undergraduates reacted to the e-mail with bemusement.

“I mean, it’s funny,” said Elizabeth Picker ’09. “It’s just subtle enough that it’s weird. It’s a parody of study abroad, but it doesn’t seem to be making a clear point about anything.”

Some students who saw the signs said they were amused, while others thought they were real and a few found the prank offensive.

Diana Zhou ’08, who participated last year in the Bulldogs in Beijing program, said she thought the signs were a good joke.

“I think they’re funny,” she said. “I just hope no one gets confused. I had to stop a second and look at them.”

Some students, including Erin York ’09, said that even though they knew the posters were a joke, they would consider the program.

“I feel like it would be fun to go to Baghdad despite the incredible risk,” York said.

But Hassaan Khan ’08 said he does not appreciate the joke.

“That’s kind of pathetic,” he said. “It’s hardly funny. I don’t know what was the point of this.”

UCS did introduce four new Bulldogs programs — in Brussels, Athens, Hong Kong and Tokyo — Wednesday.

— Rachel Dempsey

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