January 10, 2014 by Justin Roczniak
Winter break has ended. Midterms start next week.
In an ordinary school with ordinary term lengths I might ask you to “pause for a second to reflect on 2013,” but this is Drexel University and we don’t have that kind of time. So let’s skip the introductions and get right to business.
It all began in January, with the country still reeling from the most recent school shooting by the most recent deranged psychopath. Students asked each other in their dormitory hallways (the common rooms long since converted to additional rooms to combat residence hall overcrowding), “Why?” and “How could something like this happen?” These conversations were ended, however, once the news broke that a LeBow student had qualified for the Wing Bowl.
Meanwhile, Drexel administrators found a novel solution to the aforementioned residence hall overcrowding problem: send freshmen to Dublin instead of Drexel. They both start with “D,” so no one will know the difference, right?
February was a milestone month for Drexel: it was ranked ninth in sustainability by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design magazine, EDC Magazine, presumably on account of being 100% wind powered. (If you don’t believe me, it says so right on the side of the University’s buses, next to where it says “Diesel Fuel Only”). Westphal was so excited by this news that they began offering a minor in sustainability, allowing students to sustain their student loan debt for decades into the future.
The University also announced that they were considering possibly switching to a semester system sometime in the future, and resulting riots by the student body claimed the lives of a tenured professor, two Drexel police officers, five adjunct professors and seventy-four freshmen. The school’s propaganda arm, DrexelNOW, hailed the university for “its restraint in handling the situation,” while upperclassmen took it in stride, noting that the freshmen deaths were the first effective solution to residence hall overcrowding the university ever implemented.
Race Hall floors two through six flooded in March. Those who weren’t drowned in the initial deluge ran out with two of every kind of handle: Smirnoff and Stolichnaya, Jim Beam and Jack Daniel’s, Captain Morgan and Kraken, and went forth to repopulate the campus at the nearest Powelton Avenue party. Those students who survived were allowed back in four days later, after spending multiple nights passed out in local gutters and alleys.
Winter term ended in April, and with it ended all our security fears when the Department of Homeland Security chose Drexel for its pilot “campus resilience program.” Never again would students have to fear being shot within two blocks of campus! Features of the program included body-scanners at each dormitory entrance, homeland security personnel armed with automatic weaponry patrolling campus, and publically viewable security cameras in classrooms, hallways and the women’s locker rooms.
Also in April, a Drexel professor turned the side of the Cira Center into a giant game of Pong (as well as several other classic video games), but was then arrested on suspect of terrorism and sedition by the DHS for “taking over a major piece of infrastructure and making it display Tetris, a known Communist game.” The Cira Center, one of the most prominent buildings visible from Drexel’s and the University of Pennsylvania’s campuses, then went back to displaying an enormous Temple “T.”
Which brings us to the summer. For me, and I’m sure for most of us, May, June, July and August blended together into a drunken haze on account of co-op leaving us not only with significantly more free time, but also significantly more money to spend on libations.
From what I can piece together from my sloppy and whiskey-stained notes, I can say definitively that University Crossings caught fire. Furthermore, the Handschumaker Dining Center flooded, on account of contractors not realizing that if there were a giant hole in the roof, water might get in if it rained.
To solve the ever-present problem of residence hall overcrowding, the Sacramento campus began accepting undergraduate students. In what DrexelNOW called “an exceedingly generous gesture,” students residing in Sacramento dormitories have been given priority in class registration and allowed an extra ten minutes to make it to University City campus classes.
Students were suspended from University housing for throwing water balloons out of Towers Hall, prompting hundreds of imitators to do the same, desperate for any way to get out of the two-year residency program.
September came around, and with it the new freshmen. To combat, or at least mitigate, the effects of residence hall overcrowding, Drexel hired white-gloved temporary workers to physically push freshmen into their new residence halls, cramming as many as sixty-five into one double room. Owing to the reduced quality of life, dorm fees went up only $500 this year. DrexelNOW called it an “incredibly magnanimous and unselfish act” and that residents’ comparisons of their conditions to the infamous Black Hole of Calcutta were “inappropriate” and “a ridiculous farce that only spoiled millennials could conceive.”
The fantastic new Gerri ElBow College of Business opened in September. The ElBow school is a masterpiece of architecture, demonstrating a revolutionary new way of thinking about buildings: as paneled concrete boxes with some windows. The interior atrium is the perfect place to ignore as you dash to get in line for the Starbucks, and the basement lecture hall has excellent acoustics for listening to the Market-Frankford Line and trolley routes. And that’s to say nothing of the new quad, a vast featureless expanse of grey pavers, finally putting to rest any questions about that ridiculous fountain returning!
And, after months of round-the-clock construction, Chestnut Square was ready for move-in day. Students came in with their stuff, were shown their space and told that drywall would be installed “here” and “over there,” and that the boundaries of their apartment, in the meantime, were demarked by “this line of caution tape over here. Also, the plumbing isn’t working yet, but you can get a chamber pot at the front desk for a small deposit.”
Students were settled in pretty well by October, and were certain to want to attend “TEDx DrexelU,” a forum of sorts where upper-class straight white men can share their revolutionary ideas about how their iPhone app will eliminate poverty and save the environment, and then ask the audience for money. The highlight, of course, was the excellent and informative “2070 Paradigm Shift,” where speaker Sam Hyde described his quest to bring iPads to the people of central Africa with the help of world-famous electric car and rocket ship entrepreneur Elon Musk.
Nothing happened in November.
In December, Drexel announced a switch to quarterly billing, so you won’t have to pay while you’re on co-op, which is great, but you will have to pay twice as much during other quarters, which isn’t. Though DrexelNOW called it “revolutionary” and a “milestone in making Drexel more affordable,” exactly what this changes in the long run is a mystery, serving only to allow the school to kick out more students for non-payment, presumably in an effort to reduce residence hall overcrowding.
Then, to end the year on a high note, students received no less than twenty DrexelAlerts relating to violence just off campus during winter break, including an “aggravated assault w/ firearm,” “gunshots – no Injuries,” “robbery point of taser,” “correction: gunshots — many injuries,” and of course “invasion and siege: suspects Hunnish/m, armed with catapults + elephants, 3200 block of Baring, Pope Leo I on the scene. Avoid area.”
So ended 2013. Now, with students back in class, the invading Huns defeated and normality returned, we can look forward to a better, brighter 2014.
Or we could if we had time. Midterms start next week, you know…
Justin Roczniak is the Op-ed editor of The Triangle. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Editor’s note: This article, while based in truth, is satirical in nature and contains exaggerated facts.