DYSTOPIA—Dystopia College officially welcomed students to the new academic year with as much academic pomp as it could manage at its annual convocation Thursday evening in the college’s Whit A. Hellhole Auditorium.
The event usually takes place in August but was postponed until September this year because of a late-August heat wave that prompted faculty to protest getting into their regalia.
After the trooping of the faculty colors and the “singing” of the college’s alma mater, “Dream the Dystopian Dream,” President Overly-Payeed addressed the half-dozen students who bothered to attend on the topic of “Colleges of Last Resort.” He assured them that although Dystopia probably wasn’t their first, second, or even third choice, it is nevertheless a good “safety school,” where they can thrive once they accept their “dismal fate” and lower their expectations a bit.
“Dystopia has a long, proud tradition of accepting revenue sources—I mean to say students–that other colleges and universities have rejected and making them our own,” Payeed said. “The opportunities are here,” he said, adding that “this college is a great place for self-motivated students willing to educate themselves, as well as for slackers hoping to coast through to graduation on beer, weed, and Netflix—a last resort, but still a resort.”
It’s also the ideal place for “undecided” students, he said, because Dystopia can “sort you out, box you in, and stick you in a RUT [a reference to the college’s Routing Undergraduates Through School program] and send you down the conveyer belt to a diploma with your never having to think very hard about it.”
Provost Eddina Field also addressed the students, reassuring them that the college does in fact have “academic programs and professors with degrees.” She added that although it’s “not really clear what the programs are exactly,” most students who are still at the college after their second semester “somehow manage to cobble together enough hours to graduate eventually with a degree in something.”
She said the faculty includes some enthusiastic professors and some competent ones, “and even a few who fit in both those categories.”
After the speeches, the ceremony ended with a rousing pipe-organ performance of the college’s fight song, “’Trosses, Take a Dive,” performed by college organist Cadenza Black-Keys, and a dance routine by mascot Lucky the Albatross, portrayed by student Joey DiMarco.
After the faculty recessional, attendees adjourned to Hades Quad for the college’s infamous Sailor Punch and Albatross Droppings (actually chocolate-covered peanuts) and a not-exactly-authorized fireworks performance orchestrated by probationary student organization Dystopia Pyros.
The various fireworks-related injuries were only minor ones; the only disaster of the evening involved a student with a severe peanut allergy who had to be transported to Dystopia General Hospital, but is expected to live, and not expected to sue.
An attempt was made to interview some of the student attendees, but all of them declined for fear that they would be ridiculed by the college community. “Seriously,”one said,” if my roommates find out I actually came to this thing, I would never hear the end of it.”
T. Allen Culpepper