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Dead Pigeons

A dead "pigeon" in front of Healy.

Unsolvable conflicts between parties on budgeting, employees forced to work without pay for weeks on end, and a bunch of self-centered Byronic college students complaining about not getting to do fun free stuff. Am I writing an article on the government shutdown? Of course not. That would require actual research and knowledge on the subject, and the majority of political news I’m aware of is either from memes or, even worse, mainstream media. I’m also not writing about how to eat well as a Georgetown student (I realize the title may have been confusing, and I apologize for that). I am writing about the shutdown of Georgetown University.

I’m sure you have all heard of the disastrous outcome of the budget meeting right before winter break, but I will go on to explain it anyway. In the budget review prior to the meeting, Georgetown’s budget team found an extra twenty-three million dollars (USD) in savings. In a statement released by university administration, the money had accumulated over the years from unreasonably high tuition rates, lack of financial aid distribution, and “donations” from rich parents, or, as we call them, the price of acceptance letters. The budget team apparently just “forgot we had all this money lying around” and had to decide what to do with it.

They decided to hear suggestions from Georgetown students and staff as to how to spend this new fortune. At the meeting, one student, Jimmy Genericlastname, proposed construction of a wall around American University the non-Georgetown “riffraff” off our campus. He cited several accounts of drunk and disorderly students wandering around Georgetown chasing each other, ordering Quesadillas at Epi’s, and blasting something called a “Mo Bamba.” Genericlastname reminded everyone that Georgetown students would never act like this, so these American University students must be kept in their place. At this suggestion, another student, Jenny Anotherlastname, argued that these students must actually be from George Washington University, because everyone knows GW is basically a rift in our dimension connected to a Lovecraftian hellscape out of which their students crawl. Out of these suggestions, two distinct factions began to form. Next came the shouting match, then the fighting. The ensuing brawl claimed the lives of three students, one of whom was found with multiple harpoon stab wounds to the abdomen. As the conflict calmed down, another student, Amy Normallastnamesomeonewouldhave, suggested the following: “What if instead of fighting with each other over spending money on a giant wall, we just put it towards something useful, like education? Even if campus security is important to you, do you really think a giant wall is the best use of resources to stop people from coming in? And you can’t just meddle in other college’s affairs, taking their resources, and not expect them to want to come to your school of opportunity.” It elucidated a response of laughter. The University has been shut down since.

Although Georgetown is shut down, “essential” professors have still been forced to continue working, now without pay. Outraged employees and students have formed protests in Red Square and HSFC demanding pay and a wall. Those professors Georgetown deemed as inessential, now free from the toil that is trying to teach undergraduates literally anything of value, spend their days working on research and trying to continue contributing to society despite their inability to reach out to the younger generations through education. Well, either that, or getting jobs at the local frozen yogurt place in hopes of not having to refinance their houses again.

The shutdown has also led to the termination of Georgetown’s PEST (Pest Eavesdropping and Surveillance Technology) program, a security initiative developed in the early 2000s in which mechanical pigeon, rat, and cockroach surveillance drones are used to watch students. Countless reports of dead rats, roaches, and pigeons around campus have stirred even more tension in the budget debate, as well as new issues including the legality of bathroom surveillance through roaches in the toilets. I’m just trying to pee. I don’t need to have a bug staring at me, much less some random security guy alone in a dark room.

All in all, there appears to be no end in sight for the ultimately absurd debate on whether to build a wall around GW or American, society seems more divided than ever, and season nine of The Real Housewives of New Jersey is still underway. So, good luck everybody. You’re going to need it.

Foran is a Philosophy and Economics Freshman and Sass Editor.

He honestly just wants someone to build a wall around him.

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