Dec2016, Satire
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Budget Cuts Force University President to Halt Construction of Personal Fortress of Solitude

Quest University President Peter Englert has finally revealed his original intent for the giant pile of stones that has been sitting in the pit just west of the Villages for several months now. In an all-student email sent out in the middle of November, Englert explained that the rubble is all that remains of a once grand vision for the erection of a massive stone fortress from which he would have been able to wield his dark powers to communicate with malevolent spirits living in the core of the earth in order to channel their energies towards stabilizing the university’s precarious financial condition.

“My attempts to secure new endowments for the university were not bearing fruit,” Englert explained in the email. “I determined that my only course of action was to use the remaining funds from our initial endowment to construct an enormous palace of solitude from which I could call upon the powers of some unnameable, malevolent forces to lift funds from the pockets of the high-born in order to boost our precarious finances. Unfortunately, after ordering all of the stone for the palace we quickly ran out of money.”

Englert noted that this approach was similar to the one he employed when brought in to shore up the finances of the University of Hawaii and the University of Wellington in New Zealand, prior to his tenure at Quest. There, the strategy proved successful, however Englert conceded that this may have had largely to do with the presence of geological features unique to those places. “It is no coincidence that prior to arriving at Quest I have only worked at universities located on remote volcanic islands,” explained Englert. “Their isolation, combined with significant geologic volatility, makes such locations conducive to my brand of necromancy.”

Students have reacted positively to Englert’s revelation. “A lot of us have been frustrated with the lack of transparency from the executive about Quest’s financial situation,” said 3rd year student Dylan Monroe. “It’s nice to hear that the president at least has some ideas about how to get us into the black, even if that means calling upon the energies of some supernatural scourge to do so.”

“Look, this is exactly what Peter was brought in to do,” explained Housing Manager Darren Newton. “Strangway had the vision to get Quest started, Helfand had the charisma to get people interested, and now Englert has the dark powers to summon the malignant spirits necessary to make this harebrained scheme of a university actually last.”

Despite the failure of this strategy, Englert concluded his email by insisting that students not judge him harshly for his methods. “I want to clarify that, despite the rumours circulating around campus, I am neither a sorcerer nor regular practitioner of the dark arts,” insisted Englert. “I do, however, firmly believe we must professionalize and normalize our relationship with the spirits of the underworld if we hope to get this university back on its feet, even if that means selling a soul or two. Alaaf!”

This entry was posted in: Dec2016, Satire


Benoit "Ben" Scowen is a very large boy who can usually be seen sulking around campus with his only friend Ian. He has worked for the Mark for two years now, specializing in hastily written satire pieces slapped together at the last minute in order to make up for all of the real news articles he committed to writing for that edition but ultimately flaked out on.

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