Spring break is officially behind us and we are nearing the “home stretch,” the last few weeks of classes and activities. With the temperature creeping up (yes, people are wearing shorts and dresses this week in celebration of blue skies and sunshine), Midd Kids have started to embrace their well-deserved spring in a variety of ways. In addition to spending more time outside, a key marker of spring for me is the April Fool’s issue of The Campus. In a tradition that started four years ago, the editorial staff takes a one-week hiatus from reporting on real life news at Middlebury and tries its hand at satire. We create an entirely made-up “joke” issue with some pretty absurd stories about developments on campus, and in the process have a lot of laughs ourselves. As an Opinions editor, I get to write fake op-eds and columns that poke fun at events and themes on campus. On every other week, my co-editors and I receive pieces submitted from students, faculty, staff and community members who use the section as a platform to voice their opinions. The discussions that play out in our section contribute to serious discourse on campus that I think is incredibly important to have, but I have to admit it is also a lot of fun to take a break and pull some April Fool’s pranks on our readers.
It’s safe to say that each section rose to the occasion this year. Sports broke news that Middlebury is changing its mascot from the Panther to the Moose to be more original. Local News interviewed a new celebrity in town, a three-year old cow named Trischia. Arts and Sciences reported that a bio lab on campus was revealed to be raising dragons. The final product always tricks some gullible students into believing the stories, until they are told otherwise. Even better than seeing the look on these students’ faces, though, is the making of the issue itself. By this point in the year, the members of the editorial board are pretty close, and we have no trouble poking fun at each other. Of course, helping other sections come up with content for this issue is half the fun.
Keeping up the tradition of the April Fool’s issue is not only a nice break from the normal newspaper schedule, but it shows what is in my mind one of the very best things about Middlebury students: we try not to take ourselves too seriously. With all our obligations on campus, we have busy lives and packed calendars. At the end of the day, though, we are all still kids looking to have fun. We are capable of juggling our classes, meetings and practices, but aren’t too busy or serious to celebrate April Fool’s day to the fullest.
Oh and don’t worry – the mug shot picture of Middlebury College President Ronald Liebowitz on the front page is a joke too.