Grinnell's Bastion of Journalistic Integrity

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Senior Interview: Gladys Pillsbury

By Carter Ottele

Gladys Pillsbury has had enough of your bullshit.

“I’m tired of people perceiving me like a relic,” says Gladys in a quiet, husky voice, with a twang that reveals her rural North Carolina upbringing. “I might be old, but I can still participate in lots of activities. And my mind is sharper than a wild boar’s tusk.”

For this year’s B&S senior interview, I spoke with Gladys in her home: a cluttered but comfy apartment in the Mayflower Community. Allergic to most pets and widowed for 22 years, Gladys lives on her own. She insisted, though, that she never grows lonely.

“It’s a community. I live with all sorts of exciting, engaging, titillating characters—yes, I know what that word means. There’s Raymond and Phyllis next door, and they’re always a great time. Phyllis makes this spiked prune juice that is just lovely. Then the next morning, I tend to wake up in the oddest of places: Broad Street, the Old Glove Factory, once even in Mitchellville.

Seniors Shocked To Learn They Need Silver Coin To Graduate

By Anna Lipari

HERRICK CHAPEL– The college is facing criticism from seniors who didn’t realize they’d need to hang onto that silver coin they received freshman year in order to graduate. When the President was asked about the policy, she stated, “I don’t know what everyone’s complaining about. It was clearly stated at the bottom of the student campus memo on January 5, 2020 that starting with the class of ‘23, all students would need to exchange one GrinnellCoin for their diploma. Are you telling me you haven’t been reading the memos? That figures– no one’s claimed the free scholarship the college offered at the end of the memo from April 23, 2015 yet.” 

The revelation has left many seniors scrambling to fulfill this final requirement. Graduating economics major Josie Plimpton says that expecting seniors to hold on to the coin is ridiculous. “Nobody kept that thing. I used mine in a vending machine two weeks into my freshman year. I was swimming in fruit snacks for months.” In order to graduate, she plans to buy a new coin off a freshman: “One of the residents in my hall offered to give me his for five bucks. I didn’t tell him what for, exactly, but I’m a CA, so they trust me. I guess he’ll have to figure it out himself in three years, if he doesn’t drop out before then.” 

Dear B&S: Where Should I Live Next Year?

By Binston Swongo (Edited by A. Lipari)

A reader writes:

Dear Binston Swongo,

What dorm should I move into next year? I’m a first year, and I’m really worried about being stuck in the wrong place for the next year!

Dear first year, 

You’ve come to the right place. I’ve lived in practically every dorm on campus over my many years at Grinnell, and I’m pretty sure I can give you a good representation of what it’s like to live in each of them. 

James: I lived here my first year at Grinnell. A hall full of memories: my mother and father helping me set up my brand-new twin-XL bedding, turning a white box of a room into somewhere that felt like home. Tentative new friends blooming into what would become lifelong companions as the golden light of August turned to the first snows of October. A downside to living here was the way the loggia was locked at night to keep us from getting up to anything improper. But pro tip, there’s a garbage can under a drainpipe at the back of James Hall that will give you access to the second floor windows. I’d recommend this dorm to any peppy young coeds with decent arm strength. 6/10.

Main: I never lived here myself, but she did. I spent a lot of time there, during my coldest winter on campus. The walk from the academic center of campus to her remote domicile was long, brutal, and freezing, but I was warmed from within by the promise of seeing her face, of feeling her fiery touch. The room was small, but we could have made do in a shoebox, as long as it was our private sanctuary, as long as we could be close to each other. Even now, I can’t pass by that corner of campus without a poignant sting inside my chest. I recommend Main if you’ve got fire in your heart– but be careful, in case it ever goes out. 7/10.

The B&S Answers Frequently Asked Questions From Prospective Parents

By Catherine Terelak

This Decision Season, the B&S has teamed up with the Department of Admissions to address prospective parents’ burning questions about life at Grinnell College. Submitted anonymously, each of the questions selected for publication addresses a core aspect of the Grinnell experience, and we at the B&S have tried to answer as honestly as possible. 


Q: Do students have sex?

A: Yes.


Q: Are there drugs on campus?

A: Yes.


Q: What’s the drinking culture like?

A: Yes. 


Q: Are you drunk right now?

A: *gurgling noises* 


Q: What’s the food like in the Dining Hall?

A: It’s served three times a day, trough-style. Typically, you have your dry feeds, your slops, and your giblets. Cold gruel is available all week, but Sunday is Hot Gruel Day! The line is a mile long and you have to perform a special dance to get your food. 

Dear B&S: Strange Feelings In DHall

By David Gales

Dear Binston Swongo, 

As of late, I can’t tell if I’m having strange feelings for a cheery checker or if she’s having strange feelings for me. I’m confused and aroused and I don’t know what to do. Please help me! 


Scared but Curious 

Dear Scared but Curious, 

Ah, I remember the first time I fell in love, too. It was 1878, and I was at the Woodstock festival. I had just been through a bad breakup the week before, the Reagan presidency was hard on us all, so I texted my buddy Rich to meet me at the bowling alley. He told me his horse was sick, so he’d have to walk or catch a carriage. I told him to Uber. 

 I should mention I was on acid for most of this. It was my first year. Alice was crazy. 

Magnet Curfew Enacted

By Conrad Dahm

HSSC– Due to a lack of rooms on campus, Grinnell College is instituting a new policy to help remedy the problem. Yesterday, the College unveiled a “state of the art” magnet curfew system on campus.   

“The system itself is simple. All students will be provided with magnetized Grinnell-branded attire. At midnight, magnets installed on the ceilings of academic and residential buildings will turn on, and students will be stuck to the ceiling until 7 AM the next morning. This will help not only with the room problem but will also help students get more sleep,” said Joe Rosenfield Noyce, the President of the Grinnell College Magnet Committee. 

“I actually kind of like the idea. You know, under the old system my single was turned into a quad, and there was barely room to step between the desks and bunks. Moving our beds to the ceiling opens up a lot more space, and it might actually be fun,” said one student. 

However, opinions about the magnetization program are far from unanimous. While in the HSSC this morning, a B&S reporter found the following letter written by a student and have, in the interest of journalistic integrity and because it’s less work than writing our own stuff, decided to publish it: 

“As I write this letter, it is currently 6:55AM. Last night, I was studying late in the HSSC at 12AM. I was about to leave, but it was too late, the magnets turned on and I was pulled to the Atrium ceiling, three floors up. I know I should have gone to bed, but I had an essay due! I’ve tried to yell for help, I’ve yelled for hours, but no one heard me. I guess they’d all gone to bed…

Editorial: A Glimpse Of The Terrible Future

By Anna Lipari 

Author’s note: As I was lying awake last night, head full of uneasy dreams about the uncertain future awaiting me after graduation, there came a knock at my door. I opened it to find not an overzealous union representative or an FM worker there to peer cryptically at my fire alarm, as I had expected. No, it was my own eyes that stared back at me from the doorway, and the face that bore them was my own too – there was my nose, my familiar pattern of freckles, that old scar on my lip from when my younger brother hurled a can of soup at my face as an infant. But the person in the doorway was far older than me, their skin creased and lined by many decades of unkind fate. Their hair was messily cropped, their clothes so patched the original cloth could barely be seen, and the deep circles under their eyes bespoke a lifetime of horrors. They thrust a bundle of papers into my hand, and I recognized yellowing newspaper. “Don’t let this happen,” they pleaded, and a chill ran down my spine as I recognized what my own voice might sound like fifty years from now, hoarse from dust or from screaming. 

I have reprinted the parts of the article that are legible here, in hopes of avoiding the grim future it describes. The article reads thus:

“…a selected research team braved the Grinnell Exclusion Zone in order to collect genetic samples from the populations of feral cats and turkey vultures that have taken up residence in the abandoned town. Nearby farmers and bone-pickers have even reported wolf sightings in the area, though the size of the population has been impossible to estimate until this point, due to the danger that even a few minutes’ exposure to the Grinnell area represents. Genetic information about these animals could help answer questions about their vulnerability to radiation, as well as assist scientists in preparing humans to deal with future fallout exposure.

Campus Crows Are Actually Students Receiving Free Room And Board

By Carter Ottele

Corvid cases are spiking in Poweshiek County this semester, as an enormous flock of crows has descended upon Grinnell College’s campus. Roosting en masse in East Campus’s tree branches, the boisterous birds spend the whole day—and much of the night—squawking furiously at their avian brethren.

However, a shocking new allegation this week suggests that the crows’ emo aesthetic may be a mere disguise for something more serious. A manifesto written on the ceiling of the Burling Third bathroom claims that in fact, the crows house the spirits of Grinnell College students. In exchange for corporal imprisonment inside a bird, the transmogrified students receive free room and board as well as a 50% tuition discount. 

“The crows are real,” reads one part of the cryptic manifesto. “The crows are YOU. So go the crows, so goes the school.” At the bottom, the message is signed by “Deepthroat.”

Meg Plant, a Residence Life Coordinator for the College, seemed to confirm the theory. “There are….how to put this…alternative methods for funding a college education,” explained Plant. Work-study programs are more familiar to the public, but for students willing to try something adventurous, “interspecies morphological transformation” is a viable option.

An Insider Look At 100 Days

HIGH STREET–This week, many Grinnell fourth-years enjoyed a longstanding tradition of the institution. The 100 Days party marks (approximately) 100 days until graduation and represents, for many of the graduating class, a last chance to drink, revel, and finally lock lips with any long-standing crushes. Traditionally, 100 Days has used a wristband system, allowing students to mark whether they are interested in being approached to make out or are boring pussies. This year, party organizers decided to expand the system, incorporating several different colors of wristband. The B&S sent two undercover journalists to the event, and were able to deduce much of the system. Wristband options included:

  • Single
  • Taken
  • Taken but available to make out
  • Taken but looking for something better
  • Ask me about my elaborate philosophy on ethical non-monogamy
  • Available to make out if you can answer my riddles three
  • I have mono (individuals with this wristband will be asked to only swap spit with others wearing the same wristband)
  • I have COVID (same policy as above. Individuals with COVID are asked to “maybe stay home if you can, but like, it’s whatever.”)
  • I’m a biter
  • T4T
  • Available to make out but only if you can tell me where you were on the night of February 22nd, 2022 and corroborate your alibi with at least two witnesses
  • Bi-curious, but only if my boyfriend can watch
  • 0 title IX convictions
  • Taken but available to play a friendly game of Magic: The Gathering
  • On October 8th, 2014 I was involved in a hit-and-run car accident 5 miles North of Cody, Wyoming. My heart stopped beating for 35 seconds. My life was saved by a bystander, who called 911 and performed CPR. I never got their name, but I remember that they were wearing a fuchsia colored baseball cap. If you know this person, please help me find them and thank them for this second chance at life.
  • Single and available to play a sexually charged game of Magic: The Gathering
  • It’s complicated

Union Resorts To 1920s Tactics

By Ethan Hughes

Last Monday an explosion rocked Grinnell College. Students and staff alike flocked to the HSSC windows, staring at the smoking crater where the Kington Plaza sign once was. No one exited from Noyce to investigate because nothing can interrupt a lab.

Grinnell administration reported that the incident was caused by a leaky gas line, an explanation widely accepted by students and faculty, because it made sense. However, the B&S has received confidential confirmation that this was no accident. A discrete brick was delivered through our window with a note attached claiming the attack on the Plaza. For future reference the B&S would prefer correspondence to be in either email or carrier pigeon. The note read:

“The Union planted the bomb that blew up Kington’s sign, it wasn’t a gas leak.”

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