By Dale Bell

GRINNELL, IA—In a press conference held yesterday, college officials announced they would be sponsoring a no-holds-barred gladiator battle on Mac Field to fill the spot in Comparative Herbalism (HIS-195) after a student dropped the class last week. College spokesperson Livia Atkins explained this decision: “We understand students are anxious to get into Comparative Herbalism. During registration it overfilled by more students than we currently have enrolled at Grinnell, so we’ve decided to sponsor a merit-based selection process. We call it The Herbal Games™.”

It seems that fighting has already broken out on Mac Field, with students eager to disqualify potential opponents before the main battle. “I mean, I go to DAG a lot so I figured it would just be like that,” said Benjamin Levy ’23. “I grabbed a foam sword and ran out to the field. It was absolute chaos. There were athletes with baseball bats, DHall workers with kitchen knives, a team of classics students with a working trebuchet, and I think a physics major who brought a laser? Someone hit me across the head with a hydroflask, and I dropped that foam sword to look for something more substantial, but then Jerry from my poli sci class was coming at me with a lead pipe, next thing I know I was waking up in SHAW. I know the college has our best interest at heart [sic] but this just seems like a bit much.”

Other students had differing opinions on The Herbal Games. Lin Buehler ’24 said, “I think what the college is doing is innovative. I hope they expand it to ordinary registration too.” When approached for comment, Jerry Cavanagh ’22 only let out a bloodcurdling scream before setting upon the B&S intern sent to interview him on Mac Field.

In a follow-up interview, Livia Atkins affirmed the administration’s commitment to The Herbal Games© and pointed to a possible sponsorship deal with Coca-Cola as a possible next step, as well as a positive outcome of the games. However, when asked whether she was worried about students suing the college for the injuries caused during The Herbal Games she immediately ended the interview.

At press time, to avert more liability, and also to avoid “bloodshed or whatever,” the college announced that they would be canceling the battle and instead axing the entire History Department curriculum in favor of solely running Comparative Herbalism courses.