By Bohdin Bright

NORTH CAMPUS – For many years, Grinnell College has marked several residence halls as substance-free in order to provide students with the support to commit to a sober lifestyle. Historically, this measure has been met with disdain among the student body, since recreational drug use is considered one of the most normal and healthy ways to deal with stressful exams, grad school applications, hangnails, and other forms of psychological pressure. Yet, the real nail in the coffin was the wide array of accusations of favoritism towards privileged students who, unlike normal people, had never once been caught smoking in the high school bathrooms.

In order to appease the Trustees, Anne Harris is legally not allowed to stay in office with an approval rating of less than five percent, so the administration worked with unprecedented speed and efficacy in order to roll out a new program: substance-mandatory residence halls. As a counterbalance to the four substance-free halls of Smith, Kershaw, Norris, and James, halls Dibble, Lazier, Main, and Younker have been designated substance-mandatory. Students residing in these halls will be required to be under the influence of drugs or other controlled substances at all times, or else face expulsion. 

Many parents are unsurprisingly pleased with this decision to help formerly-sober students on their road to recovery. In an interview, Mary Jane – mother of second year student Blaise Jane – spoke favorably of the new halls: “I’m glad that Grinnell has finally recognized the harmful influence of peer pressure to not take drugs. These new substance-mandatory dorms will provide many students, my son included, with a way to take the first step on the road to recovery. I’m finally getting my child back.”

Sports coaches are equally happy with the decision, citing greatly improved performances from a vast majority of student athletes. “Turns out that taking drugs gives you tons of energy for sports,” pickleball coach Joel Pritchard said. “I’m doing ten lines of cocaine before every match myself and I feel like I could hit the ball clear into Alaska!” Shortly after the interview, Mr. Pritchard collapsed and had to be admitted to the hospital for a sprained ankle. Thankfully, he is expected to make a full recovery.

The only group that has expressed dissatisfaction with the new residence halls has been Campus Security, ostensibly because drunk and high students cause more public disturbances. However, we here at the B&S were able to figure out the truth: Campo is unhappy because they can’t plant drugs on students that they don’t like anymore. While in the past, a pound of crystal meth hidden in a jacket pocket might have gotten a student reported to the administration, it will now merely make the student in question seem even cooler. Constrained by the law as they are, their disapproval has been limited to creating a list of ways for students to fake being drunk and/or high for those students who do not wish to chill out for once in their life, including techniques such as intentionally failing to walk straight or reciting the alphabet incorrectly when asked. 

While SHAW has urged for caution in the rollout of the program, claiming that the long term effects of this residence program remain to be seen, it will all probably be fine.