By Dale Bell

SOUTH CAMPUS—Late last week, anonymous sources leaked a series of financial documents showing that Grinnell Administration had to decide between a complete retrofit of South Campus or providing all first-years pure silver “medallions” at the welcome ceremony. The documents, whose authenticity the B&S has confirmed via ink chromatography and a taste-test, include budget proposals and intra-administration emails from 2021 detailing the projected cost of refitting the South clusters. The renovations include air conditioning, washer-dryers, functioning windows, and in-dorm soft serve machines, all of which are commonplace on East Campus. 

These costs however, came into conflict with the budget allocation dedicated to paying for the original Paul Revere silver sets that are melted into the first-year coins. Some students expressed dissatisfaction with this choice: “I guess those silver coins are cool, but I wish they had spent that money on maintenance. My window can’t close and when I came back from winter break there was a bear hibernating in my room. I mean, he’s a better roommate than my old one, but shoveling all that snow out was a pain in the ass,” said Auguste Fletcher, a second-year living in Cleve pit. 

But while many students disagree with the Administration’s decision, others have come out in support of it: “Dude I don’t care if my room doesn’t have a door, those coins are lit. It’s a solid investment, precious metals are where it’s at. To the moon, bro,” said Chaz Gregson, a first-year Econ major. However, when asked where his coin was he was unable to locate it. Ogden Beauregard ‘25 has other troubles regarding his medallion. “Oh that? I think I gave it to my mom. I was going to just shove it in a drawer somewhere but she wanted it, so now it’s probably shoved in a drawer somewhere in my parent’s house.”

The Administration response has been steadfast in defense of its decision, with spokesperson Liz Bower emphasizing Grinnell’s commitment to preserving traditions. “The presentation of the medallions to the incoming first-years is one of Grinnell’s most hallowed traditions. It is as important to us as bringing amazing speakers to Grinnell, asking the hard questions, and seriously underpaying our workers,” said Bower in an exclusive interview with the B&S. “We believe that we performed our due diligence in making this decision. Along with the preservation of the medallion tradition, we believe that renovating South Campus would have robbed Grinnell of decades of institutional memory and student bonding. The shittiness of South Campus helps to bring new students together, commiserating over a shared experience.” Other nixed budget-allocation proposals detailed in the documents include excavating West Campus, building a temperature controlled geodesic dome over the entirety of the city, and adding cow milk to the Dining Hall drink selection.