By Bohdin Bright

D-Hall—All semester, Grinnellians brave or foolish enough to eat at D-Hall regularly have been confused about the sealed-up pit in front of the JRC. Blocked off by barricades, a faint stench of sulfur wafting up from within, the purpose of the pit had remained a mystery until President Anne Harris made a startling press release earlier this week.

“Ever since the founding of our great school, D-Hall has been committed to bringing our students quality nutrition at a low cost,” Harris stated. “But it turns out that it’s pretty hard to do both of those things at the same time, so we had to make some compromises. That’s why I’m proud to announce that this year, we’re partnering with Hell to upgrade all of our stoves and ovens to use the spirits of the damned as fuel. Heating elements are the most expensive parts of the kitchen, both in fuel and maintenance, so replacing them with the eternally burning souls of the condemned that will provide a steady, even heat for all eternity will both save money and make the job of our cooks much easier.” 

Harris went on to explain the many other benefits that the equipment upgrade would provide: reduced carbon emissions, enhancing the atmosphere of D-Hall as one of the worst places on campus for a student to work, and adding that bit of extra zest of human suffering to the plat de jour. She also mentioned potential plans to overhaul the HVAC with a similar system if the D-Hall implementation was successful. 

When questioned about the smoking pit in front of the JRC, she said that “Oh, that’s the tunnel down to Hell. We put up those barricades so that students don’t accidentally fall in and condemn themselves to eternal torture.”

D-Hall employees are also enthusiastic about the switch. An interviewed line cook, Alfredo Linguini, spoke at length about the benefits for the staff. 

“Honestly, it makes my job so much easier. Before, it would take three, four hours to get the hamburgers grilled up before lunch. Now I can do it in ten minutes, and listening to the incoherent screams of pain helps alleviate the boredom of a long shift. Plus, it keeps the student workers from complaining too much. Bunch of slackers, always going on about how the water in the dish station is ‘melting their flesh off’ or how they found the lifeless corpses of two of their coworkers inside of a ‘ritual circle drawn in blood.’ Kids these days have no work ethic! Back in my day, you would work a 30 hour shift and be glad that you didn’t have any permanent injuries at the end of it.” At this point, Mr. Linguini went on for another half an hour about how much better things were when he was young, but our reporter had stopped listening because they were too busy yik-yakking or whatever it is screenagers do on their phones nowadays.

To round off the holy trinity of interviews, we spoke with Jeffistopheles Humanperson ’26 to get a sense of how the student body felt about the announcement. “I’m a big fan of it.” Humanperson said. “I’m proud that Grinnell is making such a big effort to support green energy. Human suffering is eternally renewable, after all. This is way better than coal or natural gas or something. I hope that they decide to do this for all the heating on campus.”

Relatedly, a poster outside of D-Hall states that the D now stands for “Demon” instead of “Dining.”