By E. J. Schwartz

NOYCE—If there’s been one hot-button talking point on campus this year, it’s been institutional memory. Certain traditions never die, however. Luckily for many, one of Grinnell’s greatest and most community-building ceremonies comes back this Spring.

Liftsa Boulder, class of ‘23, has graciously volunteered to star in the septannual Noyce Basement Culling. According to Boulder, the third year English and Classics Major was approached by his professor via a late-night email. 

“I was shocked by the message,” Boulder reported. “I really was truly surprised that nobody wanted this position before I was asked. I know a few guys in my class who’d really appreciate the opportunity to bump their grade up, so I guess I’m just lucky.” 

Chair of the Classics department Dr. Knotty Minnows has commented, “Liftsa’s a good kid, but he really started falling behind in Greek 101, so I thought we could make a win-win situation. Either he’ll come back and get plus-five percent on his final grade, or we get to forget our Noyce issue for a few years and… well, nevermind.”

Anonymous sources claim that prior to Noyce Science Center’s refurbishing, an unnamed Biology major concentrating in Neuroscience was working on two experiments involving gorilla muscular tissue analysis and rat maze learning respectively. This student reportedly failed to clean up after themselves when leaving for the vending machine, and all experimental materials were left in disarray in a fit of finals-season stress. As a result, the rats (whose learning capabilities had been primed by the student) gained access to a vat of liquid molecularized gorilla muscle tissue. At least one rodent fell into this vat, ultimately creating the rural legend of the “Gorillataur,” or a rat-headed animal with the disproportionately sized body of a very muscular great ape. Upon the student’s return from the vending machine, they were supposedly never heard from again, save for screams reported by a Campus Security officer. Sources say that construction began on Noyce’s renovations soon thereafter, sealing the Gorillataur in the labyrinthine underground. 

In post-interview drinks, Dr. Minnows opened up about Liftsa’s assignment. “Of course  the Gorillataur exists,” Minnows says. “We’re not talking about myths. This isn’t Bigfoot, or the Loch Ness Monster, or God. We’re talking about a creature which needs to be fed, just like you or me. Is it a perfect situation? No. Am I more scared of the Gorillataur than I am concerned for my students’ wellbeing? Yes, and anybody who doesn’t want Noyce — or really, all of campus — to be demolished from the inside out should agree with me. This is off the record, right?”

“I feel as ready as I ever will,” Liftsa told journalists. “I had to get to the vending machine once or twice in first year, so I have a bit of a reference point. Some buddies of mine gave me a ball of thread so I can get back, so I’m as prepared as I can be, I guess. I don’t fully get what I’m supposed to do in that basement, but Dr. Minnows told me I’d find out once I get there.”

Some professors, who will go unnamed, argue that this tradition is insensitive considering the potential cruelty to humans, animals, and animal-hybrids alike. As for Boulder, he’s just hoping for some extra credit. He voyages into the unknown tomorrow at 7pm, and requests all gifts and messages be left in his P.O. box until further notice.