By Carter Ottele

HSSC—Students in ANT 257: Migration and Yourgration, taught by Professor Hugh Manatee, underwent a “seismic geopolitical realignment” after a student changed seats this Thursday.

According to reports, ANT 257 has no officially assigned seats. Yet, students started to settle into a pattern as soon as the second class meeting. Since then, all 22 students had sat in the exact same chair every period—until this Thursday.

Though the official investigation launched by Human Rights Watch has not yet concluded, most parties agree that Reese Speaces ’26, an intended Anthropology and Religious Studies major, instigated the change. Speaces, who hails from Gary, Indiana, agreed to an interview with the B&S.

“It’s just not a big deal,” Speaces told the B&S, maintaining eye contact before biting into an unpeeled banana. “I get it, I’m not always the most aware of social norms. But, like, who cares?”

As Speaces explained, her previous seat by the window absorbed too much sunlight. So she decided to “mix things up a little” and move to the other side of the room. Almost immediately, the fragile set of alliances and treaties that had held the classroom together began to fray, reminding some observers of the onset of World War I. 

“I usually show up at 2:26pm, but today I had to pee right before class, so I got there at 2:29pm,” explained Summer Day ’24. “And then this bitch Reese was sitting in my seat?” Day had chosen that seat to sit next to her friend, Robert Grossman ’24. So when Speaces arrived there first, Day felt “the rage of a thousand suns.”

However, Day wished to avoid open conflict. So she went to the student on the other side of Grossman—Linda Trapp ’25—and asked to switch seats.

“I said no,” Trapp told the B&S in an email from the SHAW infirmary. “So Summer decided to bring out mustard gas. Everything after that is fuzzy.”

The conflict ended with Campus Safety sending a SWAT team to S1332.

In the aftermath of the conflict, analysts are trying to understand how the complex web of interpersonal relations in ANT 257 has changed. Pierce duVale, a senior researcher for the Brookings Institution, has called the event “transformative.”

“Above all, the power balance has shifted. Whereas the swim team seniors largely sat in the back before Thursday, they now occupy three of the prime seats,” wrote duVale, referring to the chairs that both face the board and avoid direct sunlight. “Conversely, the second year tryhards who surrendered those seats have now been scattered across the class; essentially, the conflict dismantled their territory.”

Speaces has paid the steepest price for her role in provoking the conflict: being relegated to the chair directly adjacent to Professor Manatee. Moreover, she is expected to owe hundreds of Dining Dollars to the winning parties.