By David Gales

The Grinnell College Registrar announced on Tuesday, November 1 that all students cut from their first choice courses this year will be expected to participate in an Amazing Race-style competition in order to find replacements for their schedule. 

In an email sent out at 3:57 PM, the Registrar’s office stated, “If you don’t get into your first choice courses, there will be a grace add/drop period in which you can register for new ones. Because first-come first-serve has received complaints in the past, we are implementing a new priority system.” They went on to explain that this grace period will require in-person registration for all students living in the town of Grinnell. Next Sunday, November 13, all students cut from their first choice classes will be expected to gather outside the Registrar’s office at 5:59 AM, to begin registration promptly at 6:00.

“We are excited for this new opportunity to prove our dedication to equality,” said Assistant Registrar Harold Anderson, “and our willingness to constantly improve course registration. Despite what people might say, this system is better, and it did need to change.”

“I don’t see why the system needed to change,” Andy Harrison `23 stated in an interview. “It was fine before. Now I’m worried that if I don’t show up at 6:00 AM, I won’t be able to take Craft of Fiction, and that class always fills up really fast.” He did not seem amused when I informed him that the actual time he needed to show up was 5:59.

Once students begin the add/drop grace period process, they will be given a clue to get them started. “We want it to be something fun,” said Anderson, “but not too easy. We believe that if students want something, they should have to work for it. Things come too easy to people who are paid $9.50 an hour.” When asked about his own wage, Anderson merely laughed and showed us a wallet full of Jimmy John’s vouchers.

The first clue, according to the Registrar, will have multiple correct answers, each in the form of a location somewhere in the state of Iowa. “Most of the hunt will take place off-campus,” explained Anderson. “We want students to form a deeper appreciation of the broader, statewide community that they are unwillingly a part of.”

Along the way students, who will be placed in teams of three and four based upon their intended course schedule, will perform various tasks for the local community. “There’s someone out in Pella who needed his water well fixed,” remarked Anson Hardy, the assistant to the Assistant Registrar, “so we’re going to send one team out to build him a new one out of plywood, grout, and leg hair shavings. Once the well is in working order, he’ll give them their next clue.”

Hardy continued, “We’re excited for Grinnellians to give back to Iowa, although I will admit I’m a little confused as to why we’re doing it in this way.” Hardy’s interview was unfortunately cut short after this comment, as her eyes began to dribble ink and she would not stop screaming long enough to continue.

The first students to complete their tasks will be given first choice on their new course schedules. They will even have the ability to place themselves in completely full classes, thus bumping other students out and forcing them to experience the hunt next Sunday. “We’re looking to create a sort of ongoing ‘thing’ here in Grinnell,” Anderson explained, “a tradition, if you will. Memories to last a lifetime.”

President Harris did not respond to the B&S requests for an interview. However, when asked in the hallway of the ARH what students should do if they cannot finish the hunt, she responded, “That’s a great question. I guess they’ll just go fuck themselves.”