By Bohdin Bright

DES MOINES INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT — Although classes have already been in session for weeks, students across campus are still haunted by the memory of flying into the Des Moines airport on their return from winter break; arriving hours early to get through the TSA on time, only to be forced to stand in line again because they forgot they had a tube of toothpaste in their carry-on and because they did not take iPad out of their bag quick enough. They are the lucky ones, for whom that experience was merely a sour note on an otherwise joyful return to the loving embrace of Grinnell.

But not for everyone. While most students have successfully journeyed back to campus, many Grinnellians remain trapped in a nightmare of bureaucracy, as well as the unsettling liminal experience of being inside an airport for more than two hours at a time.

“I tried to book my shuttle six months ago and I still haven’t managed to get a reservation,” said Greg Samsa ’26. “This whole time it’s just been one giant waitlist, and they keep making me fill out paperwork to ‘prove that I still want to reserve a seat.’ It’s absurd, and somehow even worse than the waitlists for course registration, which I didn’t think was physically possible. Like my tutorial was TUT-100: How to Fill out all the forms required at Grinnell College. I’m starting to think this whole college thing isn’t as great as people say.”

Despite the students’ protests, many of the College staff remain unconcerned. “Kids these days are too lazy,” said one Grinnell administrator. “So what if they have to wait for their shuttle? It’s like they’ve got no patience at all. Back when I was a child, I had to climb a 300-foot cliff covered in laser-armed bears twice a day to get to kindergarten, uphill both ways. It’s that damn social media they’re always on, rotting their brains.”

The SGA – torn between students calling to aid the trapped Grinnellians and the administration saying to ignore them – has diplomatically chosen to make a token effort that will ultimately amount to nothing, satisfying neither party. Six cots are to be placed in the DSMA Passenger Lounge, allowing the imperiled travelers to wait for their reserved shuttles in a modicum of comfort. What – if any – additional measures will be taken remains to be seen. Until then, roughly a third of the student body remains stranded in what has been unconvincingly renamed as the Grinnell-in-the-Des-Moines-International-Airport study abroad program.