This school year marks the 27th year of consisten, year-round construction on the University of Vermont’s main campus. About fifteen years ago I became very interested in the reasoning behind said construction, considering I don’t know a single fucking project that takes thirty years (at the time, twelve years) to complete. So, about six years ago, I poked my nose in some plumber crack and found out about an organization called Construction Workers for No Skateboarders (CWFNS). Shiiiiit. The following year, I began attending the biweekly meetings in the basement of the Davis Center, last door on the right. I went undercover as “Jeffrey Jones, the roof cleaner”.
The meetings were pretty reasonable at first, surrounding the premise that professors and administration were tired of so called “skateboard fuckers” around campus. Alright! So you don’t like Dex with his long ponytail and joint hanging out of his mouth zooming past you on a beautiful fall afternoon… I get it. they started running projects on things that didn’t need fixing, but were discreet enough that us common campus folk wouldn’t know whether it needed a face lift or not. Things like inside the ceiling, or beneath the floorboards or under the toilet—ya know places we typically aren’t looking. All to thwart the continued efforts of UVM skateboarders.
But about three years ago, or four, maybe even five, things began getting unreasonable. The surge of the Penny board. Campus had long since been used to seeing skate boards and long boards, but what the fuck is this tiny piece of plastic shmagegie called a penny board? And how do we deal? Its small design for precision aerodynamics kept tricking the construction workers. Were the kids flying or were they boarding? Well shit, were they going to need to double construction to stop flying students? Or is this not a code red?
Little by little the meetings shied away from tactic to stop the skate boarder, to questions about how to skateboard. I mean damn these workers were so interested in the physics behind it and everything. Some of the workers even went out and bought themselves boards in order to REALLY understand its inner workings.
This caused a revolution between the construction workers that eventually understood the indescribable feeling of a skateboard with the ones trying to stop all skateboarding on campus, which is why you see some grown ass people skate boarding around campus.
I remember one year it got really rowdy between the closeted skate boarding construction workers and everyone else. I only caught a glimpse of this particular fight on worldstar, but there seemed to be some pool floats, taunting about “whoever can’t do this hifepipe has to divorce their wife” and “don’t you dare wear your workbooks and construction helmet with that skate board in your hands, I swear to god i’ll make you eat an entire McDonalds salad at the Williston location”, ya know, usual banter between grown ups. Turns out no one divorced their wives… at that point in time. Since then you better believe their wives have divorced them over this nonsense.
Not to mention the stress it puts on non-skateboarders attending the university. For the past thousand years everyone has paid full tuition for half of the campus. I still don’t know what the fuck is between Rowell and Flemming—the remnants of modern day hipster warfare? Maybe it’s some safe haven, maybe there is literally nothing there, just a whole lot of nothing. I mean no one knows what anything but the Davis Center looks like.
On top of that, I forgot how to walk the normally with all this construction! The caution lines and cones made me move here and there and this way and that way to the point of growing not one, but TWO LEFT FEET, and I just crab walk now… maybe more of a personal obsessive thing but I can’t stop doing the fucking crab walk around construction!
Will this tomfoolery ever end? I dunno! But I do know that the construction has since continued due to the years long stalemate of whether to embrace the board or deface the board.
Will the construction ever stop? Find out next week on CWFNS News Channel 5.