state of the uni

by clairefagan

The State of the Uni is quite alright in my opinion. Ice and snow have obscured the grass, we’re floating in the gulf between Groundhog’s day and Valentine’s day, and the omicron variant of covid has thrown a wrench in many people’s social plans. And so begins the alleged “spring” semester at the University of Vermont. For those out of the anglophile/former anglophile loop and/or those who cannot pick up on context clues or abbreviations, Uni is a British term for university (also, somewhat relatedly, college and University are two different things in England, if you need more facts about British culture). I’d say I’ve watched enough British television and the Brits have done enough damage to my lineage (see: surname Fagan) for this pinch of linguistic appropriation. To further explain, the title for this article is a play on “The State of the Union” address by the president at the beginning of every year. This upcoming national State of the Union given by Joe Biden is going to be the latest in the year that it’s ever been in the short history of this country. I hope this clears up any lingering questions you may have had about the title of this article. 

sam stillman

I’m a senior and I’ve never had a front page or sidebar article for the water tower because I’ve never really had THAT much to say but I have decided to be an attention whore unapologetically now because I will likely never get this much print coverage for the rest of my life. I’ve been writing for the water tower insufferably for three and a half years. It’s time I had my moment to blatantly display my mediocre writing skills and half-formed thoughts on the front page. I take solace in knowing that however much people may cringe reading this, I cringe more writing it. 

All the leaves are brown, and the sky is pretty gray. It’s not all bleak though, babies, the new season of Euphoria is pretty entertaining. Also, for all the people who love winter sports, now is the time for such activities. If you don’t have HBO or a $300+ dollar ski pass, you’re shit out of luck, hang in there! The days are certainly getting longer and warm weather is only around two to three months away! 

As for the University of Vermont right now, COVID has changed the campus in different ways. I started skewl here a hundred years ago in 2018. The asteroid of the pandemic struck, I am a ghost of a dinosaur roaming this hellstricken world. As has been thoroughly established in previous water tower issues, the Cyber Cafe is dead and gone. After several semesters of a void in lunch options on the second floor of the Davis Center,  I’ve gotten word that the meal swipe program is back and Green Roof Deli has risen again. This is fantastic news for people who like sandwiches and I’m sure rather neutral news for people who are ambivalent. The most devastating loss of on-campus food for me, as a Vegan™ has been Sprout at the Marche.  I’ve been grieving the Kale Cesar salad. The pickled onions, the nutritional yeast. There is nary a finer salad on the UVM campus. I even tried to look on Sodexo’s website for the recipe, to no avail. 

Campus building and construction gossip: I’ve gotten word that part of the Hills Ag Life Science building ceiling collapsed recently. I can’t verify this information because I’m too nervous to speak to anyone who might know for sure. The gym has continued its glacial-pace renovation, opening a new group fitness wing and further shuttering off Hobbit-door Squash courts in its dungeons. 

For another bit of Campus tea, according to the Cynic, 86% of Ecoware containers were lost during last semester. Now that’s an impressive statistic. Back in my day we had to use those little tags to get Ecoware, and according to the Cynic article, Campus Dining is returning to that system because of the on-campus heathens hoarding the plastic containers. I’d like to know the percentage of missing ecoware that are CLEAN! I’d put my money on most of these containing moldy ketchup and rotting among Natty light cans and empty Loon packaging under someone’s dorm bed. 

As far as bureaucratic news that is difficult to understand the reasoning behind- CAS will be creating a sub-school, a school within a college within a University, dedicated to the fine arts departments. They sent out an email announcement that had quite a few words but even after a few reads I cannot gather what the purpose of this shift in department structure is. I’m awaiting another source to tell me how to feel about this announcement in layman’s terms. 

In terms of the Bright Side, winter is really beautiful in Vermont, despite the fact that being outside hurts your face. With the drastic uptick in transmissibility that comes with the omicron variant, it is more difficult to gather with friends especially as the winter pushes people indoors. Remember that no matter how bleak things may be, things will eventually be less bleak. I truly have a way with words! No moment is forever, my lovelies. You’ve got a while (75 yrs average for women, 70 for men [girls rule]) to chill and figure things out and do what you’d like. Do what you need to do, even if what you need to do is scrolling through r/AmITheAsshole for 3 hours. And watch for falling icicles. Wishing you a blessed semester, love, Claire and the rest of the water tower.

Categories: claire fagan, feb 8, front page, samantha stillman

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