It’s time to think outside the box to solve our road problems
Editor’s Note: The next column is satirical. It is intended for humorous purposes. All interviews and individuals are fictitious.
I’ve written about issues people face on this campus regarding transportation in the past. However, I feel like I haven’t given enough thought. Most of the problems people face on this campus are related to roads. So, instead of taking a bus or car, or even walking to class, we should do away with vehicle transportation altogether and go to class as God intended: on skis.
Let’s be honest, it’s the University of Massachusetts, and probably about three-quarters of us come from the middle-class suburbs of Boston. So most of us have been skiing our whole lives anyway. Even those of us who have never touched a pair of skis in our lives are probably under peer pressure to take annual ski trips by more experienced friends. Hitting the slopes is second nature to most of us. Therefore, it makes sense for this practice to be implemented on campus.
My idea is as follows: a ski mountain is built above the WEB Du Bois library, and ski slopes are laid out that extend from the ski mountain to all the university buildings, dormitories and dining halls. Ski lifts would also be installed across campus, along with off-campus halls of residence and the Hampshire Mall.
Of course, it should be akin to a real ski mountain, so some paths would be made much more difficult than others. The path to places such as Worcester Dining Commons could be turned into a double black diamond to reduce clutter and place less stress on the workers there. Let’s be honest, it would probably go even better than this free YCMP policy.
Some of you may be wondering how would a mountain be “built”? The answer is simple: take one of the many great hills and mountains surrounding UMass and, in the words of Patrick Star, push it somewhere else. UMass was founded in a valley for a reason.
Some of you might also wonder, if there is a giant mountain instead of the library, where will I go to study? Ideally, at the top of the mountain, there would be a lodge that doubles as a study space. The lodge would also have 23 floors. You thought the view on the 23rd floor of the library was spectacular now, just wait until it’s about the size of One World Trade Center.
What are the benefits of this policy? Well, first of all, the skiing is awesome.
I really thought I could think of more pros.
The inconvenients ? The mountain should be quite high and the paths should be cut relatively narrow. Just imagine water slides but made of snow and whatever powder ski resorts put on their mountains. To minimize potential injuries, my idea would be to place giant air mattresses all around campus.
Also, it can be a bit expensive to install lifts throughout the county of Hampshire. Some students may also find it a problem to have to take the ski lift up the mountain just to get to a class that would normally be a five minute bus ride away. This problem would be solved by making the ski lifts run faster than any ski lift that exists in the world today. Ideally, they would be fast enough to make lift passengers wonder if this is when the lift stops and they fall to their untimely death.
I’ve heard many (absurd) criticisms of this plan, such as “It’s dangerous” or “Is it even physically possible?” or “Sir, it’s a Wendy’s.” I ask you, readers, to think outside the box as I did. Imagine being able to do a sick backflip in front of your crush on the way to class. Imagine that instead of taking the bus, you took the bobsleigh. There’s nothing like having to haul a giant sled halfway to where you’re going to get our campus in shape.
Forget a walkable campus, it’s time for UMass to become a skiable campus.
Will Duffy can be reached at [email protected]