Sunday, June 16, 2024

Satire: The university is bringing a mace to Commencement

MosaicCreative ContentSatire: The university is bringing a mace to Commencement

Executive Editor

Did you know that the university owns a mace? Neither did I — I mean, why would it? What possible purpose would an educational institution have for a medieval weapon? And if the university were to own a mace, its sole purpose certainly wouldn’t be 

for Commencement, to be handed to the university’s president while he’s decked out in a 48-inch long chain necklace … right?

If my sarcasm wasn’t clear enough, yes; that’s exactly what the university has a mace for. The 42-inch long weapon is purely ceremonial, as is the “Chain of Office” that shares a glass and mahogany case in the Office of the President with the mace for most of the year. The only occasions for which the mace and chain are brought out of their displays are academic ceremonies, such as Commencement. 

Commencement will take place this year on May 25, so the silver and gold pieces will be making a public appearance very soon. But after that, they’ll be hidden away again, unable to see the light of day for another couple of months.

Now, I would never suggest that the university use the mace for its “structural purpose” when it’s not being shown at an academic ceremony, but I don’t think it should always have to sit in a display case. The same goes for the chain. So what if it’s a university heirloom? Jewelry is meant to be worn! And as things currently stand, it’s only worn by the institution’s president once a year.

Sorry, but if I buy something (even if I buy it with “unrestricted gifts” from my university’s alumni), I will put it to use. And I think the mace and chain of office aren’t at all being utilized to their fullest potential. If the university allowed it (or I managed to get my hands on it another way), I’ve come up with multiple possibilities for what the mace and chain could be used for outside of Commencement festivities.

Let me wear the chain. Although the metal necklace is supposed to stay on display when there’s not a ceremony going on, let’s be honest — if it’s being kept in the Office of the President, there’s no way university President Dennis Assanis doesn’t take the chain out of its glass case and wear it around the house sometimes. If he does like to do this though, he can’t possibly wear it out of his house during a night on the town. He’s got an image to uphold!

That’s why I propose that the school give it to me. I’ve been looking for a new staple piece of jewelry to wear out and about, so while I’m out on Main Street, I’d not only be promoting the chain’s existence, but also demonstrating Blue Hen spirit! It’s a win-win situation.

But wearing the artifact doesn’t have to be exclusive to humans. YoUDee or Baby Blue could use some bling, am I right? There are also all of the dogs that I see walking around campus every day. They’re adorable already, so could you imagine one of them switching out their usual collar for this silver and gold, emblem-clad number? I know I’d ask their owner if I could take a picture with them immediately.

Having easy access to the mace would fix many short people’s problems. When I first learned about the school’s ceremonial mace, I pictured a long rod with a round, spiked head at the end of it. Thanks to the countless movies and cartoons set in medieval times, I think many people would assume that.

But the university’s mace looks very different from this; our’s only has one giant, sharp point on the end. If you ask me, this sounds like the perfect tool to have on hand whenever I need an extra three and a half feet of arm reach.

Can’t reach a book on the top shelf of a bookcase in the library? Screw wasting three seconds of your time dragging one of those convenient stepping stools over to you — just stab the mace through your book of choice and pull it down with ease!

Need to gesture to certain parts of the screen displaying your presentation during class, but your laser pointer died and you can’t just point with your hands because the screen is enormous and you’re only 5 ‘2″? Having the university’s mace in your backpack would instantly solve all your problems. You can gesture to all of the key points of your Google slides with ease, and look like you’re funded by alumni money while doing it.

Want to poke the person sitting in front of you in room 127 of Memorial Hall to tell them to stop talking during class but can’t reach them because the rows are extremely far apart? Use the mace. Walk past a tree and see a cat stuck in it? Use the mace to give it something to climb down. Have an itch on your back that you can’t reach because you just finished working out at the Lil Bob, and now everything hurts? Use. The. Mace.

There’s also plenty of room to improvise. Anyone who’s ordered food from the Dunkin’ in Perkins recently may have noticed that they’ve started offering a new menu item — the Munchkins Skewer. For $1, you can buy three munchkins stacked up on a stick. But why pay for a tiny skewer like that when you can make a much bigger, better-looking one yourself?

If you buy a 10-count of munchkins and stick them on the end of the mace, you’ll have a much more valuable (and flashy) Munchkins Skewer on your hands. Everyone will be asking you for a bite! (Although, maybe that would be more of a con than a pro.)

So, university officials, hear my plea: Put the mace and chain of office to better use. If you keep limiting their appearances to academic ceremonies, people are bound to forget that such artifacts exist until the next time I write about them. And who knows when that will be?




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