Marshall Hess didn’t have any plans for spring break.
“I told my mom a couple weeks ago that I was going to buy my plane ticket home for spring break,” said Hess, an undeclared freshman from Washington. “But she suggested that I try doing something else for the ‘full college experience.’ Plus, her and my stepdad already had plans to go to Cancun.”
Unable to go home, Hess tried making plans with people on his floor. But as it turned out, everyone had already made spring break arrangements prior to coming to Syracuse University – back when they had all met for the first time at summer camps.
Dejected, he spent a week in his Booth Hall dorm room in a mild depression. But when he recovered, he came up with a brilliant idea.
“I figured that no one was going to bring their sheets and blankets with them over spring break,” Hess said. “So I decided to build a blanket fort. I’ve wanted to do it since I was a kid.”
Over the next weeks, Hess kept his idea close to the chest, sharing it with the only people he knew would prove useful over break: engineering majors. Knowing that they would have no spring break plans, he and a select group of engineering majors designed blueprints and schematics that involved a full blanket takeover of Booth Hall.
Hess dedicated the first Friday of break to breaking into empty rooms on all eight floors of the dormitory and stealing blankets with the help of his resident advisor – another engineering major rejected from home and Miami hotels alike. He estimated that over 500 blankets would be needed to begin building the fort, projected to start construction midday Monday.
“I’m planning on building a mini-civilization in Booth that people without spring break plans can come and visit,” Hess said. “All the floors will be connected with blankets that go to stairwells and elevators. Kind of like The Hunger Games, each floor will be its own district that’ll serve a specific purpose like mining, food production, or aromatherapy. Floor lounges will be like town squares, and the Booth Lobby will be an events hall where we can have afternoon tea or something. My room on the second floor will be the Capitol – and the only VIP strip club.”
Construction is expected to take two to three days, depending on the number of people that actually show up to help.
In completely unrelated news, NBC comedy Communityreturns to television this week Thursday at 8 p.m.