Warning: this article, unlike the others on our site, is NOT a joke. This actually happened. (Though it may or may not have been embellished”¦)
On January 16, 2010, Jerk magazine was denied the right to distribute its latest edition in Graham Dining Hall. Despite the fact that Adolf Hitler would recognize this as a breach of constitutional rights, Jerk was told that SU has a law (that no one knew about) that prohibits all periodicals from being distributed in dining halls. The Daily Orange reported that Kevin Morrow, an SU administrator, claims, “Not all procedures are written down”¦Some are simply practices or directives that have been in place and followed.” He then added, “Like walking on the grass on the quad. It’s not written, but people don’t do it. They could do it if they wanted to. But then they’d get expelled.”
In an effort to, as G.O.B. Bluth would say, “circumvent” this non-existent statute, Jessie Assimon of Jerk magazine emailed the head of Residential Life, to discuss the illegalities of banning a student-funded publication from dining halls. However, her attempt to prevent absurdity was met with”¦more absurdity.
In the email, Ms. Assimon was greeted with a list of reasons why Jerk could not be distributed in dining halls. The most puzzling of these rules, according to Assimon, was as follows: “Since there are no distribution boxes or similar vehicles in the residence halls for this purpose, Jerk will be expected to provide one for each hall.” So, despite the fact that the SU student fee pays for magazines like Jerk, the Daily Orange (which is not paid for by your student fee) is provided with these boxes, while Jerk has to buy its own stands.
“Why should we have to bend over backwards to find the money to buy stands for all the residence halls because we didn’t know about this rule?” asks Assimon, adding, “It’s ridiculous.”
Finally, Dean Branham of the Newhouse School, being a logical and wise person, met with Chancellor Nancy Canter, also a logical person, and the two agreed that, logically, it does not make any logical sense to have a law exist that does not actually exist. And so, in one of the strangest moves in litigation history, SU decided to banish from existence a law that almost no one knew about and that, for all intents and purpose, did not ever exist in the first place.
Still, this fiasco begs the question: what other policies are in place at SU that no one knows about? What happens if you try to open the doors at the top of the Carnegie steps? What if you’re a graduate student and you try to take a USA Today from the bins that clearly say “Undergraduates Only?” What if, God forbid, your orange shirt is really more of a tangerine?
I guess we won’t know until the next time someone gets penalized for violating a law that does not exist”¦and that later gets pushed into further non-existence.
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