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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

2-26-24 PDF
February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

UMass Boston reveals its 2,500-year construction plan


A futuristic look at the UMass Boston Campus. Illustration by Bianca Oppedisano (She/Her) / Mass Media Staff. 

Unless you’ve been dancing the night away in Bobby’s boneyard for the past few decades, you’ve probably noticed the constant construction around UMass Boston’s campus. This, apparently, is all part of the 25-year “Master Plan,” established back in 2009. Now that we’re entering the second half of that plan, it seems that the administration has come to a terrifying conclusion: Eventually the plan will be completed, and the construction will end! Of course, that would be unacceptable, which is why last week, Chancellor Marcelo Suárez-Orozco took the stage at an elaborate conference for the university’s elite members to announce a new vision for the school’s future—the 2,500-year construction plan.

First off, bold of you to assume there’ll be a campus to renovate two and a half millennia from now. More realistically, Earth will be a smoldering pile of rubbish akin to the opening of “WALL-E” and at best we’ll be a bunch of overweight slug-people living in space, slurping liquid lasagna and playing virtual table tennis with robots. But—and that’s a big ol’ but—if we do manage to get our s— together then maybe, just maybe, UMass Boston will survive long enough to see its metamorphosis through and emerge from its cocoon as the fully-bloomed place for education it was always meant to be. However, you can’t have grossly unrealistic aspirations without a grossly unrealistic price tag.

“As it is difficult to factor in the economic changes that the future could bring, a definite cost for this project cannot be pinned down. However, after consulting the experts of my private council, we have determined it best to label it as…infinite.” As the Chancellor spoke, a large infinity symbol appeared on the screen behind him. “That being said, I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to the generous donors who made this all possible—I’m talking about the student body, of course!” As not a single student, other than I, was present at the conference, the room fell into a suffocating silence.

The concept art for this 2,500-year plan looked nothing like the UMass Boston we all know and love. The most immediate features were the large metallic skyscrapers that towered above the harbor. Protruding out of these towers were what looked to be landing pads which, according to the Chancellor, were for “extra-terrestrial parking.” Running between these towers were narrow passageways which were referred to as “dog walks” for the canine students. It is unknown what chain of events has led the Chancellor to believe that dogs will evolve to the point of wanting to attend college, but in his opinion, it’s “better safe than sorry.”

With this being a futuristic reimagining of our university, it goes without saying that a large portion of the plan’s infinite budget is being dedicated to expanding our capacities for science with a heightened focus on artificial intelligence and genetic manipulation. The genetic research is especially important to the Chancellor as one of the largest elements of his plan involves creating a “Jurassic Park” knock-off in the area formerly known as the Bayside parking lot. He plans on calling it, “UMassic Park.”

You’re probably thinking by now, “hey, we’re spending all this money and the administration is wasting it on stupid stuff—what’s in it for us?” Well, the Chancellor wants you to rest assured because there will be many quality of life improvements to accommodate the student body. All food will be free; however, it’s important to note that solid conventional foods will no longer exist, and students will have to curb their hunger through the use of nutrient-packed suppositories. There’s nothing more futuristic than a hotdog in the form of a pill, and there’s nothing more cutting-edge than stuffing said pill up your butt.

Not only does this fix the problem of overpriced campus food; it solves the problem of dirty campus bathrooms as students will now be taking in the precise amount of nutrients they need to survive and thus, never producing waste again. Although, some scientists argue that the continuous use of this method could lead to humanity evolving and losing the use of their mouths, with all associated oral duties—including speech—being relocated to their rear ends. It seems that the Chancellor is way ahead of the game on this one.

Then there’s the heart of the plan’s infrastructure, the new and improved Beacon Bot AI, which will control every aspect of the school’s functioning from the curriculum down to the schedules of the now-flying shuttle buses. Beacon Bot’s massive processing unit will be housed in a twenty-story lighthouse in the exact center of campus. The concept art for this looked suspiciously similar to the Eye of Sauron and the Chancellor’s assurance that, “Beacon Bot sees all,” didn’t help matters. He also stressed that Beacon Bot is capable of snuffing out all forms of cheating, even those related to rodents in baseball caps. I guess he’s still hung up on the “Rat-Hat Roonie” fiasco of last semester.

As the presentation started wrapping up, someone in the back asked the burning question, “Chancellor, why are we sinking so much money into unnecessary construction that won’t become a reality for 2,500 years when we have crucial departments at this university that are currently being underfunded and pushed to the wayside?”

The Chancellor paused for a moment, seemingly deep in thought, before erupting, “who wants to design their own building?” Hands shot up around the room as the various university elites clamored for a chance to imprint their personal vision onto the school’s legacy. Ideas were recorded from around the room consisting of a giant goose-shaped bakery, a pineapple-esque aquarium, an Al Pacino-themed cappuccino café called “Al CaPacino’s” and many more equally absurd and utterly useless concepts. When everyone finished, the Chancellor blurted out, “I’m just gonna put this out there and see if it sticks—a life-size, brick-by-brick replica of the Vatican!” The room was consumed by applause as the Chancellor reveled in the madness.

In the end, despite the unrealistic expectations for our civilization’s longevity, the child-like imaginings of aliens and dog people, the slightly disturbing concept of nutrient-infused butt food and the Orwellian nature of Beacon Bot, the Chancellor’s proposed 2,500-year construction plan isn’t half bad. I mean, when your budget is literally infinite, the sky’s the limit. Of course, he may need to cryogenically freeze himself in order to see the fruition of his plan but knowing him, I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s already on top of that. As the presentation ended, the Chancellor signed off with his now signature catchphrase, “to infinity and above!”

About the Contributor
Joe DiPersio, Humor Editor