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The Mass Media

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

Campus cover-up: Mystery symbol appears near dorms

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Bianca Oppedisano
An illustration of a confused student with question marks. Illustration by Bianca Oppedisano / Mass Media Staff

Last week, following Monday’s snowfall, a strange incident occurred outside the East Residence Hall. Supposedly, a strange symbol appeared in the snow near the softball field. Few people actually witnessed the symbol, as it was seemingly destroyed by university officials in an attempt to cover up the truth—or at least that’s what freshman Willy Johnson claims.
“It just reeks of suspicion if you ask me. You’re telling me a strange symbol appears in the snow overnight and vanishes without a trace before anyone can even see it! If it wasn’t important then why was the school so quick to cover it up? It might just be a gut feeling, but I’m starting to get the impression that the administrators at this school aren’t what they seem.”
Could it be true that the university did in fact destroy the symbol in an attempt to conceal some kind of dark truth from the student body? Cover-up or not, one important question remained: What exactly did these students see? Abigail Dickerson, a sophomore who happened to be strolling by the field on the morning of the incident, described what she had seen in the snow.
“It was kind of long and at the bottom, there were these two large orbs. At first, I thought that maybe it was some kind of tower, like an ancient obelisk or something. Something about it just…unsettled me.”
As I questioned more students, I started to become unsettled myself. One person described it as, “an angry basilisk with an eye of fire” while another likened it to, “a couple of meatballs wearing a ten-gallon hat.” The strangest comparison of all considered the symbol to represent, “the sack of Rome.”
Just as my case was beginning to go cold, I received a strange email from somebody who called themselves, “Magnum Maximus.” They requested that I come up to their dorm room in East Hall for information regarding the symbol. Against my better judgment, I soon found myself standing in front of their dorm. The door was unlocked, and as I opened it, I was met only by an unseeable emptiness. From out of the black abyss called a shrill, whispery voice, “Hurry you fool, you’ll let the darkness out!”
A dim light flickered on in the back of the room, illuminating a small body hunched over like some sort of cave creature. I couldn’t help thinking that he resembled Gollum from “The Lord of the Rings.” And yes, similarly to Gollum, he was wearing nothing more than a crude loin cloth cut from the remnants of an old UMass Boston hoodie.
“Wise of you to heed the call of Magnum Maximus!” He flicked on a series of lights revealing a large array of whiteboards, posters and drawings tacked to the back wall. Across these displays were complex diagrams and nonsensical mathematical equations.
“For years, a great lie has been upheld by this university. Despite their greatest efforts, I have glimpsed the truth behind the veil of their dark deception. I have torn the wool from my eyes in order to bask in the sun of a new dawn—and let me tell you, my friend, the dawn is coming!”
Maximus paused his rant and began to shake violently. “I need my medicine! I can’t continue without my medicine!” He gestured to a bag of half-eaten Doritos on the floor, and not knowing what else to do, I passed him the bag. He proceeded to take a few chips, crushed them up with his hand and snorted them up his nose. His head snapped back in shock before he regained his former composure.
“The symbol was destroyed by the university in order to hide the tracks of their true employers: The aliens! It’s been right in front of our faces for years! They say, ‘for the times.’  What time, you ask? The end of time! The end of days! I’m talking ‘War of the Worlds’ type of s— here! We’ll be first, we’ll be the trial run! Lambs to the slaughter!”
Really? Aliens? I came all the way up to this lunatic’s room for answers, and the best he could do was give me a cookie-cutter conspiracy that sounded like it could have come straight from the mouth of Giorgio Tsoukalos himself—that’s the dude with spiky hair from “Ancient Aliens” for those of you who don’t know. I decided that I had enough craziness and left the room.
Feeling defeated, I got in the elevator and did something I never thought I’d do: Vent about my frustrations to a complete stranger. Turns out that the random dude riding the elevator with me had witnessed the creation of the symbol. He didn’t have a clear view but claimed that he saw “some sort of sad blue creature” down on the field drawing something in the snow. Sadly for me, that wasn’t much better than the aliens.
After failing to gather any reliable information about the mystery symbol, I decided that it was time to hang up my detective hat. There were still; however, many questions left unanswered. What was the meaning of the symbol? Who created it? Why was it unsettling? Most importantly: Why was the university so quick to cover it up? These are questions that will perhaps never receive answers, and maybe that’s for the best. Some things are better left unknown.

About the Contributors
Joe DiPersio, Humor Editor
Bianca Oppedisano, Illustrator