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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Chancellor canceled: ‘Heck! I don’t believe in Santa!’

Bianca Oppedisano
Chancellor Marcelo Suárez-Orozco yells into his phone. Illustration by Bianca Oppedisano / Mass Media Staff.

November is officially coming to a close. We’ve given our thanks and now, while we pray that the spirit of Turkey’s past doesn’t return from the grave to seek revenge, the next great holiday looms on the horizon: Christmas! However, after a recent situation involving our great chancellor, Marcelo Suárez-Orozco, the fate of the beloved yuletide hangs in the balance. 

In the week leading up to Thanksgiving break, a student captured the Chancellor red-handed in a Quinn bathroom stall talking to someone aggressively on the phone. According to the student, who wished to remain anonymous, they overheard the Chancellor scream at the top of his lungs a phrase that would come to define him:

“Heck! I don’t believe in Santa!”  

While the recipient of the Chancellor’s rage is unknown, it didn’t take long for the audio recording of the incident—though, why the student had been recording in the bathroom also remains unknown—to spread its way around campus, sparking controversy and leaving many feeling as though their supposed leader had turned his back on the Christmas spirit. The Chancellor, not wanting his image to be tarnished, was quick to release an apology statement. But as with most apologies made by public officials, his became more of an act of self-defense and justification as opposed to anything that could be considered sincere. 

“I have, and always will cherish Christmas with all my heart. Here at UMass Boston, we preach acceptance, and while Christmas is clearly the best religious holiday, the other ones are acceptable as well. Whether you be celebrating the birth of little baby Jesus, or little baby Buddha, or little baby Joseph Smith, it’s cool. When it comes to the statement that has stirred so much drama, I stand by what I said. Santa can go straight to Heck in a handbasket. And no, I’m not fatphobic and I’m not ageist. I hate Santa because he’s a corporate stooge.”   

Unsurprisingly, the statement was not well-received by the student body, many finding it strange how adamant the Chancellor was about not believing in Santa Claus. What was even more concerning than the Chancellor’s statement was the new rule put into motion by the administration shortly after. Effective immediately, all Santa-related imagery and paraphernalia is banned on campus. This includes elves, reindeer, white beards and the color red. Any person in breach of the “Santa Ban” will be sent directly to the Chancellor’s office for “reconditioning.” One student, Kristelle Crumper, found the Chancellor’s behavior especially odd. 

“I mean, obviously, Santa’s not real. Anybody over the age of ten knows that. Like, I get that he’s pretty much a tool created by big businesses to advertise products for the Christmas season, but a lot of people grew up with him. He’s the jolly face of Christmas. He’s the guy you always wished was your grandpa. To put it simply, Santa’s an icon. I don’t know if the Chancellor’s just jealous or something, but he’s really ruining the holiday vibe with this anti-Santa tirade.”     

The Chancellor may view Santa as a corporate stooge, but it didn’t take long for students to label Suárez-Orozco as an Ebenezer Scrooge. Protests against the “Santa Ban ” soon began with students, and even a few professors, taking to the front quad to sing “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” in full Santa regalia. The administration labeled this song as “threatening” and is now pursuing legal action against those who participated. Despite this, fliers began appearing around campus depicting a hyper-detailed and slightly grotesque caricature of the Chancellor above large bold text that simply read, “Chancellor Bah-Humbug!”

 Although you may feel these pro-Santa protestors are fighting an unimportant battle, the leader of the movement, a sophomore named Marx Groucho, wants you to know that you’re unquestionably correct. 

“Honestly, I couldn’t care less about this whole Santa thing,” spoke Groucho. “I don’t even celebrate Christmas. I just thought the Chancellor was being weird about Santa so I said to some friends, ‘Hey, we can be weird too.’ I don’t know, it’s something to do, I guess.” 

As the protests began dying down while students trickled home for Thanksgiving, the Chancellor would do something to wreck the halls once again. It was Wednesday, Nov. 22, when one student, Dash Gordon, witnessed something truly awful. According to him, he observed the Chancellor screaming furiously at a little boy to “go back to where you’re from!” The little boy, who was on his way to a friend’s Nintendo-themed birthday party dressed as Link from “The Legend of Zelda,” was rightfully terrified and burst into hysterics. By the time the mother ran over, the Chancellor realized his grave mistake and trotted off awkwardly.  

The mother of the child declined to comment, but as to be expected, the Chancellor once again published an apology statement for the incident, and—once again—his words did little to justify his actions. 

“Here at UMass Boston, we preach forgiveness, and while I’m sure my relatable mishap has surely ruffled some feathers, I know you will all find it in your hearts to forgive me. But I mean, the kid looked like a gosh-darn Christmas elf! Pointy ears, green clothes, cone hat: Can you really blame me? I don’t know who the heck this Zelda guy is or the kind of Santa propaganda this Nintendo company is pushing, but I want none of it here!” 

Sources within the Chancellor’s inner circle claimed that following this statement, Suárez-Orozco considered a ban on all Nintendo products. However, after receiving an email from game director Shigeru Miyamoto, which simply read, “No,” the Chancellor reconsidered the ban.    

Christmas season may soon be approaching but the Chancellor has not let up on his anti-Santa stance. If you seek to make it to the end of the semester unscathed by the Chancellor’s wrath, the University recommends you avoid wearing anything remotely related to Christmas, including shirts with dogs as the Chancellor may mistake them for being reindeer. Most importantly, if you see the Chancellor in passing—which would be rare—try shouting out a spiteful, “Heck! I don’t believe in Santa!” Who knows? It might just be enough to score you some holiday brownie points with the big man himself.

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