Quoth the Master: Homeland Security

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New College. More insular than most big colleges, but possessing the same air of smug superiority. We have a large JCR budget which we spend exclusively on sports kit, are proud of our lack of opinions on anything affecting anyone but us, and have a large hill in the middle of our garden. The College is also built on either side of the City Wall, which is sensible.

Something is awry in New College this week. I couldn’t quite place it as I walked through the back gate today, sidestepping mantraps and claymores, and narrowly avoiding a boulder that I presumably triggered by stepping on a pressure pad. Then it hit me: College is less fun, more suspicious, than usual.

Time was where you could frolic naked in front of the Mound, drinking beer from a paddling pool and offering the “Special Tour” to beleaguered tourists. Not so today. I remember in my first year, when a junior dean and I enjoyed a sword fight with the two narwhal horns he swiped from the College Treasury. I slipped, and accidentally impaled the College cat: but luckily for us, the gardener had left a wood-chipper unattended nearby. There was a campaign to find Otis for weeks. How we laughed.

But now New College faces less playful times. Security is tightening. I’ve heard that instead of a guard dog, the Dean now has a Bengal Tiger. The porters are armed with semi-automatics, and demand all students present their bod cards at the lodge. Failure to do so results in an on-the-spot decanal fine or summary execution, as detailed in the Dean’s Handbook p. 378, which the Dean referred us to in an e-mail so it’s perfectly legit. I saw one fresher fail to produce her bod card or cash yesterday, with hilarious consequences. I’m sure this policy will have a positive effect on prelims results, as if you forget a simple rule in the Dean’s Handbook you haven’t got a chance of understanding Logic anyway.

But is this just health and safety gone mad? I’m afraid not: this isn’t just the nanny state preventing schoolchildren from enjoying a bit of harmless fun with fireworks and acid. The cause of New College’s tightening of rules is far more sinister: an attempted theft of the JCR’s coveted PS3.

The PS3 is something of an idol to the New College JCR, representing all its political views and general outlook on life. The fact that someone would try and steal it shocked many, prompting the current array of security measures. But are they really necessary? I don’t think so. Mortal Kombat was stolen weeks ago anyway, which incidentally is why I’m never around New College anymore. That and the discovery of japanesebugfights.com.

-Alexander Shattock