On Tuesday, a crowd of faces formed outside Jeremiah Smith Hall, some full of dread and despair, others with hope, as the faculty weighed the decision to ban plaid on campus. Some students sat on the steps, frantically adjusting their bowties and dabbing their sweating foreheads with plaid handkerchiefs. Others went to bed, distracted themselves with extra credit work, or frantically checked the outcome predictions calculated by another student’s algorithm.
“97 percent chance of an affirmative vote,” one student cried out in excitement to a group of somber friends. But his gleeful statement could bring them no consolation. At 5:45 p.m., right before lights-out, the faculty emerged with their decision — and the crowd fell to their knees.
The next morning, many wore plaid as a sign of defiance; they would not accept the ban and its effects on the community. Some daring souls went so far as to step on the grass outside Jeremiah Smith, waving plaid banners above their heads until they were cleared away by Campus Security. Many, however, were not interested in activism at this moment, and embraced the ban. Those who had supported the decision rejoiced, bumping their Supreme-adorned chests and waving their Antisocial Social Club hats around. Despite the pushback to the decision, there was no doubt that a grave atmosphere had settled on campus.
A vocal opponent to the ban, Lum Berjack ’19, had this to say about the decision:
“No matter what the faculty thinks this decision will to do to campus, it will not divide us. We plaidheads will stand in firm, unwavering opposition to the tyranny of this administration, and we will not surrender our fashion. By any means necessary, I will stand against this decision, and I am not alone. We will not tolerate this hateful behavior. We are plaid, we are together.”
Regardless of your opinion on this issue, it is clear that our campus will be greatly affected by this decision. If you stand against it, stand strong. Use a #3 pencil and step on the grass — defy the rules in any way you can. And for those who support it, Godspeed, and may STEM be with you.