“A waking nightmare”: Students Grapple With Lack of Gargoyles on Campus



The College often cites its commitment to making the school a safer space for all students, faculty, and staff. As part of this effort, weekly workshops and therapy sessions are provided through Integrative Wellbeing Services. But it this enough? In a word: no. In recent months, many disgruntled students have been pointing out the College’s hypocrisy: how can an institution claim to care about mental health and not have a significant amount of gargoyles on campus?


“I was so excited to start my first year of college,” said Rose Barnett ‘23. “But as I started to get my bearings, I realized that there are like, no gargoyles here. And that’s when everything started to go downhill. Now I just sit in my room and cry.”

A shocking study conducted by the Geosciences Department using a meta-analysis of gargoyle totals in several different areas on campus revealed that Williams College has a net total of zero (0) gargoyles, a number far lower than the optimal amount, which experts place in the low fifties.


Students aren’t the only ones who feel this way. Aaron Bunn, a mathematics professor who focuses on real analysis, told The Haystack that he was willing to move from the University of Wisconsin because of then-President Adam Falk’s guarantee that there were “a reasonable number” of gargoyles on campus. “When I showed up to campus and realized that there actually weren’t any gargoyles, I felt cheated,” says Bunn. “Adam Falk knows full well what a ‘reasonable’ number is, and it sure as hell isn’t zero This administration is playing a dirty, dirty game.”


Some have started taking matters into their own hands, fashioning make-shift creatures out of sticks, pipe cleaners, and mud. “The fact that we have to do this is unacceptable,” said Trisha Gardner ‘22. “They’re making us dig around in the dirt like animals because they’re too stubborn to accept the science.”


What science? Experts have found that having 4 or 5 of those ugly fuckers on each building significantly lowers the cortisol levels of those within their sphere of power. Amanda Maloney, head of Stanford University’s Gargoyle Science Department, elaborated on this point in her book, Chicken Soup for the Soul and by Chicken Soup I Mean Gargoyles: “something about their stupid little faces causes the brain to go ‘oh hell yeah’ and sort of just vibe. The effects are almost instantaneous.”


Some students go even further, wondering if the addition of just gargoyles would even be enough to alleviate stress on campus. Junior Sam Stork says that “gargoyles are a great first step, but if the College thinks that adding them to campus will immediately make everyone feel better, they’re dead wrong. Any comprehensive wellness plan would also have to include portraits of Satan in the dining halls, pentagrams in all of the quads, and goat sacrifices in Baxter.”

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