WILLIAMSTOWN, MA—As announced by Jim Reische in this week’s Ops message, the College will now be deciding Covid policies by spinning a giant, neon wheel with different restrictions on each segment.
“It’s like Wheel of Fortune,” said President Mandel when pressed for comment. She stepped forward and gave the wheel a big, hearty spin. “Once you get the big guy going, the whole thing’s entirely out of your hands!” After twenty seconds of steady movement, the wheel finally slowed down and landed decisively on “Masks only in bathrooms.”
Mandel emphasized that the wheel was created in response to complaints that the College’s public safety measures were inconsistent, confusing, and not clearly stated, problems which she is confident will be resolved by the Wheel. “This is hard to miss,” she told our reporter, putting on her suede blazer and white tophat in preparation for this morning’s spinning. “You don’t want these announcements made in the shadows? Ohhh, I’ll come out of the shadows.” Mandel then burst into Baxter hall to raucous cheers.
In addition to its “wow factor,” administrators have emphasized the “adaptability” of the system. “There’s over a hundred responses on this thing, and that’s not even counting the extra wheel we have in the other room,” Dean Sandstrom explained excitedly. “I get calls from my husband—‘Where are you! Why are you out so late! Are you alright!’ And I say ‘Don’t worry babe—I’m just out spinning the wheel.’”
Although students say they’ve had an easy time understanding the mechanics of the Wheel itself, things get more complicated with the other facets of the decision-making process. The administration has added nine-sided dice, a full game board, a system of real-life chutes and ladders which students are expected to climb, and a large, steaming cauldron into which Scott Lewis periodically pours burlap sacks labeled “eye of newt.”
“It’s simple,” said Mandel, gesturing to a flow chart that covered an entire wall and included a diagram of a human brain being split in half. “If you land in segments 1, 9, 8, 16, 47, or ‘Community Chest,’ you have to play pin-the-tail-on-the-COVID particle against your class dean, but if the wheel lands on 3 or 13, you have to fight Scott Lewis. But if you roll an 11 or a 49 you ‘Marlene Out’ and you have to return all your tokens.”
The application process for the job of wheel spinner was apparently highly competitive and at times far from friendly. It involved, as it happens, its own wheel, which President Mandel assures us is far too complicated to get into but just as scientifically sound as the Covid wheel.
At press time, it was revealed to the Haystack that the administration is now considering the Wheel’s potential in solving other chronic problems, such as student depression and fork shortages.