With the College’s final exam period starting today, students are becoming increasingly anxious about President Mandel’s failure thus far to stand up in front of a cheering crowd and sweepingly declare that all exams are cancelled.
“I want to give Maud the benefit of the doubt and assume she’s just been perfecting her speech, or strategically postponing the announcement to increase suspense,” said third-year student Nigel Pemberton. “But at this point, I’m really starting to worry that there actually is some chance she won’t cancel exams.”
Students have been operating under the assumption that exams would be cancelled since early March, when Mandel announced that “Williams is no longer safe,” and sent all students back home to their charming cottages in rural England. Students naturally assumed the eventual cancellation of final exams was nothing but a formality.
“It’s just common sense,” said first-year Cordelia Trickelbank. “Whenever there’s a major, unprecedented safety threat, you have to follow the established precedent and cancel exams.”
This well-known precedent of exam cancellation in response to campus safety concerns was originally set by Albus P. Dumbledore in the spring of 1993, when he cancelled final exams at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, “as a school treat.” Headmaster Dumbledore’s decision was based on a combination of several factors, including immediate danger, the need for a school-wide morale boost, and we don’t even need a third example here because these parallels are rock-solid and this couldn’t possibly be clearer.
Mandel has not directly addressed the possibility of cancelling exams in any public statements this spring. But her children revealed in an interview with The Haystack that she once watched the film Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets with them, and loudly complained at the end that Dumbledore’s decision represented “a nightmare for academic continuity and the academic mission of any serious institution.”
Most students think exam cancellation has simply slipped Mandel’s mind. “I reckon it hasn’t even occurred to her,” said an anonymous second-year whose parents were famously and brutally murdered in front of him when he was a one-year-old, leaving a cow-shaped scar on his forehead. “There’s no other explanation. Anyone who was aware of the precedent would have cancelled exams by now.”
The Haystack would like to formally request that President Mandel issue a statement announcing the status of final exams and put an end to this paralyzing campus-wide confusion. If she doesn’t act soon, we fear that the student body will have no choice but to enter the steam tunnels and fight the virus ourselves.