Satire: Skiing to class can to fix UMass’ transportation problem

It’s time to think outside of the box to solve our road issues

Collegian+File+Photo

Collegian File Photo

By Will Duffy, Collegian Contributor

Editor’s Note: The following column is satirical. It is meant for humorous purposes. All interviews and individuals are fictitious.

I’ve written about issues people face on this campus regarding transportation in the past. However, I feel like I wasn’t thinking outside the box enough. Most of the problems people face on this campus have to do with the roads here. So, instead of taking a bus or car, or even walking to class, we should do away with vehicle transportation altogether and go to class the way God intended: on skis.

Let’s be honest, this is the University of Massachusetts, and probably around three-fourths of us come from middle class Boston suburbs. So most of us have been skiing all our lives anyway. Even those of us who have never touched a pair of skis in our lives are likely peer pressured into going on yearly ski trips by more experienced friends. Hitting the slopes is second nature for most of us. Therefore, it only makes sense that this practice is implemented on campus.

My idea is this: a ski mountain is constructed over W.E.B. Du Bois Library, and ski paths are set up that extend from the ski mountain to all the academic buildings, dorms and dining halls. There would also be ski lifts set up all across the campus, as well as off campus residence halls and the Hampshire Mall.

Of course, this would have to be akin to a real ski mountain, so some paths would be made much harder than others. The path to places such as Worcester Dining Commons could be made a double black diamond to reduce crowding and place less stress on the workers there. Let’s be honest, this would probably still go smoother than that free YCMP policy.

Some of you might be wondering, how would we “build” a mountain?  The answer is simple: take one of the many large hills and mountains surrounding UMass, and, in Patrick Star’s words, push it somewhere else. UMass was founded within a valley for a reason.

Some of you might also wonder, if there’s a giant mountain in the place of the library, where will I go to study? Ideally, on top of the mountain, there would be a lodge that doubles as a studying area. The lodge would also be 23 stories high. You thought the view at the 23rd floor of the library was spectacular now, just wait until it’s about the size of the One World Trade Center.

What are the pros of this policy? Well, first of all, skiing is awesome.

I really thought I’d be able to think of more pros.

The cons? The mountain would have to be pretty high, and the paths would have to be carved relatively narrow. Just imagine water slides but made of snow and whatever powder ski resorts put on their mountains. To minimize potential injury, my idea would be to place giant air mattresses all around campus.

Also, it might be a bit expensive to install lifts all around Hampshire County. Some students may also find an issue with having to take the ski lift all the way up the mountain just to get to a class that normally would be a five minute bus ride away. This would be fixed by making the ski lifts run faster than any ski lift that exists in the world today. Ideally, they would be fast enough that riders on the lifts are left wondering whether this is the time that the lift breaks off and they fall to their untimely death.

I’ve heard many (absurd) criticisms of this plan, such as “That’s dangerous” or “Is this even physically possible?” or “Sir, this is a Wendy’s.” I ask you, readers, to think outside the box like I did. Imagine being able to hit a sick backflip in front of your crush on your way to class. Imagine instead of taking the bus, you take the bobsled. Nothing would get our campus in shape like having to carry a giant sled half the way to wherever you’re going.

Forget a walkable campus, it’s time for UMass to become a skiable one.

Will Duffy can be reached at [email protected]