Satire: UMass hosts ‘Squid Game’ to solve housing shortage

Many will play, few will win housing


Collegian File Photo

By Liam Rue, Op/Ed Columnist

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

Due to the worsened housing shortage forecast for the upcoming Fall 2022 semester – with allegedly more housing applications than available housing – the University of Massachusetts administration has decided to solve the housing crisis by giving away the last remaining spots to a lucky few contestants. Since there are only a few rooms remaining, University officials have stated that an elimination game similar to that of the Netflix hit show “Squid Game” is their best option to reduce housing insecurity.

While it is an efficient way to give housing to those who most deserve it, it is also about ensuring a chance for everyone, administrators said. Officials have also noted that the “elimination” aspect of the game will automatically reduce the number of people who need housing.

“It’s like killing two birds with one stone,” one official said. Participants discussed their experiences anonymously to the Massachusetts Daily Collegian.

Tanner Tee, a sophomore without housing, said he was on his way to class when he saw a well-dressed man repeatedly throwing a folded piece of paper on the ground, at which point the man challenged him to play the game. “I don’t know how the guy knew I still needed housing, but one thing led to another,” Tee said.

Officials have not publicly revealed the specifics of the games contestants will play. According to anonymous officials, some games include a competition where players must find a seat in Worcester Dining Commons after 5 p.m. By the time there are no seats left (within 30 seconds), the players without seats are “eliminated” (they have to transfer to UMass Dartmouth).

In another game, similar to Squid Game’s dalgona cookie challenge, contestants have the daunting task of carving out one of several different shapes from a Worcester burger patty. In this game, 90 percent of contestants were eliminated after their knives broke immediately upon contact with the patties.

Students competing in the games said they signed up as a last resort since they did not have another option. “After all the housing was gone on SPIRE, I realized I had nowhere else to turn,” one junior said. Not all are so desperate, however. Half of students given a chance to participate declined after learning that the housing prizes were all rooms in Sylvan.

Liam Rue can be reached at [email protected]