Evil Mastermind Gives Up Search For Spacious, Affordable Carrboro Lair

carrboro supervillain

CHAPEL HILL, NC—This week, evil mastermind Alder Von Hertsenberg gave up on his scheme to lease a Carrboro lair for the upcoming year.

Citing Carrboro properties’ visibly deteriorating conditions and their inordinate distance from UNC’s campus—the villain’s preferred location for frenzied havoc—Von Hertsenberg lamented his housing quandary.

“Every blithering idiot in the Legion of Evil tells me how lucky I’d be to live near Harris Teeter and Weaver Street Market,” sneered Von Hertsenberg through gritted teeth, his sunken eyes as black as the cloaks that hung from his neck. “I know goddamn well how close I’d be to Weaver. Fresh apples and guacamole can’t wash away the Kombucha stains on my walls where I should be mounting my ray guns.

“The world must be destroyed and I don’t have time to walk 20 minutes everyday,” he added.

Von Hertsenberg, who hopes to have annihilated all joy from the earth by the year 2018, said many of his friends had easily found places to create mass terror in the community, but for him it had been difficult.

“The Horned Rhino found a place to fit an entire zoo and I can’t find a place that can even accommodate my serums that turn people into koalas,” Von Hesternberg said. “I’ve been on Zillow everyday for a month, this is exhausting.”

Von Hertsenberg, his hands clenching a spiked, rusty orb, elucidated on commuting between a Carrboro lair and UNC’s campus.

“Do you have any idea how difficult it would be to carry my death contraptions in the basket of some want-to-be hipster’s bicycle? If Operation: Alert Carolina is to succeed, it will need to be at least…”

At this point Von Hertsenberg’s words trailed off into raspy whispers, his head cocked at an unnatural angle.

“If you reveal to anyone what I have just told you,” he spat. “I will snap you like a twig. Your village will burn.”

Even after expanding his search to Franklin and Rosemary Streets in Chapel Hill, the depraved anti-hero says he has found no potential nests to hatch his insidious plots.

“Which of you senseless nitwits named an apartment building Warehouse and then filled it with blundering, blonde sorority sisters?” he hissed. “I expected something barren, something damp and dark. What I found was Shortbread 2. When will you fools realize you have two Shortbreads in this hellish town?”

Indeed, with few housing options remaining for next year, Von Hertsenberg says he may be forced to return to UNC housing with his protégé, Pilson Warker.

“I’ll tolerate it if I must,” snapped the mastermind, his fingers plastered to each of his bulging temples. “But if some headstrong resident advisor tries to be a hero again, I’ll grind his bones to a thick paste.”

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Report: Piggyback Rides Still Best Way for Students to Get to Know Professors

prof piggyback

CHAPEL HILL, NC–Acknowledging that it can be difficult for undergraduates to form one-on-one connections with their professors at a large research university, a report issued this week by UNC’s Center for Faculty Excellence confirmed that piggyback rides are still the best way for students and professors to get to know each other.

“Supportive relationships are essential to doing well in college, but for many students, forming those relationships with faculty can feel overwhelming,” said Eric Muller, Director of the CFE, who co-authored the report. “But whether you want to communicate your academic interests, get help with tricky course material, or find ways to do undergraduate research, our study shows there’s still no better way than to hop on a professor’s back, loop your knees over their arms, and ride them around the quad for half an hour.

“A lot of students feel intimidated by the prospect of emailing a professor to schedule a piggyback ride,” he added, “but when we talk to professors, they say they really value that time with undergrads. They wonder why, week after week, no one shows up to their scheduled piggyback ride time. At least not until midterms roll around, that is!

“Most students view piggyback rides only in terms of getting help with homework or cramming for exams,” he said. “But they can be so much more.”

Junior chemistry major Brian Martree said piggyback rides have been essential to his academic progress at UNC.

“Until last year, I didn’t think I needed a professor to lug me around like that,” he said. “But then Professor [James] Jorgenson made me come see him for a piggyback ride after I got a bad grade on a test in his analytical chemistry class.

“As I climbed up onto his back, I could tell he was upset,” Martree continued, “but over the course of the ride he made it clear he was more concerned than anything. By the time he set me down, I knew he really believed I could do better.

“I started going in for piggyback rides every couple weeks or so after that, talking directly into his left ear about my problems, and very quickly things turned around in his class,” Martree said. “Now I’m doing research in his lab, and he’s writing me a letter of recommendation for research fellowships this summer.

“I just call him James now,” he said.

Though Martree’s experience and the report show what piggyback rides can do for students, many say the system is not perfect.

“I had one professor who put piggyback ride times on her syllabus,” said one sophomore who asked not to be named, “but every time I went, she acted like I was just wasting her time. She was all like, ‘Yeah, I’ll take you for a couple laps around the building, I guess.’

“During the ride, all she would say was how I could have found answers to all my questions in the book, and how heavy I was getting,” the student continued. “I could tell she just wanted to set me down and get back to her research.”

Others complained that they had tried to initiate piggyback rides after class and been rebuffed.

“I waited in line to talk to my professor and tried to very casually transition into a piggyback ride as we walked out of class together,” said Kim Foster, sophomore biology major. “It just did not work.

“I sort of landed on the floor beside him, and I tried to play it cool, but our relationship was ruined after that,” she added.

The authors of the report say that such instances are regrettable, and that they hope faculty can learn from the welcoming, constructive approach that some professors take to piggyback rides. They pointed to faculty, such as Bill Ferris, the Joel R. Williamson Eminent Professor of History, whom they said should be emulated.

Ferris, who was red-faced and slightly out of breath, having just returned from a piggyback ride through the Arboretum with a student who had questions about graduate school applications, said piggyback rides are essential to professors, too.

“I try to make plenty of piggyback rides available to students and really listen to what they have to say while they’re back there,” Ferris said. “Most students have great ideas and interests they’re passionate about, and with a little support, it’s amazing to see what they can accomplish.

“Sometimes I feel like they’re the ones who should be giving me piggyback rides, not the other way around,” he joked.

Asked if he had any more to add, Ferris extended his hand and said there was only one way to really see what piggyback rides are all about.

“Hop on,” he said.

Bain Sponsors Annual Case Race Competition

bain case race

CHAPEL HILL, NC— Bain and Company, a Boston-based business consulting firm, held its annual case race competition for UNC-Chapel Hill students last Friday. Teams of participants devised and demonstrated strategies to drink a case of beer in the least amount of time possible.

In the first round of the competition, twenty student teams spent a week preparing a fifteen minute presentation of the fastest way for three people to finish a 24-pack beer of Keystone Light.

“We partnered with Keystone Light to hopefully bring a refreshing and powerful experience to students here at UNC-Chapel Hill,” said Tyler Scheffer, a Bain employee. “We’re excited to see the results.”

Competitors were told to make educated assumptions about certain key data points as they worked to provide innovative solutions to the problem and then enact them during the presentation.

“A lot depends on who’s on your team,” said Steven Chu, a junior in the Kenan-Flagler business school. “Best-case scenario, you have a couple of frat stars who can shotgun three beers right off the bat. Worst case, you’ve got nobody who can shotgun more than one. If your team can’t finish half the beers in the first 10 minutes, you’re definitely at a strategic disadvantage.”

Many competitors echoed Chu’s assessment, and most said they expected parity among the case race teams.

“There are only four Beta guys in the competition, so we assumed that most players will have a similar base-line beer drinking ability,” said David Andrews, a brother at Sigma Alpha Epsilon. “We can’t all be ringers.”

Many of the teams reported putting in long hours in the days before the final presentation.

“My team has put in, like, 50 hours this week,” said a haggard and hung-over Jack Warner. “At first we experimented with opening all the beers at the beginning to get rid of carbonation. Then we poured the beer into cups to chug faster. Our slide deck is great, perfect gradient choices and all, but I don’t know if our solution is strong enough.”

In the first round, teams demonstrated their case race strategies to a panel of Kenan-Flagler professors, which selected the three strongest teams to demonstrate before a panel of Bain executives, as well as an executive of Coors Brewing Company, the parent company of Keystone Light.

The final round took place in an auditorium in Kenan-Flagler business school. The three final teams gathered around 24-count cases of Keystone Light sitting on folding tables. Their Powerpoints were behind them, ready to display graphs, case studies, and an impressive array of appendix slides. The beer was at room temperature, as the teams requested, so that it would sit lighter on the stomach.

The race began with all teams shotgunning, leaving the suits and ties of the competitors soaked.

The teams remained neck-and-neck until the competitors reached their fourth beer, when Jack Henson stumbled to the edge of the stage and vomited. His team was disqualified and his exit was met by contemptuous looks from the panel.

Karen Walker, a partner a the firm who was judging the contest, said it was a disappointing ending to a promising presentation.

“We saw a lot of promise in [that team], but mistakes like that are not going to get you a first-round interview,” explained Walker. “People at Bain can hold their shit.”

Jason Merill, Aaron Pierce, and Daniel Wingrave won the case competition, showcasing their ability to down the Keystone Light case in a tight 35 minutes.

“What can I say,” Merill said, “we have great synergy.”

For their performance, the three were presented with honorary gift cards to the Chapel Hill bar Pantana Bob’s, which Bain officials said they hoped would help the students”keep up the good work” until they graduated. While Bain officials would not say whether they had further plans for the winning young men, they indicated that outstanding performance in the case competition would weigh favorably when it came to offering interviews for junior associate positions with the company.

“As an undergraduate, working on cases in an environment like this is the best preparation you can get for Bain,” said Chris Spencer, Bain executive and the chief organizer of the competition. “I mean, of course, it’s important to remember that these are just cases, and the real world is different, but this is a start.”

“In the real world, we mainly do blow,” he added.

Sophomore Stoners Hold Qdoba Vigil

qdoba vigil

CHAPEL HILL, NC—Standing in front of the vacant Franklin Street storefront that used to hold Qdoba Mexican Grill late last night, sophomore stoners Chris Butler and Tim Marvin held a vigil to remember the recently closed restaurant.

The vigil began on the back porch of Marvin’s apartment earlier that night. The pair, after smoking two bowls, were discussing possible places to eat.

“I said, ‘let’s go to Qdoba,’ and he said, ‘perfect.’ Then we got here and we saw it was closed, and not just because someone threw up in there, but it was, like, closed forever,” Butler said. “We knew we had to hold a vigil immediately.”

Holding up his lighter in solemn remembrance, Butler spoke first.

“Damn this cruel world,” he said, looking into the windows, seeing empty space and the reflection of his own face, a small tear running down it. “You were the best munchy spot and you won’t be forgotten. This is to you, Qdoba.”

He turned and motioned for Marvin to speak.

“We are here tonight to honor Qdoba, we knew each other really well and I’ll miss you. Chipotle is way too far and isn’t open late. Plus the queso is dope here, I mean, was dope here…damn. We’ll just miss you,” Marvin said.

The two decided to sit in front of Qdoba, trading stories of special moments they had experienced with the restaurant.

“Remember the giant soda machine!?” Marvin said. “There were so many kinds of sodas, there was everything. It was hard to navigate high, but it was so worth it.”

Butler nodded his head and laughed a little, swallowing a sob.

“We need to get it back,” Butler finally said. “We need to do something about this–people give a fuck about this place–it’s special, it’s more than just another Mexican restaurant on Franklin Street. It’s a place for our people, it’s a place that is open late and cares about its customers. And we cared about it. We can’t let it just die. We won’t le—“

A large grumble emitted from his stomach, interrupting Butler. The two decided to get some I Love N.Y. Pizza quickly and continue discussing the matter.

“Love this place,” Marvin said. “We have to keep it around, can’t let ‘em take away this pizza spot. It’s under-appreciated.”

Butler, taking a large bite of his pizza, agreed.

“Glad we had this talk, man. Can’t ever let them take away my New York Pizza.”

Miss UNC To Win 78 Cents On Every Dollar Won By Mr. UNC

mister miss unc

CHAPEL HILL, NC— In a continuation of university policy, the winner of the 2014 Miss UNC election will receive 78 cents on every dollar given to her male counterpart towards their respective service project.

“The Mr. and Miss UNC election is dedicated to celebrating the Carolina traditions of scholarship, leadership and philanthropy while preparing our students for the real world,” said General Alumni Association President Walter Folwell. “So, this just seemed accurate.”

“Who wants to get some pizza? We’ve got free pizza,” he added.

The majority of the student body has overlooked the funding gap between Mr. and Miss UNC winners, which has allegedly existed since the inception of the program.

“They win money?” asked sophomore Alyssa Valmer. “I thought it was just a beauty pageant.”

But, some students are calling for change.

“People are saying that whoever wins Mr. UNC should give up his extra funding as an act of solidarity with Miss UNC,” said candidate Randall Mathers. “But would you take away 22% of the benches I’m planning to build for disabled Latino students in Carrboro? I don’t think so.”

At this time, the UNC GAA has yet to announce any plans to reform the program, saying only “[they would] rather not rock the boat.”

The GAA has made no reforms to the program since the change from “Mrs. UNC” to “Miss UNC” in the late 80s.

“The important thing to remember is that Miss UNC is getting funding in the first place,” said Folwell. “Not to mention, I’ve never heard a single one of them say ‘thank you.’”

“Next thing you know Folt will be asking for Thorp’s salary” he added. “Some things just don’t need changing.”

Thorp Un-Barricades Study for First Time Since Wainstein Report

thorp

ST. LOUIS, MO–Still wary and visibly exhausted after more than two weeks of lying in wait for the authorities, Holden Thorp, Provost at Washington University in St. Louis and former Chancellor at UNC-Chapel Hill, sat behind the barricaded door of his private study room.

A shotgun lay beside him and he trembled; he had secured himself in the room a few hours before Kenneth Wainstein released the findings of his independent investigation into the academic and athletic scandal at UNC.

Thorp, clad in a fine, soiled grey suit and his trademark Carolina blue tie, whispered to himself.

“They don’t know,” he said. “They won’t find it, they won’t know it was me. I did everything right. I got away. Can’t get me, not old Thorpy. I’m just a Carolina boy. They’ll remember me on keyboard with the Clefs. That’s all they’ll remember.”

He began to cry, and tears met the sweat and grease stains on his tie. The light blue muddled.

He clutched the shotgun to him, and his eyes darted around the room as his hands shook.

“And if they do find me,” he said, “I’ll have something for them.”

Empty bottles of Macallan 21 year-old scotch, tins of Vienna sausages, and vials of prescription amphetamines lay scattered across the floor of the study. His heavy oak desk was overturned. For the first few days after the study’s release, he had not moved from behind it.

The decorated chemist, entrepreneur, inventor, and musician had ripped his router out of the wall and smashed his smartphone just before barricading himself in anticipation of the report’s revelations. His only outside communication was a black landline phone, which had been lying on the floor since he flipped his desk.

The phone rang. In an instant of fury and confusion, Thorp pulled the trigger on his powerful shotgun, hitting a row of books. Pages of Engines of Innovation: The Entrepreneurial University in the 21st Century fluttered in the air around him.

“COME THE FUCK IN YOU PIECES OF SHIT!” he yelled.

The phone rang once more. Dropping the gun and swirling, Thorp stared at the rattling phone before cautiously moving towards it.

He breathed out as he brought the receiver to his ear.

“Roy?” Thorp whimpered.

“You neither? Neither of us?”

Thorp dropped the phone and fell to the floor. He cried like a child, as if for the first time. He felt everything at once, in a wave.

He could still hear the muffled voice of Roy Williams as he yelled, “The Crowder thing worked! Roy, we made it out! Roy, we’re going to survive!”

The phone emitted a dull tone. Williams had hung up.

“Goddamn,” Thorp said at last. “That report must have been some kind of joke. They were never going to get me. I had them all along.”

The 50 year-old provost began to tear down the wood blocking the door, eager to change and shower. It had been a long few weeks.

Having almost forgotten, Thorp crossed the room back to his bookshelf and un-did the booby trap involving the display case with his 1998 Tanner Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, which he had received shortly after joining the chemistry faculty at UNC.

“Boy, did I pick the right time to leave that place,” he said.

The Weigh-In: Midterm Elections

The midterm elections were Tuesday, notably Republican Thom Tillis defeated Kay Hagan in a tight Senate race. Now that the dust has settled, what’s your take?

thom smoking

“Inviting the Sigma Chi guys up to D.C. to do keg stands on the Senate floor with Mitch McConnell. Probably hit up Rand Paul’s gravity bong too. Gonna be a sweet six years.”

Thom Tillis

U.S. Senator from North Carolina

mark-gray-testifies

“Young Democrats is sponsoring our bi-annual clipboard bonfire tonight at my house. Everyone should try to come by if they can.”

Thad Wilson

President of UNC Young Democrats

Kay_Hagan

“I’m going to change my name to Khay for the next election.”

Kay Hagan

Former U.S. Senator from North Carolina