BY: BRENNEN AMONETT – STAFF WRITER
In an astonishing wave of electronic critique, students, faculty, and alumni of Centre College have banded together to oppose President John A. Roush’s horrifying use of emoticons in emails and posts on the college’s Facebook page.
In an email addressed to the student body last Wednesday, President Roush addressed the outcome of the 2016 Presidential Election by summing up his reaction in three emojis: a monkey with his eyes covered, a smiling pile of poop, and a smiley with heart eyes. When asked what this could possibly mean, John Roush sent out another email in response, containing a flipagram of himself and Susie with the caption “It’s a great day to be a colonel.”
The general attitude of students and faculty was one of disappointment. This message was seen by many as the climax of President Roush’s recent rumspringa, in which he has attempted to be more in touch with the “hip youths”—a term he used to address the student body in a campus-wide Twitter DM last month. However, this endeavor has not been accepted by the undergraduates; many see it as an appropriation of the millennial culture.
Senior Kelly McLeod reported that contact with the ordinarily personable-yet-respected administrator has recently involved much more discourse on the importance of vape culture and the relevancy of Harambe memes. “Looking back on my first three years of interactions with PRoush,” she remarked, “I always felt proud that the president of my school knew me by my first name. Now he only refers to me by my Instagram username.”
On this sentiment, Kelly was not alone. “Ever since President Roush began boasting his nickname on Admitted Students Day,” Admissions Counselor Josh Jerome explained, “it seems to have gone to his head. Not only has he transformed PRoush into P-Rizzy, he refuses to remove that stupid flat-billed snapback he bought at the bookstore.”
If nothing else, the student and faculty backlash to President Roush’s email proves, once again, that an old white man simply cannot champion the voice of young people, no matter how often he expresses his opinion social media—a realization remarkably relevant to political discourse today.
However, the reaction of the students and faculty was vastly different than that of alumni who read the emoji-encrypted message after it was adapted to a Facebook post on the Centre College page. Although they too are upset with President Roush’s behavior, the alumni dissatisfaction stems from a privileged perspective on how older white men should react to a Trump Presidency.
Samuel Chaffin, Centre ‘89, summed up his thoughts in a well-written comment on the post: “disappointed tht yet another has fallen under the liberal indoctrination of centre!!! no wonder it became a LIBERAL arts school. we r doomed when this whiny ‘participation trophy’ generation becomes our leaders. put ur big boy pants on and DEAL WITH IT. GROW UP. just saying…….”
Other disgruntled alumni went on to declare themselves independent of the “corrupt” governing body of Centre College, some declaring they would refuse to donate to the “liberal establishment” ever again. This was bad news for the board of trustees, who now fear that Centre’s doors may have to close because of decreased funding from those who wished to make the college great again but now believe all hope for higher education may be lost.
Chair of the board Randal B. Kell released a statement in the alumni magazine, Centrepiece, regarding the recent divide amongst students, faculty, and alumni, in which he stated that “The path forward requires more commitment to Centre College’s core ideals. We must prepare students for a life of learning, leadership, and service, so that one day they will feel as though they owe us even more money. Please mail all checks to 600 W Walnut St, Danville, KY 40422.”
Needless to say, President Roush’s efforts have not gone unnoticed. As the school year proceeds, tensions may fade, but the lasting impression of John Roush’s 10-minute long Snapchat stories will not. Students will recall a time before social media was infested with appropriation of millennial culture, and parent generations will remember a time when social interaction required human contact and cultural appropriation of all sorts ran rampant. As we recede into these memories of the golden days rather than confront the less-glamorous present moment, let us find comfort in President Roush’s own words: “Do your best. Be your best. YOLO.”
Editor’s Note: The previous article is from the CentOnion series, a satirical publication focused on parodying various subjects unique to Centre College’s campus.
As such, all content within this article is purely fictional and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Cento or Centre College.
In addition all quotations used in this article are purely fictional and do not necessarily reflect the views of the individuals quoted.