By Sara Traynor and Madeline Perez
Five students went missing after meeting with Harvey Stenger and other Binghamton administrative forces over the past three weeks. Three were from Hinman, two from CIW. After an (honestly half-assed) investigation conducted by UPD, their bodies were discovered in a shiny new Mountainview suite, their body parts stuffed and placed in glass cases as trophies.
No, this story isn’t real. But you believed it for a second, didn’t you?
Many incoming students, unacquainted with the spoils of the rich, choose the cheaper, more modest options of Hinman and CIW. What they don’t know is that these communities are intensely oppressed by Harvey and the rest of the cold-blooded, beady-eyed, lizard people running the university. You know, the monsters trying to suck both your life force and life savings, just so they can bathe in clawfoot bathtubs full of your money. It’s clear these Big Dogs have been pulling the Binghamton strings in favor of the Dickinson/Mountainview/Newing bourgeoisie ever since their conception, and, by sitting back and letting this favor wash over them, those “higher-classed housing” buggers are complacent.
Since everyone in these communities is accustomed to living with dining halls and air conditioning, we, Madeline Perez and Sara Traynor, are going to knock them down a peg or two. The revolution starts here.
Tearing Mountainview a New Ass
Sometimes, when I’m tossing and turning in my bed at night, unable to sleep because of the injustices I, a CIW resident, have faced, I hear the faint sound of spitting in the distance. I’ve grown accustomed to looking out my window to find Mountainview students spitting on my building for fun.
Mountainview. Those yuppies up in their ivory towers. Disgusting. At any moment I’m prepared for these students to ball their fists, pout their lips, and say something akin to “Daddy, I want a squirrel.” “A Community Above the Rest,” my ass. What, you think you’re better than us because you got cartons of fresh berries in your dining hall before everyone else? I guess that’s the reward you get when you suck on Harvey Stenger’s cold lizard toes. Sellouts, all of you.
The fact that the Mountainview dorms are physically higher than the other communities is reflected in their metaphorical “higher society” mindsets. They don’t even have the decency to be subtle about it. The barriers between the rich and poor communities are physical as well as social. The location of the Mountainview towers was conveniently placed far enough away from the CIW tenements so as to protect the wealthy from the stench of the dirty, weed-smoking working class.
Putting the “Dick” in Dickinson
With a community with “dick” in the name and a building called “Johnson”, you may already have a clear idea about the types of people we’re dealing with. These mind-numbing, hotel-looking buildings are chock-full of even more neutered, brain-washed babies still teething on daddy’s dollar. They’re just like Mountainview students, with all of the snobbery and none of the individuality (if that’s what you’d want to call it).
The circle-like building architecture was made to insulate Dickinson residents from outsiders and keep them mingling with their own kind. They’re in a little container. Laughing at us. Nobody goes in, nobody comes out. Sometimes, I wonder if people in Dickinson actually experience the same range of emotions that regular humans do. Everything in their insulated community is the same… I wonder who they’ll choose as the Giver next? You would never see such isolation from the friendly haphazardly placed buildings of Hinman and CIW, which are inclusive to all who wish to enter. Of course, this also means that they’re more exposed to those infected with Covid, which I don’t think is a coincidence.
Are you looking for a community that can replicate the distinct aura that emanates from a dirty, creepy frat house basement, while somehow managing to look like a Holiday Inn? Well, I’ve got news for you! Newing perfectly fits the bill. Don’t worry: we haven’t forgotten you in the inevitable three-pronged attack that the oppressed CIW/Hinman communities will soon unleash. Honestly, we don’t have much to say about Newing. We just want you guys to know that we really dislike your rancid “Vineyard Vines coke addict” vibes, and we’re glad you’re so far away.
Oppression of CIW and Hinman
Ever since the shutting down of the CIW dining hall to CIW residents and the prolonged closure of the Hinman dining hall, these students have been left to starve. They’re so hungry; just look at them. Despite this, they have been provided NO FINANCIAL REIMBURSEMENT FOR THEIR LIKELY PURCHASED EXPENSIVE-ASS DINING PLANS. (edit: the CIW dining hall is now reopened but still refuses to sell unbottled water. Curious.)
Now, it’s time for me (Sara) to talk with you one-on-one. I lived in Hinman my freshman year. I know that the buildings are old, and maybe that can’t be helped, but it would have been nice to not have your sole water source be a leaky water fountain from the 60s with water so cloudy it was practically white.
When I moved to CIW last semester, I was ecstatic. My building is great (not that close to a tenement belonging to a Triangle Shirtwaist Factory worker), and I don’t have to drink unfiltered tap water and worry about subsequent lead poisoning. Also, there was a dining hall. Like, a real-life dining hall that I didn’t have to walk up a hill in a blizzard to get to. It was insane. Needless to say, I enjoyed it for one semester before it was taken away, ripped out from under me. Now, I (and everyone else in both CIW and Hinman) get to have a Starbucks truck as a consolation prize. Sorry that food isn’t as accessible — here’s overpriced coffee! I mean, am I lining up almost every day to get a chai latte? Yes. Would I like my fucking dining hall back? Also yes.
These changes would never affect the rich and powerful. C4 or APP would never close because Big Daddy Harvey would never do that to his favorite, lizard toe-sucking kids. It is the CIW and Hinman proletariat, spurned by its own university, that must now turn inward for survival.
Let’s talk about another thing. Lamps. More specifically, the many lamps present in Oneida (the most intimidating of the CIW buildings) and every dorm in Hinman. Now, there is a specific reason for this multitude of lamps. These dorms lack a little thing called OVERHEAD LIGHTING. You know, the very thing that made lamps obsolete back in the 1700s. Are we just supposed to sit here and accept that these students don’t even have light switches (or buttons as is Binghamton’s forte)? If Stevie Wonder can play the keyboard as well as he does despite being “blind”, then I’m sure we can find a way to install minimalist overhead lights into the distasteful popcorn ceilings. Speaking of lights, can mine stop turning off after 30 minutes? I find it insulting that my needing to see is too much of a cost to Binghamton’s electricity bill when I’m paying my weight in gold to live here. Nothing is more dehumanizing than having to get up on the half-hour to, for the fifth time tonight, turn my lights back on. Except for maybe chasing after a ping pong ball.
I (Madeline) would like to now take a minute aside to talk intimately with you, dear reader, about my own personal experiences. I have spent the better part of the last two months taking lukewarm/cold showers due to the lack of hot water in my suite. This wouldn’t have been such a big issue if not for two reasons. One, it was the middle of fucking winter in Binghamton, which as many of you probably know, is slightly chilly. Secondly, I have extremely poor circulation, meaning that this slight chill and my body’s inability to generate enough heat to warm clothing/blankets left me very sad. :(. (This is also ignoring the fact that the water quality is kinda shit and makes me smell like a public pool but we’ll get to that later.) Another thing–my dorm room is infested with ladybugs any day that it’s over 60 degrees. While I would not normally mind given that ladybugs are just silly little creatures and I enjoy vibing with them, dozens of their corpses line my windowsills and it serves as a cruel reminder that the windows of the CIW buildings are neither clean nor secure from outside threat. No, I do not feel comfortable disturbing the bodies.
Besides the fact that this college is surely starving CIW and Hinman residents to make us weaker than our rich counterparts, there is another problem in our midst. Water. Like many of you, I like water and my greedy little goblin body craves it so intensely I can’t go a day without it. Sadly, I find that the water fountains in my building have a bit of an issue. When I drink water, I like to not be bombarded with heavy chemically, chlorine-y smells that attack my nose. I am also used to a life of luxury and tasty clear water, but sadly my fridge is too small to fit my Brita water filter and I don’t want to waste my dwindling dining hall dollars on more water bottles. So now I must drink cloudy cum water that has most definitely not been poisoned by the higher-ups.
No more we say. NO MORE! The CIW and Hinman proletariat will no longer be forced to endure these injustices. We will no longer suffer in silence. We must join together to rise up and defeat the greater evil. When Mountainview is leveled, when the soil in Dickinson’s quad is salted, when Newing is obliterated… only then will we know true equality. And no, we haven’t forgotten Harvey and his army of lizard men. We’re coming for them, too. We’ve got lizard death balls stockpiled and ready to go.*
So, rise up, my Hinman and CIW brethren. We’ll defeat the bourgeoisie and tear them a new one.
*Lizard death balls are coffee powder and tobacco powder rolled up into small balls, normally stuck on toothpicks or matchsticks, used to poison lizards.