The Fall 2012 term: An Airing of Grievances

Often lost in the frenzy of the holiday season is a celebration that is very near and dear to my heart. Admittedly it does not inspire the warm, communal feelings of some of its counterparts, nor does it fill us with the giving spirit, nor cause children to become giddy with anticipation. However, this is a holiday that transcends feelings and spirits, and resonates on another level — a deeper level that can only be encapsulated in a singular aluminum pole. Festivus.

If you are not one of ‘the rest of us,’ Festivus is a holiday founded by Frank Costanza (yes, from “Seinfeld”), which frees us from the commercial and religious aspects of the more well-known yule-time holidays. The tradition of Festivus begins with the Airing of Grievances, in which you tell those closest to you how they have disappointed you. For the purposes of this column I will focus on the College of William and Mary community over the past semester.

So without further ado, in the words of Costanza, “I’ve got a lot of problems with you people and now you’re going to hear about them!”

Williamsburg Police: I have never met a tamer, more responsible group of 18- to 22-year-olds than those at the College. College Prowler calls our nightlife “lackluster” and all of the other websites that feature student reviews agree. Yet, if you were to look at our records you would think we were a campus full of drunken delinquents, throwing parties that look like Project X every weekend. Everyone at the College knows someone who has gotten in trouble with the Williamsburg police, mostly for minor incidents involving alcohol. Despite our tame reputation, this is still a college campus; inevitably some students are going to drink underage. The police in the Williamsburg area need to accept this fact and make safety the biggest priority, rather than a draconian enforcement of the law.

Freshman/Sophomore Meal Plans: We’ve all heard of the bully who steals kids’ lunch money on the playground. Despite getting less press, bullying that involves stealing college students’ money and makes them buy exorbitant meal plans with more meals than they know what to do with is just as bad. That’s right, I’m talking about the College. I think it’s about time that someone brings the College before the Honor Council for breaking the pledge not to steal. There is no reason that a sophomore should not have the right to save a few hundred dollars, learn valuable budgeting skills and get a block meal plan. Having 125 meals and $250 in Flex points does not sound like starving to me.

Gangnam Style: Just when I began to rejoice because we had reached the end of the “Call Me Maybe” era, I heard “Gangnum Style,” and my dreams of a world without brainless dribble with a rhythm died. Gangnam Style is not something unique to the College. However, this hit PSY song has seeped into the College’s culture to such a large extent that over the past semester I have not been able to go anywhere without hearing it or seeing classmates do the dance. It was only a few weeks ago that I was interrupted while studying outside of Earl Gregg Swem Library by a group filming themselves dancing to the tune.  The Korean cousin of Cotton Eye Joe must go, and sooner rather than later.

If Festivus has sufficiently piqued your interest, you need only to wait until Sunday, Dec. 23 to start celebrating. If, however, this does not seem appealing to you, do not take your frustrations out on me. Festivus ends with the Feats of Strength, in which the head of the household must be pinned. The closest thing to the head of the College’s household is the president. Going forward, I would urge the College to accommodate a broader range of holiday customs, by following the reading of How the Grinch Stole Christmas with an annual wrestling match between the student body and President Taylor Reveley. Here’s to hoping that my grievances are acted upon — if that were to happen it would truly be a Festivus Miracle.

Email Max Cea at


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