This past week, the University participated in a competition that involved taking as much furniture as possible, that could be used for distanced seating elsewhere on campus, and building an impenetrable fortress that every child would envy. UR came in first place (after RIT) out of all participating colleges. Conveniently, the only other members were all private universities that contained “Rochester” in the title. UR also won a special certificate for the ugliest array of slime green furniture used in anything ever.

The skeleton of the award-winning fort is visible in Hirst, formally known as the Flag Lounge, now known as the Fort Lounge. Rumor has it that a troll resembling a large blue and yellow bee haunts the fortress, and a few dining services employees have been seen making Garbage Plate offerings to the wild spirit.

One first-year, Michael A. Stray, wandered into the fort one morning and wasn’t seen for several hours. He reappeared that evening, and upon being informed of his absence, responded, “Oh, so, that wasn’t the tunnels? Strange, I was able to use it to get to all of my classes.” Reports downloaded illegally from UR Student show that Michael’s classes sare over Zoom.

According to several members of Mu Kappa Epsilon, the fort also contains mystical anti-COVID properties. In fact, one brother has taken it upon himself to do his community a favor and introduce several women to the plethora of health benefits held within this garrison. Each was audibly ecstatic about the possibilities.

First-year Rachel T. A. Dah described the fort as “like an IKEA but, like, louder. Like, you know how IKEA is like minimalist? Like the opposite of that.”

We informed Rachel of the concept of maximalism, asking if that’s what she meant. She responded with, “No, not really, more like the opposite of minimalism. You know like, have you seen ‘Harry Potter?’ You know the one where that woman in pink has all those like pink cats and wallpaper and stuff — yeah Professor Umbridge — like if she designed a fort with like UR furniture, but in like an IKEA. And like, uglier.”

Other students have reported that the fort has been growing overnight, absorbing additional, unnecessary, often broken furniture, resembling my grandmother’s house. It even seems to breathe at moments and produce sonic rumbles. Or maybe that’s the troll.

Stay tuned, as it has been loosely implied that the Hirst Fort will soon be offering a safe space for hibernating squirrels, bickering roommates, hookups, and even a sequel to cult classic, “Stephanie in the Stacks”. And, this fort is open to the public!

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