Revolution in Hoover - II
Sanjay Paul

The article appeared in The Etownian, Feb. 2011.

This is the second and final instalment of the Hoover Revolution.

The standoff in Hoover continued for several days. Down in the parking lot, now renamed Hoover Square by the protesters to link it directly to Tahrir Square and Pearl Square, tents had sprung up. Men, women and children spent the days walking around carrying signs saying “Down with the Tyrant!” and “Homer is Toast!” At night they played cards, read passages from Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations, and sang songs of liberty.

Meanwhile upstairs on the second floor, Homer sat in his office, contemplating a bleak future. The security guards had been called away—someone had been caught selling bootlegged copies of Sean Melvin’s Legal Environment textbook. His Internet connection was down—et tu, Ron Heasley, he thought bitterly—as was his telephone. He had no contact with the outside world, except for the view of Hoover Square from behind the drawn blinds on his window. And if he really strained himself, a glimpse of the main administrative building in the distance. He wondered how things were going in Alpha.

The Senior Council of Ministers was meeting for the fourth time in Alpha. The situation was intolerable, they said. This could not go on. The Department of Business was the largest department on campus. And for each day the struggle between the business faculty and department chair went on, one-fifth of the student population found themselves with no business classes to attend—no lectures to listen to, no assignments to complete, no papers to write. Days went by without any marketing, economics, or accounting. Life for them had become dull, even meaningless. Some, in sheer desperation, considered writing for The Etownian.

The Senior Council dispatched the Dean to Hoover to conduct negotiations. This was no hasty choice. The Dean had grown up in the rough-and-tumble world of political science. He knew Nicarry like the back of his hand. And the business faculty, before they moved to their current abode, lived in Nicarry. If anyone could bring peace to Hoover, it was the Dean.

So the Dean came to Hoover. The media met him at the entrance. “What is your strategy, Dean?” they asked. But the Dean would only smile inscrutably. And then he went inside.

Nobody is willing to say what actually happened in Hoover. The Dean was inside the building for the whole day. He would pop out now and then to ask for sushi from Jay’s Nest. Once he asked for bottled water. That was it. The press would pepper him with questions: “Hey Dean, how are the talks coming along?” “Is Homer still alive?” But the Dean would not respond. He would smile inscrutably, and go back inside.

And then, in the afternoon, a breakthrough! The Dean emerged from Hoover, looking faintly pleased. Behind him came Homer, shielding his eyes from the sun’s light, looking remarkably chipper for having spent a week holed up in his office. Someone speculated that he must have had a stash of food in his office. Later it came out that his sole supporter among the faculty had smuggled scones into Hoover. (This faculty’s identity, said Julian Assange from his British cell, would be revealed in a WikiLeaks expose’ unless Homer stopped his imperialist ways.)

Homer faced the microphones. “The business faculty has settled all outstanding disputes,” he said. “The tents in Hoover Square will be taken down tonight. Classes will resume tomorrow. Normalcy has been restored to Hoover.”

The Dean added that the situation had been resolved amicably. There was no violence.

“Not even from Chunski? No kicking the department chair?” asked a clearly incredulous reporter.

“No,” said the Dean. “Chunski is a teddy bear. In fact he is like Rahm Emmanuel. People think Rahm swears all the time. That is simply not true. He does sleep, you know.”

“What about the MBA?” cried a reporter. “Will the department offer a Master’s program?”

After approving Continuing Education’s MBA program, the Board of Trustees had asked the Department of Business to explore graduate programs of its own. This had been the spark that led to the week-long protests in Hoover. The business faculty were deeply divided on the subject. Some did not wish to pursue a Master’s program at all. Others felt that some sort of graduate program, such as a Master’s in Accounting, was a possibility—but not an MBA. And still others thought that all options should be explored.
“Will the department offer a Master’s program?” repeated the reporter.

Homer only smiled inscrutably. He was learning from the Dean.

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