JRC - Grinnell College has recently decided to place images of flowers in the display screens in the Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center. Although many interpret this as a new artistic touch, sources within the administration claim that this innocuous change is part of a much larger conspiracy.
An administrative employee, who wished to remain anonymous, said, “You may have noticed that the flower pictures have replaced all of the event calendars in JRC. You may think that this was just bad planning on our part, but actually that was our goal. The college is engaging in a strategy to reduce the awareness of college events.”
“I haven’t really been told the details. All I know that is for some reason, too many people are attending public events, and it’s become a problem.” the source continued.
Some other methods the source disclosed include encouraging FM staff to take down posters more often, reducing the font size on the campus memo, and moving all information over to GrinnellShare where “no one will ever find it.”
Hailey Jenkin, a member of Conference Operations and Events, denied the existence of any anti-publicity conspiracy, but alluded to possible motivations.
Said Jenkin, “The idea that Grinnell College isn’t trying to publicize events as much as possible is simply absurd. However, I will admit that some speakers have recently expressed discomfort about crowd size. When you are expecting six people to attend your lecture and instead an entire ten show up, it can be a bit of a shock. And a lot of visitors to Grinnell really would prefer to use it as a quasi-rest-stop, with a minimal presentation and a bit of R&R before moving onto the place they are actually going to.”
Other factors may be at work as well.
Paul Matan, a Dining Services employee involved with catering, said, “I do think there has been a lot of pushback from the college lately about the amount event catering ends up costing. We’ve been asked if we can cut back on workers, serve less food, and most ridiculously, use normal napkins.”
Matan said, “We are fighting this because at the end of the day you expect catering to have standards of quality. What would free pizza as an incentive even mean if catering pizza wasn’t slightly better than dining hall pizza? And we pride ourselves on having the least shitty coffee on campus besides Saints Rest. I think it’s definitely plausible that the response has been to limit the amount of people who will actually be eating the food.”
There is some evidence the strategy is working.
Shane Renworth ’17 said, “Now that events are so easy to miss, I no longer feel guilty when I skip them to go do homework but then binge watch “House of Cards” instead. Ignorance is bliss, I guess.”
On the topic of GrinnellShare, Name ’19 said, “You mean the online whiteboard thing? Or wait, are you talking about orglink?”
However, most administration members continue to deny the existence of any conspiracy.
Ann Wright, of the Office of Communications, said, “This accusation is completely out of step with all of our current policies and extensive efforts. We put a lot of thought into how to make events known across campus. I think the best evidence would be our ongoing task list and progress tracker, which we update every week. It’s all there in the document, which you can find on GrinnellShare.”