UVSC What I Mean?
Snide Remarks #126
"UVSC What I Mean?"
by Eric D. Snider
Published in The Daily Herald on September 22, 2000
Utah Valley State College needs to stop wondering why people make fun of it and why no one takes it seriously. UVSC needs to locate reality, possibly by employing the services of a sleuth, and then gain a hard, firm grip on it.
No one hates UVSC, of course, except maybe the cops who work there, who evidently hate everyone and have been known to put people in jail overnight merely for existing. People just kind of pat UVSC on the head and smile condescendingly, and occasionally roll their eyes when something particularly weird happens there.
As Exhibit A, I cite the Sept. 6 student council-sponsored True Wolverine event. According to UVSC lore (and it's only been a couple years since UVSC was granted permission by the board of regents to have lore), one becomes a True Wolverine by undergoing DNA-altering laboratory work that results in the individual becoming, quote, a heavy, short-legged, bearlike mammal related to the weasel whose long, dark-brown, frost-proof fur is prized by Eskimos as trim for hoods and cuffs.
No, actually, I got that from Encyclopedia.com. At UVSC, one becomes a True Wolverine by attending the event on Sept. 6 and kissing a random stranger.
This was an actual event, as reported by Megan Carlson for UVSC's College Times in a Sept. 7 article. (Bear in mind that since many of these facts are coming from the campus newspaper, there is every chance that some of them are wrong, or at least misspelled.)
The deal here was that people went to a designated spot on campus in the evening and then found someone to kiss, generally by asking politely until someone obliged. Once that kiss was accomplished, both parties could call themselves True Wolverines, which must be quite an honor indeed, considering the heroic tasks one must perform in order to achieve it.
From the article: "Utah Valley State College hosted their [many newspapers would have said its, but I'm glad the College Times took the high road in the raging debate over noun-pronoun agreement] first True Wolverine last night in the new 'Tunnel of Love' [an area under College Drive, we learn in a separate news story in the same issue]."
We are told the romantic tale of freshmen Amber Dyer and Jason Russon, who had never met until this fateful fall evening. Once the first kiss took place, many more followed, reports the College Times.
"'We made out in a tree, and this old guy sat and watched us,' explained Dyer. 'We talked too -- we didn't just kiss.'"
The article does not mention whether the old guy was involved in the conversation.
"We made out in a tree, and this old guy sat and watched us" is one of the most wonderful quotes I have ever read in a newspaper story. I have registered a Web site called www.wemadeoutinatreeandthisoldguysatandwatchedus.com, as a monument to the marvelous absurdity contained in that statement. I want it emblazoned on T-shirts, billboards and stained-glass windows across America.
But I digress. Dyer and Russon each had a friend at the event, and those friends -- Katie Larsen and Christian Robinson -- wound up making out, too.
"They should have these things every weekend" is what Katie is quoted as saying. Also: "This is why I went to UVSC instead of BYU -- so I can participate in fun traditions like this." (I'm guessing her rejection letter from BYU was also a factor.)
The article says Amber and Jason, who made out in a tree while an old guy sat and watched them, plan to continue their relationship, which is obviously based on mutual trust, respect, and a fondness for making out in trees while old guys sit and watch them. For Katie and the ironically named Christian, however, it was a one-time fling: Katie already has a boyfriend, and Christian has a girlfriend.
But all was not peaches and cream at the True Wolverine event. As reported in the article, "With so many people wanting to make out, it was hard to avoid the one's [again, many newspapers would say "ones," but I am glad the College Times has recognized the underuse of apostrophes in today's society and decided to sprinkle them liberally throughout its -- I mean, their -- stories] you did not want to kiss.
"Freshman Ashley Garbe, for example, kept getting asked by a bunch of freaky guys. Finally, one Jake Anderson came to (her) rescue."
And then there's the happy tale of Katie Coles, a junior, who was supposed to just help oversee the event, but who wound up taking part. Listen as she recounts her romantic story, as quoted in the article:
"He ... said, 'I'm not taking no for an answer.' Then he took my hand, drug me in the tunnel, and kissed me. I never liked kissing so much until tonight."
It is sweet when a young man can take the bold steps necessary to force a young woman to kiss him. It is equally sweet when class-B misdemeanor assault results in the young woman enjoying the experience. What a happy message to send to all the men in the world: If you see something you want, don't take no for an answer! Just go out and GET IT! The woman will probably wind up enjoying herself!
I'm not saying that stupid things don't happen at BYU, because of course they do. (I should know; I've been personally responsible for several of them.) But at least BYU KNOWS it's a peculiar place, and doesn't wonder why people look at it funny. UVSC should realize the same thing about itself. Or themself. Or theirselves. Or whatever.
Copyright © Eric D. Snider.
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