In a surprising turn of events, NMU President Wes Long held a campus-wide meeting on Tuesday, March 24 to alert students, faculty, staff and community members of his decision to scrap the Roadmap to 2015 in favor of a Roadmap that only leads to 2012.
“I saw the trailer for that movie, ‘2012,’ and I knew we had better change our focus,” he said to a packed house in Jamrich 102. “Like I always say, it’s better to have a plan and not need it, than need a plan and not have one. In this case, we need a plan that works for Northern and also makes accommodations for an apocalyptic annihilation of all of mankind.”
The apocalyptic annihilation Long alluded to in his speech centers around the theory that the world will end when the Mayan Calendar, which is the longest running calendar known to man, ends on Dec. 12, 2012. Many people, including junior psychology major Jenny Jones believe that theory is true and are begining to change their lives as a result.
“The world is going to end in 2012,” she whispered so as not to interrupt Long’s speech. “Anyone who thinks this is going to be like Y2K or any other fake world ending is way off base. We’re no longer going to be here. And by ‘we’ I mean people. I don’t mean to confuse you with my psychological speak.”
The new Roadmap to 2012 includes plans to spend all money NMU is to receive, whether in state funding, tuition or gifts over the next three years. It also calls for any money that has been saved by the university up to this point to be spent.
“It would really be irresponsible of me and my administration if we didn’t provide the best possible education to every student on this campus,” he said as he pounded his fist into the podium. “And if this campus won’t exist after Dec. 12, 2012, then we should spend that money now to better this university and better our students.”
At this point, the left half of the crowd stood in unison to cheer and clap for their president while the right side sat in discontented silence.
Long also outlined tentative plans for what the money could be spent on, which included working clocks in every academic building, a weekly stipend of $50 to every student for “school supplies,” big screen televisions in all offices and classrooms and diamond-encrusted doorways in every campus building.
“One of my administration’s long-standing goals has been to continue to raise enrollment and retention on this campus,” Wong said as he flailed his arms about. “And if we become the only university in the whole world to boast diamond doorways, that’ll really up those numbers.”
After finishing his 240-minute speech, Long allowed 30 seconds for questions and answers from the audience.
When asked by a student in the crowd what will happen to the Roadmap to 2015, Long, clearly agitated, replied: “My secretary spilled her morning coffee all over it. All the lines and colors ended up blurred together. You can’t even see where the main road to 2015 is. You can only see the side roads, so we just threw it in the trash.”
After making the statement, a single tear rolled down Long’s cheek and an emotional Long quickly brushed the tear away.
“We worked so hard on that damn map,” he mumbled as silent onlookers stared awkwardly.
Kelly Kimble, a sociology professor, attempted to ask Wong a question but was only able to say three words – “What do you” — before Wong ran off the stage and lept up the stairs four at a time while yelling, “Sorry, I’d love to stay, but American Idol is on. Go Anoop!”
Kimble said she left the meeting less than satisfied.
“I wanted to know if the Sociology Department would be getting any money,” she said. “I could really use some funding for my research on why humans in the western world tend to hold out their pinky when they’re drinking from a cup, or a glass, if you will.”
Before running out of the room, Long invited anyone with ideas as to how the money could be spent to call a special hotline se for that purpose only, though he failed to give the number.