University bureaucracy Claims Student Victim

by Brian Close

Feeling like death warmed over, University greaser Jason “The Moniker” McGrady arose and crammed some food in his word hole.
Like many students, he planned to accomplish a lot. Like you, he failed. But one would be hard pressed to identify how he could have done any better. Pot calling the kettle black, etc.
When he was done stuffing his face, he drove his shit box to school, stopping at the computer lab to register for classes.
Logging on to that Internet thingy, he saw that he had a hold on his record for library fines and some obscure “immunization hold.” He wondered why he hadn’t been notified about these problems, but he figured it would be easy to fix.
He was dead wrong.
McGrady walked the several blocks to the library and hauled out his wallet. Twenty dollars, more than enough.
Stepping up to the counter, he told the librarian of his dilemma.
“Bursar,” she said, in a monotone voice.
He stared blankly.
“Are you OK?” he asked.
“Bursar,” she repeated. “You have cash. We don’t take it.”
McGrady felt a wave of uneasiness sweep over him. Why wouldn’t the library take his greenbacks? He had heard rumors of similar troubles a-brewin’ in computer printer card transactions, but never believed these places wouldn’t take legal tender. Every other business in the state takes cash, he thought.
“Why don’t you take ALL the cash to this alleged ‘bursar’ at the end of the day, instead of making 10 or more students walk over there?” he asked.
“Bursar,” she said. “That’s the way we do it.”
He wondered if the library and computer labs had turned pinko, since they refused to take cold, hard loot.
Feeling miffed, he walked to Williamson Hall, locating the elusive bursar. He paid the cost of being the boss, and received a receipt.
“Library,” said the woman.
“But can’t you clear my hold?”
“No, this is how we do it,” she said.
He wondered if she was crazy, or on drugs, or if she really thought the system worked well this way. No, he thought, she must be crazy, or high, or … both. We can’t rule that out.
Back to the library, now early afternoon. Hand the receipt, clear the hold. To the doctor, for a printout of his immunizations. Turned it in, eligible to register.
Back at the computer lab, he signed in again. It was 2:30 p.m. “System busy. Please try later,” it said. Checking the hours on the bottom of the screen, he saw that the network should be available. He wasn’t surprised, however.
He checked online, and saw that his classes had become more full since this morning. He was worried he would miss the classes he wanted.
Grabbing a cup of coffee at the local thingy, he poured it between his two chomper plates and it warmed his enormous gut.
3:30. He went back to the lab, and logged in. But when he tried to register for the third class, Media Law, a magic number box popped up.
Checking the schedule, he saw he had to pre-register with the journalism department. No problem, it was only 4 p.m.
Running to the journalism department, he made it with time to spare. Whew. He grabbed the knob and … locked.
“What the *&^%?!” he said. He looked at the sign. 8-12 and 1-4.
“Four o’##$*&ing clock?” he said. “What the hell is wrong with this place?”
See, grasshopper: Time at the University of Minnesota is askew, with most departments closing at 4:30 p.m. And most students have become comfortable planning their day around this already early closing time.
Steaming with frustration, he knocked loudly on the door. He could hear someone inside, but alas, they would not answer.
Unbeknownst to McGrady, the victim, they had already called University Police about his enraged pounding, and he would eventually be written up for conduct code violations.
In the meantime, he headed over to financial aid, to ask some questions about his aid money. Sitting in the hot waiting room, he watched the numbers slowly change on the “Now Serving” board.
He walked over to the self-registration computers and began suckling on the information teat. He saw that his class was now full, and with a creepy, weary smile on his face, he sat back down under the number board.
Jason McGrady, 21, died shortly thereafter, in the waiting room at 20 Fraser Hall. Cause of death: “The University of Minnesota.”
He is preceded in death by some people, and survived by others. We’ll miss you, Jason. We really, really will.