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This Is An April Fools Joke: Bryn Mawr Goes Sci-Fi Awesome

It Came From Outer Space

We did pledge to not do any April Fools jokes, and in the spirit of that, we’d like to bring you only the most awesome of April Fools jokes performed by other people. Like, for example, Bryn Mawr taking their all-girls college down a decidely geeky new path: a partnership with the Bithnian University of Science and Technology (BUST) from Clak’dor VII of the Colu System.

“Global partnerships are so 2010. Bryn Mawr is simply beyond global, and we are boldly going where no college has gone before. Our students need to learn to be intergalactic citizens,” said [Bryn Mawr President Jane] McAuliffe in the announcement.

Bithnian University Chancellor Figrin Dahai also praised the partnership.

“For hundreds of years our people have been praised for their ability as spacecraft mechanics and in other technical fields. But the fact is that those jobs aren’t going to be around forever. Our students need to be better critical thinkers and more engaged members of the intergalactic community.”

And no, it’s not just the C-3PO, the Leia references, or the “boldly go” that make this one particularly well put together. For example, what would any major change to the functioning of a liberal arts college be without the student protests.

“You’re not going to see me toasting this partnership with a glass of Bithnian klaggrok,” says Katherine Bakke ‘11, a pre-med student who identifies herself as an Earther. “You know what makes that stuff so blue? What we call cobalt. What kind of long-term effect will the consumption of that much cobalt have on humans? That’s a perfect example of the dangers of rushing into these intergalactic relationships.”

But to get back to the sci-fi tropes, it turns out that we might be communicating some of our own prejudices to the Bithnians: a rigid gender binary.

“I’m concerned that we are imposing our gender categories on the Bithnians … gender categories that we ourselves already experience as extremely limited,” she says. “The Bithnians have a far more complicated, diverse, and, indeed playful understanding of gender than we do.”

“They have 300 different words for sex,” Schneider says. “Do we really want to bring them down to two? Is that right? Is that good?”

Amen. Sounds like we could learn a thing or two from that exchange.

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