Watch out. Next time you raise your hand in class to share one of your oh-so-brilliant insights or offer to read a paragraph or demonstrate your wisdom on the whiteboard, you may as well be screaming, “I volunteer as tribute!” in Dordt’s very own no-longer-secret version of the Hunger Games.
The “games” won’t officially begin until next year, but they’ve been in the works for awhile now, and according to recent Dordt grad Greg VanderPloegsma, who has been investigating this development ever since his sophomore year of college, the games are a ploy by the administration to keep things interesting at Dordt.
“Even the president knows that education gets pretty boring,” said ¬¬¬¬VanderPloegsma. “He wanted to spice things up.”
It was President Zylstra who came up with the idea for the games, and when he retired, the presidential search committee last year wanted to ensure that the new president would be just as enthusiastic.
“That’s why there was so much secrecy surrounding the process last year,” said VanderPloegsma. “And, ultimately, why they brought up someone from the inside—it wasn’t worth the risk.”
In fact, according to VanderPloegsma’s research, all of the changes made at Dordt in the past 10 years have been in preparation for the games which will effectively begin next fall.
The clock tower—home base for the tributes in the game as well as a device for keeping track of the action; Kuyper apartments—one more “district” from which to pull students; and Defender Dollars—a secret method of financially supporting your favorite tributes. Professors who left Dordt didn’t agree with the spirit of the games, and all the new hires are enthusiastic supporters.
Even those Zombies vs. Humans games were organized in preparation for the games: a training simulation for students and a way to test the readiness of campus to handle the pending bloodbaths that administration is envisioning.
“After all that, I think Zylstra was pretty disappointed he never got to actually see the games,” said VanderPloegsma. “But you can be sure he’ll watch from a distance when they do finally start.”
Zylstra was unavailable for comment, and President Hoekstra also denied comment but for a telling twinkle in his eye.
VanderPloegsma’s fellow investigator, another Dordt grad named Jessie de Kleinstra, says that there’s another reason for the games beyond just entertainment.
“Rumour has it that hunger games are a great place for budding romances—those who survive have this incomparable connection, I guess,” said de Kleinstra.
Student Services is especially excited about this fact. The more students who fall in love due to the games, the more students will be on that special Dordt track towards the MRS degree, and the fewer students will have to live on campus.
“They’d like to have enough apartments to house students and use East Campus as some sort of extra challenge in the games—mutant mold or something,” de Kleinstra explained.
This is a side of the games students don’t mind either. “I mean, that Katie Eigenraam is pretty feisty—she’s sure to survive, and if she’s in, I’d volunteer,” said junior art major Peter Mellema.
Other students aren’t so keen on the idea, however.
Feisty Katie’s freshman sister Rose said that she hardly participates in class anymore, she’s so terrified of being placed in the games. “I almost don’t even breathe some days,” she said. “My participation grade is really suffering in philosophy class.”
Her fear is warranted. Whether you like it or not, the Dordt Hunger Games are coming, and you just might end up in the arena, so watch yourself in class—unless, of course, you’re looking for love.
Happy Hunger Games, and may Providence be ever in your favor.
Effie Trinketsma, Staff Writer