Loyola University Maryland and Notre Dame of Maryland University students prepare for a violent and drunken clash after Loyola's president declared the college would annex Notre Dame. University of Maryland, College Park President Wallace Loh is carted off in handcuffs after being caught selling student and faculty Social Security numbers. The University of Maryland, Baltimore County plans to build a new enclosed escalator to carry students up a large hill that will feature "free hot-and-cold beverage service."
If it weren't April Fools' Day, one would be shocked.
April Fools' special editions -- with spoof stories and fake bylines -- are a tradition for several college newspapers in the region, and the colleges themselves sometimes get in on the pranks. Memorably, Johns Hopkins University declared on April Fools' Day 2010 that it would drop the "s" from the end of "Johns," and included a Photoshopped picture of a crane taking the "s" down from a campus building.
This year, Loyola's student newspaper, the Greyhound, had a story written entirely without the letter "e," a move it said was intended to save money, and included a letter to the editor from a reader who "was blind-sided by an error so heinous it made me vomit all over my expensive mahogany credenza." It also featured a story on Loyola's annexation of nearby Notre Dame:
"Speaking to the pride of ethnic Loyolans, Fr. Brinnane called for the reclamation of the university’s position as 'a superpower' in the continental liberal arts community. He laid claims on the university’s campus, insisting that Notre Dame is 'part and parcel' of Loyola University. The president finished his declaration of annexation with a pronouncement that the true Jesuit Tradition would be preserved with the institution of this new agenda he calls Cura Loyolae. The audience rose to their feet with thunderous applause, as Fr. Brinnane lifted his arms with a flourish and ascended into the breaking winter clouds, fulfilling his Jesuit mission."
Meanwhile, College Park's student newspaper The Diamondback reported that Loh had reversed the decision to join the Big 10 athletic conference and that all parking tickets would be voided after the discovery of a cache of Viking gold. In a nod to a very-real data breach in February in which the Social Security numbers, dates of birth and other information for nearly 300,000 students, staff and alumni were hacked, the student newspaper reported that Loh had actually smuggled the Social Security numbers inside his trench coat.
Student Life officials at UMBC also declared in a blog post that the university would spend $48 million on a new enclosed escalator made of "native materials" to take students from the Albin O. Kuhn Library to the intersection of Walker Avenue and Hilltop Circle. Anonymous students were quoted complaining about the lengthy walk.
The University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science also captured a picture of a new sinkhole in the Chesapeake Bay and posted it to its Twitter account. "Threats of coastal sea-level rise averted," officials wrote.
The spoofs even carried down to the Dulaney High School Griffin, the name of which was changed to Griffoon for April 1. The paper made fun of Superintendent Dallas Dance's plan to increase the number of classes they take each semester, saying he had introduced a 121-period schedule, as well as his plans to add technology.
“I do what I want,” the Griffoon quoted Dance as saying. “When I want, and how I want, and when I please.”
The paper also had stories on the end of Advanced Placement classes and the beginning of an AP lunch class.
Baltimore Sun reporter Liz Bowie contributed to this article.