Things I Wish I’d Known About College

By I.S. Mills

Some incoming freshmen feel adequately prepared for their first college experience just by relying on university orientations and the advice of friends and parents. But I would have loved to know some of the things I know now when I was a rising freshman. That’s why I’ve compiled a brief list of information to pass on to the freshmen of 2016.

1) Don’t Even Bother Packing Your Heels
You will wear your heels to class one time, and blisters you incur from this occasion will remind you to never walk to upper campus in anything but Sketchers with orthopedic insoles ever again.

2) Eels in the Soda Fountains
Picture this: you’re hankering for some SoBe™ Yumberry Pomegranate Lifewater™, but what comes out is solid and toothy. Don’t worry, everyone gets freaked out the first time they find a few juvenile morays at the bottom of their cup, but you’ll get used to it. (Just avoid the Mountain Dew- that comes with electric eels).

3) No Sunglasses
This one really surprised me. I had no idea that absolutely no sunglasses are allowed at college before I moved in. In fact, a security guard confiscated my Ray Bans before letting me into the bathrooms in Chevron on the first day of classes. Don’t make the same mistake I did!

4) The Centipedes
Boy howdy, are there a lot of centipedes here! Thousands, maybe millions!

5) Importance of Eye Contact

Sure, your high school teachers probably mentioned eye contact during presentations once or twice, but it’s super important to college professors. To be safe, I make eye contact with my professors whenever I enter or exit a room. If you wear glasses, be sure to take them off beforehand so the glass doesn’t get in the way of the surface of your eyeball rotating wetly against your professor’s. I wouldn’t recommend contacts, because they can fall out during the “ocular kiss.”

Couple Who Shares the Same Friend Group Breaks Up, Custody Battle Ensues

By Megan Klein

Two days ago, Juniors James Moore and Kelly Adams split. In what may be coined, “The Worst Break-Up of This Week,” a couple who actively shares the same friend group is now faced with a lengthy custody battle over who gets the friends. A series of passive aggressive and overdramatic sub-tweets about each other was discovered.

The Pittiful News learned that a custody agreement may or may not be in the works. After James drunkenly made an appearance at Kelly’s ABC party (Anything But Clothes), and belligerently asked to “slap all the bitches,” he asked Kelly to be, “Friends With Benefits Casual Exclusive.” An unnamed source confirms, “James still loves Kelly. But she already slept with two of his three roommates and her hot Natural Disasters TA, who told her that she’s def ‘getting an A+’ in the class.”

This unfortunate circumstance may become an even split between genders in the friend group, minus James’s super cute friend Kate, who has consistently been close with James in what they call, “just best friends,” and “just like siblings!”

Kelly has adamantly claimed extra Chipotle support for the multiple times she dealt with him “not texting back,” or for taking care of him that time he ate shrooms, and ran through South O. stark naked, shouting, “Fuck the Police!” and, “The Bees! Not the Bees!”
At the time of press, neither  James nor his “Pre-Law” representative responded for comment.

Dreams Come True, BITCH

By Jessica Simpson 
Matilda Reve, founder of, was kind enough to sit down with the Pittiful News and reveal the secrets of her groovy new website.  Ever since Reve was a young girl, she could understand the subconscious. “My neighbor once had a dream that he went to the store and bought three pounds of Swiss cheese.  I just knew that meant he needed to eat more cheese.  There were holes in his diet that he couldn’t see.  He turned out to be a lactose intolerant sex addict but he did visit Switzerland. It’s like I have ESP or something,” said Reve.

Unlike Dreams A-Z, or The Dream Dictionary, Dreamscometruebitch101 has a more open forum. Anyone can share their dreams, however specific, and Reve will personally interpret it for a reasonable fee of $19.99 per letter. According to Reve it’s common knowledge that certain dreams should be taken literally.   For example, if you had a dream that you were stranded in the middle of the ocean and eaten by a shark, Reve would advise you carry a lifejacket at all times and stay away from oceans, lakes, and pools. Or let’s say you have a dream that all of your teeth fall out.  Reve recommends visiting a dentist.  Cavities and gingivitis could one day render you toothless, and looking like Popeye isn’t in vogue these days.

However Reve does favor a Freudian approach to dream interpretation.  As taken from the website, if you dream about anything phallic shaped: a banana, a pencil, your dachshund named Oscar—your subconscious could be dicktating your real desires.  Don’t worry, you’re not nuts.   Reve is just trying to point you in the right d-erection.  So go follow your dreams, take a nap.  In the words of Mike Tyson, “I have to dream and reach for the stars, and if I miss a star then I grab a handful of clouds.”


Divorcée Professor Desperately Plugs Office Hours

By Phil Forrence

Dr. Leo Johns’ 0616 Literature and Migration course took a turn for the worst last week when he finalized his divorce with his wife of eleven years. “He just won’t stop talking about his office hours,” Marco Royce, Johns’ student, laments. “He relentlessly tells of how much fun he and the students have there, but there are only twelve of us in the class and no one knows anyone who’s gone to them.”

“They’re a blast,” belts Johns, “Last week Maggie, good old Maggie, and her friend Jonathan swung by my office at 8 a.m. It was magical, we talked leisure, sports, arts and entertainment for hours. And I think those two love-birds might have a connection.”

“Nobody calls me Maggie,” clarifies Margret Ruffield.

“The other day I picked up a pen for Dr. Leo as I left class, and he hasn’t stopped telling people about what good friends we are.” Other students have noticed it too. Chris Diamond recalls, “He told me that if I stopped by his afternoon office hours he and I might get a visit from his old friend ‘Mary-Juana’ and when I told him I was busy he violently offered to write me a letter of recommendation to graduate school.”

“What I try to teach to my students is to not learn the lesson, but learn how to learn to learn the lesson. The problem with modern education is we are so caught up in tests. What even is a test? You know what a real test is? A conversation. People talking to people. Science, history, or geography, it doesn’t matter what. That’s what it’s all about.”

“He offered me money to teach him about Tinder,” Says student Beth Fields, “And not a small amount of money either. His final offer was seventy-five dollars and a plain gold ring off his finger. It was sad.”

Next semester Dr. Leo Johns’ will be teaching two sections of 0315 Reading Poetry. His office hours will be listed on the syllabus.

Pittiful Profiles

You’ve seen The Pitt News Silhouettes highlighting University students, professors, staff who are doing amazing and interesting things on and off campus. Here at The Pittiful News, we would like to give a nod to those members of the community who are a little too extraordinary. 
Check out The Pitt News Silhouettes here to learn more about friends and neighbors. Keep reading to learn about your enemies.

Dead Light Bulb Spotter

By BD Wahlberg
“I calls ‘em as I see’s ‘em,” says Alex Turner, proudly indicating a long fluorescent tube as it flickers its last. “That’s what we call a death rattle in the biz. And by the biz, I mean the official business of figuring out which of the light bulbs are dead around this big old campus so that the guys at the top can come in and change ‘em.”

Lifting up a classroom ceiling tile, Turner explained, “Now, you might think this one’s dead ‘cause it’s not on, but in fact…” Turner pushed it slightly. “It’s actually just out of place. An NNTP. No. Need. To. Panic.”

By Hannah Lynn

“Stop doing this profile on me I’m honestly not Batman,” said Pitt Junior Bruce Wayne. “My parents are from Transylvania and had never even heard of the character when they named me. I am a different Bruce Wayne,” he said before wrapping himself in his cloak and shuffling off into the night to solve crime and think about his dead parents.
“NO! No. NONE of that is true” Bruce Wayne yelled. But give him a break, his parents are dead.

Dan Smith
by Dan Smith

 He is a cool guy.

Ivana Ivanova

By Megan Klein

“I never thought being so dead would make me so feel alive,” Ivana Ivanova, an apparition, says while gently stroking her ghost cat. She carefully adjusts the collar on her bright yellow blouse, which highlights her pale and translucent features. “I like yellow, it reminds me of flowers and highlighters and ducks.”  

A junior, Ivana is always meticulous in naming the things she enjoys. “I like water bottles, especially clear ones, and the way they reflect the yellow-ish light of the library,” she giggles. “See?” She says with a smile. “Yellow!” 

As a philosophy major minoring in Canadian and Slovenian Art and Technology with a certificate in the Religious Studies of Wallabies, she enjoys diversity in her subjects, something she attributes to her parents always teaching her to, “follow her non-existent heart.”

Growing up in Pripyat, Ukraine, Ivana and her family became literal ghosts in the Chernobyl Disaster of 1986. Ukraine was a harsh place to live in after the accident. “My parents were farmers and dog-walkers, and had to make the switch to only growing and eating nuclear toxins and radioactive waste. We only ate radioactive waste because it became the only food our ghost organs could digest. My favorite food is radioactive french fries with nuclear cheese,” said Ivanova.   

She traded in the comfort food of radioactive waste for Primanti Bros. “I technically moved to America ten years ago. My family moved to California where they became underwater basket weavers. They started a lucrative, international business, where they regularly funneled baskets and drug money, and through this where they were able to send me to the only private school for ghosts on the west coast. I was very lucky. They taught me so much about what it means to follow your passions.”

As for adjusting to life on the east coast, Ivana says, “Dating is hard. My last boyfriend was a zombie, and he only dated me because he couldn’t eat me. He said I was too ‘toxic’ for him. Whatever that means. He’s dead to me now,” she said.

A kind spirit, she plans on one day working for the U.N, and teaching art therapy to underprivileged wallabies in an orphanage she plans to build in Tanzania.

Editor’s note: In a previous version of this article, The Pittiful News reported that Ivana murdered an entire village of children accidentally. The Pittiful News also reported that Ivana’s parents were skilled rappers before the accident. This is inaccurate. The Pittiful News also reported her boyfriend was a cultist leader involved with Church of the Subgenius. The Pittiful News also reported Ivana’s favorite pastime is stalking Criss Angel. The Pittiful News regrets these errors.

By Ilya Yashin man Jack go school, read much, play hard. Book bottle pen are Jack and shoes computer grades are Jack, research and sleep and soup are Jack as well. All school is Jack.

“I hike two mile five mile three mile to Pitt,” said Jack from over here and there. “Jack big strong man rip soft pink flesh crush bone bring pride like antlers back to Pitt.” Jack loves big food, bold song, fine sleep, stern dog, play game, play two game, four game, win sick stuff.

Tough guy that Jack, good kid, polite and suave beat trees bare fists go raw with blood bark Jack scream like bear and beat tree still. Earth, lightning roar when Jack go boom! crash down on homework, quizzes, papers, tests. Good man and strong, Jack sparkling muscle mass, Jack neural pathways sizzling math, equations, quotes, good grades.

“Good kid that Jack, Bill, Laura, Sam, but mostly Jack,” his uncle sister parent said, so nicely said like mellow spring. “I know him well, he done good things, go college good make momma proud, that Jack be mountain of a man, brain temple of a student.”

Jack true Pitt man, he said, the only one, the hope pride model. He be good kid, go football game, go rally, go parade, march, protest, dining hall. He start five club, one club, two club, make campus funner better fix the lamppost, table, fence.

“I fixed the lamppost, table fence,” he said. “I’m Jack, big strong man Jack, smart wondrous festive student Jack so good at words math puzzles tests,” said Jack. “Jack be a man so good he’s good as none who be so bad they’re worse than Jack.”

Checkmate Champion
Macintosh HD:Users:Lance:Desktop:978x-1.jpgBy I.S Mills
Junior physics student Jack Inghoff captures kings and confronts controversy

Jack leans over his chessboard, head resting on his right fist.

“I definitely know this move. I just need a second,” he assures us.

With his well-fitted khakis, tailored suit jacket, and surprisingly toned upper arms, Jack Inghoff might seem like someone who’s always had it all.  But it took a lot for this 20-year-old to become Pitt’s chess prodigy.

“I don’t really know what you’re talking about. I mean, I have ADHD, but I’m pretty well medicated. I don’t think it’s ever really affected my chess,” he claims.

Jack is being modest. The Pittiful News knows all about Inghoff’s difficulties with his given name. With a name so similar to every preteen boy’s favorite pastime, it’s no wonder Inghoff has tried to distance himself from it: He goes by “J. Inghoff” during matches.

“That’s just how they put the names up on the scoreboard. Everyone’s is like that,” the wunderkind claims. “Can we talk about chess now?”

In order to survive vicious grade school bullying and endless workplace mockery, Jack Inghoff has erected a wall of denial too sturdy for the Pittiful News to break down in one brief interview. When we ask him why his parents hated him so much as a newborn, he looks at us askance.
Macintosh HD:Users:Lance:Desktop:Magnus-Carlsen_331851k.jpg“My dad’s name is also John. I’m John II, so they decided to call me Jack to tell us apart,” he says defensively, worrying a castle in his left hand. “And I can see what you’re typing, by the way. It’s not a ‘castle’ it’s a rook.”

The Pittiful News can only imagine what a touchy subject this is for Inghoff the younger, who was probably referred to with an up-and-down motion of the fist at the pelvis for most of his adult life. We try using this motion to see if he responds to it.

“You know what, I’m done. This is over,” Jack decides, tossing pawns and horses into their velvet storage sack.

“And it’s called a knight, for fuck’s sake.”

You can catch Jack in action at the 36th annual Greater Allegheny Chess Tournament this June, where he will compete against CMU’s reigning chess pro, Matt Sterbading.  

Jacob Bartley
By Riley Weber

The time is 6:58 PM on a Tuesday night. Jacob Bartley sits in his Sociology class, with his eyes not on the powerpoint, but the clock. 6:59, his stomach starts to rumble with anticipation, it’s almost time. Seated at the back of the class, he begins salivating. 7:00, finally! Snack time. Jacob reaches into his backpack and pulls out a warm thermos and a spoon. He can finally indulge in his favorite treat: a nice warm mug of delicious, homemade gravy. Jacob is the president three years running of the Pitt Gravy Connoisseurs, a club devoted to the creation and sampling of several types of gravy. The club is composed of three members, and was founded by Jacob in 2013.

Jacob is proud of his hobby, and happily explains the reason for the club’s existence to anybody he meets. “I always loved gravy as a kid. My mom made it all the time, sometimes just for me. When I got here, I was shocked there wasn’t some sort of association devoted to the godly sauce.” Despite his love for gravy, Jacob often catches a lot of flak for his tastes. Several of his professors have asked him why he eats gravy during class, and a few have even asked him to refrain from eating in their lectures. “It’s another reason I formed this club. Not only as a group of people with similar interests, but as a type of support group. Not everyone understands our passion, so we help each other through problems. Just the other week, I got broken up with after finally confessing to my girlfriend my love for gravy.”

We spoke to the ex-girlfriend, who simply told us, “Yeah, ew, right? What the fuck?” The Pitt Gravy Connoisseurs meet every Thursday night in the Schenley Café rain or shine, and Bartley encourages any Gravy enthusiasts, big or small, to attend.

Sam’s Mom
By Ilya Yashin
Don’t pretend you haven’t seen Sam’s mom on campus. She’s the one talking to Sam’s professors before and after class, persuading them to postpone deadlines for her son, regrade his tests with his unique sensitivity in mind, and reminding him to take his vitamins. The lady with a water test kit trotting in front of Sam to check the water in each drinking fountain before he dares take a sip. The woman passing out his short bio and contact info to all attractive girls on his way to class? That’s her.

“I just don’t think that my boy is ready for the difficulties of an independent life in college, even after the 18 years I’ve spent raising him with utmost care and comfort,” Sam’s mom said, adding that the world is such a dangerous place and she doesn’t want something non-good to happen to Sam. “From the time I decided not to vaccinate him, so as to help him develop natural immunity to diseases, chemtrails, pesticides, and the deadly dihydrogen monoxide that the government is poisoning us with, and all through his childhood of home schooling in a padded room with no TV, Internet, or sunlight, I’ve always found the wisdom and love to be the best mom possible.”

Sam’s mom has been living in an apartment a block away from Sam’s dorm since his freshman year. She spent all of her retirement savings to make one of the apartment’s two rooms an exact replica of Sam’s room at home, in case he ever got homesick. She uses the GPS tracker hidden near Sam’s heart to go to frat houses and parties with him to ensure his safety. “I always make sure that the alcohol and weed he might use are organic and pesticide-free,” she said, “and I stealthily test all the ladies in the house for STD’s and traces of consumed GMO’s.”

Being Sam’s mom isn’t easy. Besides telling off professors and TA’s for every non-positive comment about Sam’s work and sending anonymous and convincing death threats to anyone who makes fun of Sam, she says she sometimes has to defend her motherly protection against criticisms from haters who think they know how to be a good mother.

“When someone tells me I’m doing something wrong, I just shake my head and say, ‘Nope,’” Sam’s mom said, adding that her insightful argument always works. “I just stare at them indignantly and say, ‘Uh-uh. No-no-no-no-NO! No way, Jose, nope, nuh-uh. Like, noooo waaaaaay, nope.’”

Anna Kexüynoz’ael
By Milo Davis
Anna, or as her friends sometimes call her, Kexüynoz’ael The Great and Horrible, would at first appear to most as your average Pitt student. With her backpack, blood-red hide, and Pitt t-shirt, Anna feels right at home levitating around campus. The campus appreciates her vaguely ominous presence too, as Anna is thoroughly engaged in several student groups. From the Black Sheep to the Cult of Cthulhu, Anna demonstrates an almost uncanny knack for leadership.

Those who know her describe her personality as being so captivating that it’s like she just motions her hands and casts a few hexes and people follow. Anna’s ability to rally her peers is put to good use as pursues philanthropic activities, such as raising money for charity and cleaning up around the community. “I just really want to make the world a better place for when the Dark One rises from his slumber.”

In her rare moments of free time, Anna enjoys pouring her black heart into her poetry. Those that have had the great pleasure of being enveloped by her masterful words tend to describe the experience as deep, mystical, and utterly unforgettable, no matter how many hours you spend screaming in a vain attempt to expel the voices from your head. “It wasn’t until I was 16, when I went to my first poetry slam, that I realized how much I loved poetry. But none of that truly matters, for soon it shall be the end of times.” 

Anna has big plans for the future. She plans to rule as queen of this dimension after allowing the demon lord Z̈̋̔a̿̽ͭ͆ͯ̒l̝̝̳̿̾g̢͈̱̞͙̫̰̟̓͗̔͆̈o̫̺̳̥̒͊̀ to sodomize her upon a pentagram marked field drenched with the blood of the innocent. “Fire will rain down from the sky and his vile horde shall emerge from the underworld and overtake all there is and all there ever will be. There can be no escape, only doom.” Anna’s words then suddenly transitioned into an indiscernible string resonant growls, but we’re pretty sure that before leaving us by bursting into a mass of smoke and locusts that she whispered “Trump 2016.”

Ian Tobits
By Holly Stavarski

A connoisseur of small and unwanted “trash,” Ian Tobits has taken the art of collecting to a new level. 

“My collections are my most prized possessions,” says Tobits as he begins to describe the many items that fill the many jars that have taken up his already small Lothrop Hall dorm room. 

The University of Pittsburgh junior began collecting in the summer after his freshman year. 

“At the end of the spring semester, I waited patiently for my  family to come and move me out, but they never did. No one from the University stopped by to check and see if the room had been emptied. Everyone forgot about me.” Over that summer, Tobits began to fill the void in his heart by taking in small items that most people would throw away. Scavenging the dumpsters, Tobits would pick through garbage bags with a fine toothed comb to find cool looking fruity pebbles, toe nail clippings, and hairs that people had found in food. 

“Those items interested me the most, because I could never understand why someone would throw them away much like I was. Why did they throw me away?” Already spending most of his time alone, collecting became such a time consuming hobby that he did not have time to make connections with new people. That is when his collecting went to the next level. 

“I was shocked when I realized how much time I had been spending by myself, but instead of dwelling on it, I decided to make it into a hobby. Now I collect the moments I spend alone.” 

Due to the fact that Tobits has not left his room since July 18, 2014, corresponding with others via AIM, he has calculated that he has collected approximately 897,120 moments alone. “I am quite proud of this accomplishment. Most people have too many friends or loved ones to spend 623 days without seeing, smelling, or touching another human being.”

Tobits hopes that he can continue this collecting late in life, but says that what he plans on collecting may change as soon as he can figure out a way to properly harvest his tears.

Better You
By Ilya Yashin

You would’ve been pretty pleased with yourself, your present life and past decisions, if not for Better You lurking around the campus, in spaces that hold your shame and failure and regret.

“You can hide from yourself but you can’t hide from me,” Better You said from behind that C you got on your transcript out of sheer laziness. “Guess who got a 4.0 without cheating or bullshitting, and a full scholarship, and those grants and awards you totally could’ve received but didn’t give a crap about, and who read all those kickass books you only wanted to read? That’s me. It could’ve been you, but it’s me.”

While not hanging out with the cool friends you were always too busy to spend time with or with that crush you never had the guts to ask out, Better You likes to spend time in the gym you’ve always been meaning to go to and at the part-time job Better You genuinely loves, which you would’ve loved, too, but didn’t get because you never bothered to gain the prerequisite experience or to apply early.

“I’ve learned to cope with all my frustrations and anxieties so well that I feel sorry for you for being such a nervous maladjusted wreck and not even trying to learn to improve your psychological well-being,” Better You said, eating a fancy dinner you can’t afford with your crappy minimum-wage job and parents who give you no cash because you still haven’t made up with them after that fight. “And guess whose fault it is that you’re not me?”

Better You is a non-traditional student. Instead of being confined to a single body like a lame-o, Better You lives in bits and pieces all around you, in various forms of happiness, success, and fulfillment of your friends and acquaintances that you could’ve attained but didn’t.

Next time you see Better You, at least nod in acknowledgement.

“Just don’t think that you can actually become me,” Better You laughed. “If you could, you already would’ve.”

Stone, the Panther
By Leo Corman

You’ve all heard of Roc the Panther, but you probably don’t know his brother, Stone. 

“Of course, it’s hard to believe we could possibly be related at this point, me a 43-year-old, unemployed loser living in my parents’ den, and Roc the handsome, successful star,” admitted Stone with a sigh. “We couldn’t be less alike.”

While Roc taking pictures with kids and giving out high-fives, Stone is watching Cartoon Network and taking bong hits. You wouldn’t think it to look at the pudgy feline now, but at one point in his life, Stone had a lot going for him.

“I had a steady job, a girlfriend, I kept away from drugs … I had my life together. My dream, though, had always been to be a mascot for Pitt, my beloved alma mater.” When there was finally an opening, Stone pounced on the opportunity, but so did his overachieving younger brother, Roc. “My older brother, Mineral, and youngest brother, Pebble, also applied, but that cute little kitten wasn’t ready for that kind of pressure, and Mineral just sounds terrible as a mascot name.”

The search came down to Roc and Stone, and they chose Roc. 

Why? What made Roc so damn special? Why was he better than me? Was it the pretentious lack of a ‘k’ in his name? I could throw a t-shirt just as far. I had a winning smile. I could clap and jump and stimulate crowd excitement through my own infectious energy just as well. I would have been a great mascot! Roc could have done anything with his life. He was always the favorite child in the Panther family, the 4.0 student, the captain of every sports team … I was just an average animal with one simple dream, and he took that from me.”

In this instance, the cat did not land on its feet. Following his rejection, Stone fell into a spiral of depression, drugs, and apathy. “My girlfriend dumped me; I lost my job; eventually, humiliatingly, I had to move back in with my parents, where I’ve been ever since”. His family tried to be supportive, but they could never understand how much being the Pitt mascot had meant to him.

“I haven’t spoken to Roc in years. I guess he’s so busy hanging out with all the cheerleaders and football players that he doesn’t have time for me anymore. I can’t blame him—I wouldn’t want to be anywhere near a sorry shell of a cat like me. So next time you’re watching a Pitt game, and you see my brother dancing around, think of me, and how much I’d give to be where he is right now. Think of dreams crushed beneath a furry paw.”

Dirty Jeff
By Ossia Dwyer

A fixture of campus since 1987, Dirty Jeff has been opening students’ mind to space travel and government conspiracies at the laundromat for over 20 years.  He got his start at Pitt as a student in the mathematics department.

“Is that what they told you?  I wasn’t a student I was a test subject for the surfactants lab.  They got rid of the monkeys and started using humans to test their lotions and potions.  I led the rebellion to overcome our Fascist leaders.”

After his time at the University ended, he found his new home in a local South Oakland laundromat.

“My old buddy Gary, who was actually half alien and half wizard but used his powers for good, used to own this place.  He let me tutor these asshole kids whenever I wanted and I’ve never left.  These people need me to pass on the secrets of the world.  The moon landing was filmed in the Consol Energy Center.  The statue of Richard Caliguiri wakes up and dances when there is a full moon.”

He believes that his presence at the laundromat is what keeps the kids coming in week after week.
“People’s minds are made of hot water and my knowledge is like an instant pudding packet ready to whisk up a brain in their tiny noggin cases.  Without me how would people know that aliens crawl out of iPhone chargers and into our blood streams?” 
Wait… what?
“Oh, let me guess you think that you were born with people skin.  Wake up people!  Our skin is manufactured in China so that the government can see what television shows we are watching.  And when we die they use it to make floppy disks.  People are living longer and we have less floppy disks. Coincidence or correlation?”

Ryan Subsequen
By Ilya Yashin a history and political science double-major heavily involved in local politics, Ryan Subsequen knows the value of a wide variety of opinions and points of view circulating in the free marketplace of ideas. His personal motto is summarized in a quote by Ryan Subsequen: “It is essential to progress that you consider everyone’s opinion, no matter who they are, as long as it agrees with yours.”

“It’s a crucial, integral part of who I am and who I want to become,” Subsequen said of the quote, which he described as “brilliant” and “thought-provoking.” “Many close-minded people prefer to stay in their comfortable ideological echo chambers, but that’s a dead end. History shows that we owe many great things to the people who were brave enough to listen to all kinds of opinions coming from all different kinds of people, as long as they could interpret the opinions in such a way that they could agree with them.”

Paying close attention to world politics and online discussions of important issues, Subsequen came to the conclusion that discussions, especially political ones, are often stymied and derailed when someone’s opinion is dismissed because of some aspect of their identity. He believes that this tendency stems from prejudices and is always counterproductive.

“It’s so stupid, the way people sometimes dismiss out of hand what others have to say based on who they are,” he said. “Regardless of your race, gender, sexuality, socioeconomic status, nationality, ethnicity, political orientation, and any type of ideology you hold, as long as your opinion even remotely agrees with mine, I believe it is worth hearing and seriously considering.”

Subsequen believes that although we all agree that it’s bad to hold onto any opinion firmly and blindly, no matter what it is, it’s absurd to expect someone to change their opinion to one they disagree with. “So why bother wasting time considering it?” he said. “It’s like being a vegetarian and going to a steakhouse for lunch. It just doesn’t make sense to me.”