The Collegian
Thursday, February 29, 2024

The Collision | Orientation events once again forgo introducing literal family of elephants in the room

Editor's Note: The Collision is the historically satirical version of The Collegian, appearing as early as the 1930s. The following article is satire and in no way should be viewed as the truth.

Anyone who walks across the University of Richmond will notice the beauty of the campus; the sheen of the sunshine as it reflects over Westhampton lake; the orchids planted and replanted on a near weekly basis; and, of course, the physical family of elephants that resides here.

The 2019 team of Orientation advisers were yet again tasked with negotiating the rocky terrain of UR and, specifically, diverting attention from the elephants, who on occasion, were physically in the room. 

“I thought it was weird nobody talked about them,” an incoming first-year student said. “The elephants just stood there waiting to be acknowledged, but everyone seemed to collectively give them a side eye, but not really do anything about them and ignore them entirely.”

The family of elephants has been on the UR campus since the merger of Richmond and Westhampton colleges. The elephants filled the vacancy created after the Skeletons in the Closet announced their retirement. The Skeletons now live happily downtown on Monument Avenue, just near the Jefferson Davis monument.

Living the life of a college elephant is, apparently, very difficult. 

“We aren’t asking for much,” said Kieth, the oldest elephant. “I just want my kids to feel like someone cares about them. I get it, the red paint smeared across my breast saying, ‘Segregated Dining Hall’ is a hard look. But the dining hall is my home, I’ve lived here for 10 years. I’ve got rights. But what can I do? Should I just wait around until I blow my snout, make a scene or turn up in a story in The Washington Post?”

Some OAs were not happy about ignoring the Elephants. 

“It just doesn’t make sense to not say anything,” said a self-described “cynical” OA. “I mean they’re right there, just say something about it.” 

Other students took no issue with keeping the elephants in the room unannounced. 

“Look, the elephants are just another part of the Richmond experience,” one senior said. “You see them every day when you walk into career services as an Arts and Sciences major, or go to class in Ryland Hall, or sit in the third room in D-hall, or see the statue of Robins, or walk through Queally Hall, or have to re-closet yourself for rush, or see that Greek life is not only 40% of students, or listen to tour guides, or see that the school mismanages the endowment or … wait a minute.”

It will be interesting to see how these elephants act in the years to come. 

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“I have a feeling there will be a stampede in a few years,” one OA said. “If that happens, we’ll have to change our approach to dealing with the elephants in the room. Or just poach them for ivory.”

Contact contributor Chris Cassella at 

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