The Clarion, Vol. 80, April Fool's Issue - Brevard - Brevard College

Apr 1, 2015 - of checking their Facebook or playing “Game of War.” “I thought, like, Wow, .... reographed routine to Michael Jackson's “PYT” that she made up ...
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Volume 80, April Fool's Issue

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April 1, 2015

BC dean nearly beheaded by students By Jacques Gusteau

French Revolution Reenactor

The chief academic officer at Brevard College was briefly ousted of his position—and very nearly of his head—Monday in what is being called a case of experiential education gone too far. Scott Sheffield, dean of the faculty and vice president for academic affairs, is also a history professor this semester teaching HIS 215, History of 18th and 19th Century Europe, in which historical reenactment is a key experiential learning component. In the course’s unit on the French Revolution, students in the class apparently decided to “go full Grande Terreur,” according to one student who did not wish to be identified for fear of being labeled a bourgeoisie. Students raided Sheffield’s regally decorated chambers in Beam Administration Building, seized him, and led him to a tumbrel, or openair cart, crudely fashioned from leftover bicycle parts, lacrosse sticks, and vandalized furniture from Beam Residence Hall. He was wheeled across campus to the amphitheater stage adjacent to the Porter Center, where HIS 215 students had created an authentic 18th century guillotine with help from sculpture students during the art department’s recent iron pour. A list of grievances against Sheffield were then read by Chiffon du Bois, leader of the uprising students, including “usurping the rights of the people of Brevard College,” “imposing an iron hand of dictatorial power against the best interests of academic freedom in an institution of higher learning,” and “requiring students to post reflections every week in LAMP,” adding, “and I do mean every week—even during the snow days.” She concluded her remarks with a reading of the new Brevard College mission statement, which says, “Brevard College is committed to an experiential liberal arts education that encourages personal growth and inspires artistic, intellectual, and social action.” By this time, a crowd of about 100 Brevard College students had formed, several of whom were using their cell phones to video the proceedings instead of checking their Facebook or playing “Game

Dr. Scott Sheffield speaking what almost were his last words.

of War.” “I thought, like, Wow, this is cool,” junior Jeff Gordon said. “When I took Dr. Sheffield’s class on Monty Python a few years ago, one of the main things we learned was that nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition. I guess it’s also a historical fact that no one expects the French Revolution, either.” Sheffield was placed in the guillotine and was moments away from the blade being dropped, effectively and efficiently severing his head from his body. At the last possible instant, however, BC president David Joyce rode up onto the stage on a mountain bike, removed his helmet, and pulled from his Spandex suit a sheet of paper which he said was a last-minute revision of the BC mission statement. “The Board has modified the Brevard College mission, effective immediately,” Joyce said. “Now, the mission says that the college is committed to experiential education that inspires artistic, intellectual, and social action—except when it involves weapons on campus. And a guillotine most certainly counts as a weapon.”

Joyce put his helmet back on and was about to remount his bike before adding, “Oh, and incidentally, no hangings, stonings, burnings, bludgeonings, or poisonings with cafeteria food either. In fact, no killings of any kind are permitted under the student honor code.” Several students walked off in disgust at the president’s last comment. This is not the first time that Brevard’s experiential education mission has caused controversy. Citing the first bullet point in BC classrooms stating that “direct experience” is key to experiential learning, students in an Old Testament religious studies class last semester were on the verge of hu