If U.S. politics were U.Va. politics


Humor columnist Justine Baird puts the recent impeachment proceedings into context.

Riley Walsh | Cavalier Daily

If you’re paying attention to the news or even just reading the unwanted Apple News notifications on your phone, you’ve probably noticed that something is up in Washington D.C. At this point, you’ve probably noticed it is a little more than something. In fact, it’s a whole lot of things. But, there’s one thing that sticks out the most — impeachment.

A lot of people I have spoken to about the impeachment of President Donald Trump are confused. What exactly is going on? How can impeachment not actually remove the president? How is this different from all the other nonsense we’ve been putting up with during the Trump presidency? I have gladly answered those questions to help people understand current events. But, after I had explained the answers to these questions several times, I realized that impeachment might be easier to understand if I compare it to something we all understand — Jim Ryan’s presidency. So just bear with me for the next few paragraphs.

So, Ryan is sitting in his office. He’s decided to collaborate with William & Mary on a new higher education initiative in Virginia. I’m not sure what that initiative would be. I’m not the most aware of presidential activities at a university level. But, alas, they are planning on working together to make the Wahoos and the Tribe happier groups of students. President Ryan’s phone rings, and it is President Katherine A. Rowe from William & Mary calling. Ryan is expecting this call. They have the usual small talk — how are the kids, which school has the superior Jefferson legacy, etc. 

They begin to discuss their joint project, and Rowe asks when they should be expecting U.Va.’s contribution to the program. Ryan pauses and explains to his fellow leader of Virginia higher education that he’s heard rumors about Virginia Tech’s president, Timothy Sands. Apparently, Sands’ has done some iffy things in his past, and President Ryan wants to know if they are true. He asks Rowe if she can help him look into the University’s rival. Once she helps with that, William & Mary can expect the University’s help with the project. Rowe awkwardly agrees to help investigate Sands and they agree to talk soon. 

Meanwhile, Ryan has trusted Dean of Students Allen W. Groves to go to Virginia Tech and figure out what could have happened. Groves blends in on Tech’s campus, not wearing his bowtie as much and suppressing his urge to high five students. He reaches out to some contacts in different academic departments and has some interesting conversations. 

Back on Grounds, Ryan has taken his notes from the call and thrown them onto Mad Bowl after a long day of game-day dartying. He wants the call to be top-secret, so his notes will hopefully get lost in the flood of red solo cups and crushed White Claw cans that litter the field. Any trace of the suspicious call will be thrown out in the magical Mad Bowl clean-up that always seems to happen quickly and quietly. 

There are some rumors flying around Ryan’s office about a suspicious phone call. A member of his office leaks to The Cavalier Daily that there might be someone ready to file an official complaint about potential wrongdoing. WUVA gets wind of the potential controversial news, and there’s a race to uncover what could have happened. Eventually, one of Ryan’s employees anonymously reports that the president pressured William & Mary to investigate Virginia Tech in order to get U.Va.’s funding for an important project. The Cavalier Daily later uncovers that Ryan sent Groves to investigate Virginia Tech’s president, and he tried to cover up the record of the phone call. 

Even thinking about this happening on Grounds is insane. Obviously, most U.Va. students would trust Ryan with their lives. But, when you really think about it, the President of the United States actually did something like this. This story should be content strictly for the humor section of a university newspaper, not for the White House and American foreign policy. But, even though current events continue to shock and surprise us all, it is important to not get too caught up in it. If you find yourself getting overwhelmed, just try to remember that we go to an awesome university with a strong president who would never do us dirty like some world leaders. 

Justine Baird is a Humor Columnist at The Cavalier Daily. She can be reached at humor@cavalierdaily.com.

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