Pain. It’s all I can feel around me as I walk across the campus. A week after Wellesley’s administration informed everyone that paper towels would no longer be supplied on campus, the student body is still embroiled in the throes of a civil war. Instead of shouts from the Frisbee team that would make one think, “There’s no way they’re taking it this seriously,” wails and screams as someone rotates a dispenser in vain have become normal to hear.
“The day after the email was frightening. It’s almost as if no one believed it — we were all in a collective state of shock. But it was somewhere between the release of the news and the day of The Great Pillaging that everything happened … ” trails off Jules Vanwyngarden ’25, who is meeting me in Munger Hall, a site agreed upon as the ceasefire zone because, according to the Lulu Treatises, “no one wants to step foot in it anyway.” The Great Pillaging, as students now call it, was when remaining paper towels from residence halls were stolen and hoarded. A small group of outliers convinced themselves that wiping their faces with toilet paper wasn’t that bad and chose to abstain from any contact.
There was no violence, but the tension in the air was palpable — almost as if everyone got a Duo Verification notification that lasted 48 hours — until the stashes ran out. That was when it became a full-fledged war. The student body dissected itself into two groups: Doc Martens wearers versus everyone else — and chaos ensued.
People cowered in their dorms to avoid being asked about what information they had about the last known paper towel sightings. Random skirmishes involving wet TP took place all around campus for a week until it caught the attention of national news channels. Journalists that came were given tac vests to prevent getting hurt and thousands of insensitive op-eds were written. Pastel colored infographics were posted on Instagram stories, paper towel student associations were made in colleges across the nation to prevent a disaster like this from ever happening again and the prevalence of towels became a major talking point to secure a place on a party ticket.
At the end of a week involving tireless fighting and peace negotiations, the light at the end of the tunnel is getting clearer. The government has realized the importance of paper towels to the economy and general well-being of the people. An inside source at the White House said, “I think paper towels are the new oil, they really are. I don’t even know why they were fighting amongst themselves when there’s a CVS a mile away. And look, it’s our duty to swoop in there and help a little — maybe establish a new form of college government or something, I don’t know — I’m not on the record, am I?”
But no matter what happens now, nothing will ever rid my brain of the feeling of soggy tissue all over my body, or the battle cries of the Doc Martens wearers or having to listen to the group of people that took refuge in the KSC and said they were having a “District 13 from the Hunger Games moment.” Wellesley will never be the same.