Stevens Monster Hunters

by Frank Riccobono

This is a short story / monologue I wrote loosely inspired by the recent five-year plan my alma mater has embarked on.

Students, faculty, staff, and concerned parents, I'd like to thank you all for coming to this emergency State of the Institute Address.

We knew when we set out on our five-year plan to grow the university, that there would be some growing pains. We have tried to prepare as best we could, but I think you'd all agree that no one could have predicted the events that brought us together this evening.

In case any of you are unaware of these recent events, let me walk you through our latest understanding of what happened. As you know, our current undergraduate class is the largest in school history. This past Friday evening, a vast majority of those students were engaged in an activity known as Dungeons and Dragons. In fact, we now believe that this was the largest simultaneous role playing game session in university history. At that point, creative energy on campus hit a critical mass, which caused many of the mythological creatures from the game to manifest in our reality.

Now, this has not been all bad for the university. Tuesday we welcomed Lucien the centaur to the campus nursing staff. He has been instrumental in treating the various student injuries incurred over the last few days. We are also confident that the Performing Arts Department will benefit greatly from bringing on a satyr as its new advisor. Additionally, we feel the small party of gnomes that arrived this morning have much to offer the Mechanical Engineering Department.

We cannot, however, deny the various negative impacts many of these creatures have had. The Burchard Building remains closed while we continue to negotiate with the goblin horde that has turned the building into its stronghold. Giant spiders have overrun Humphreys in clear violation of the no animals policy. We believe the sight of a beholder in the bowling alley has driven one student insane, but this student was attempting to double major in biomedical engineering and computer science, so it's possible the student was already that way before the beholder. And identity card replacement rates are at an all-time high thanks to the dragon who has taken to hoarding duck bills. We advise students to stay clear of the Babbio Atrium where the dragon has established his lair, and our deepest sympathies go out to the families of the graduate students the dragon has already eaten.

We value your safety and have committed ourselves to doing everything in our power to end this siege on our school. Of course, since we've already spent all the surplus budget we have on the five-year plan, we must constrain our efforts to what we can afford. Effective immediately, we will be creating a Monster Hunter work-study position under the department of Residence Life. Volunteers will receive free housing and free battle armor. You will be trained in combat by our esteemed fencing and archery coaches. You will also be taught magic by several professors in the Math Department, who assure me that magic and mathematics are essentially the same thing. Students interested in applying for this position will find applications at the front of the stage.

Thank you all for your time.

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