After myriad student complaints and protests, Washington University in St. Louis will officially be changing its name to “Washington University Near St. Louis” by the fall 2018 semester. This comes as a big win to students, especially those native to the city of Chicago who played an integral role in making the change happen.
Rumors that the St. Louis city limit only barely crosses Brookings Drive began to surface in early February, and since then the rumors have been confirmed and spread throughout the student body. As facts and falsehoods spread like wildfire, a group of students, mostly from the city of Chicago, and not from the Chicago suburbs, rose out of the flames with a clear goal and the motivation to achieve it.
Sophomore Sophie Leib-Neri told WUnderground, “There’s nothing that gets me going more than geographical inaccuracy, and this was no exception. When kids from Highland Park or Lake Forest say they’re from Chicago I usually have to leave the room. That’s why I fought so hard to make this change happen and I’m relieved that this objectionable ‘in’ can finally be rid of and replaced with a more honest preposition.”
Of the students that worked to make this change possible, Leib-Neri was among those on the forefront, organizing rallies and meeting with Provost Holden Thorp and Chancellor Mark Wrighton personally to discuss the problem. She could be seen every Friday in BD boycotting the mozzarella sticks, one of the more poignant demonstrations that planted the seeds of change into the backs of students’ heads and stomachs.
Thorp said, “So we didn’t really care that much initially that some students were upset about the whole ‘Washington University in St. Louis’ thing, but once the protesters started boycotting the mozzarella sticks, the Chancellor and I got a bit concerned. It got to be such that every other Friday, Mark and I would go to BD for our bi-weekly post-squash mozzarella sticks, and each time we’d find these city of Chicago kids just standing in a circle like they own the place, not letting anybody get through for some sticks. We asked them nicely if we could get through, but they didn’t budge, so Mark and I decided to change the university’s name to ‘Washington University Near St. Louis.’”
“I was there and I was upset about the mozz sticks too,” Wrighton said. “We tried going to Paws & Go for a replacement snack, but a cup of vanilla Chobani just isn’t the same.”
Now that the change some students have fought so hard to make real is finally tangible, Leib-Neri said she is glad it is all over so that she can focus on her schoolwork and prepare for final exams. Wrighton and Thorp are “Just glad to have good ol’ mozz sticks back again, those precious golden sticks of cheese, them.”