Taylor Carito and Hannah Manning
A lot has stirred over the years about the notorious west campus – a seemingly desolate and decrepit property owned by UMass Lowell. But what few realize is that there is more than meets the eye, in fact, the importance of west campus lies beneath the dust and debris.
UMass Lowell keeps quiet about West Campus. It was formerly a teaching college with the university, but shut its doors due to a fire… or so they made it seem. Years after the incident, UMass Lowell still owns the property, leaving it to fall victim to the elements on its surface. So why keep the buildings if they serve no purpose?
UMass Lowell prides themselves on their students’ dedication to learning and its beloved hockey team. But they soon realized that there were many students who were not attending to do things like study, sleep or have a social life. The administration was panicking. Without the hockey team, they have nothing to draw in money to the school.
UMass Lowell decided they needed to make a change. They kidnapped their finest north campus students from Ball Hall in the middle of the night while they studied and brought them to the underground workspace of west campus. The students seemed to not notice the difference between the dreary, damp and dark underground lab of the abandoned west campus and those of north, and they went right to work on UMass Lowell’s hidden plans.
Of course, South Campus students were not involved, as they were too tied up not doing anything to visit, although they said they would “consider dropping by.” Though many of those students might have had too much personality and spunk for the university’s plans, anyhow…
UMass Lowell needed more students, and new students were exactly what they were making in that underground lab. By perfecting the cloning process, they began implementing the process, creating functional students to not only continue their “record-breaking” number students and graduates, but increase the number of hockey game attendants and show up BU time and time again.
And it worked. Oh, it worked brilliantly. Enrollment numbers continued to soar, and the Tsongas Center was packed for every home opener despite how mediocre the team performed. UMass Lowell became renowned for its newfound prestige, all thanks to the efforts of the limitless clones that they cycled out of their West Campus laboratory.
Oh, the clones. The clones. Their grey, pallid faces and empty eyes fit in spectacularly amongst the real students shuffling through their degrees on North Campus. The clones spoke of nothing save for programmed complaints about their classes — just as their human counterparts would. Their interests were few: hockey and drinking in the abandoned classrooms on North Campus to wash the pain of difficult coursework away.
The clones became, funnily enough, some of the most popular students on campus for their slow wit, encyclopedic (and often incorrect) hockey knowledge, and mediocre grades in their classes. How relatable they were. How human. How cunning. How perfect for the university.
The plan was foolproof, except for the then-students – who were now adults – who had enough. They threatened to come forward about the clones, shedding light on the unethical use of west campus and their capture, but the clones attacked.
Fearing, deep in their muddy, math-filled brains, that they should be delegated to the sunny and beautiful South Campus as punishment for their own unholy creation, they did the only thing they could. They formed a hockey-esque brawl, pulling the sweaters of the scientists over their heads and jabbing them in the stomach.
They beat up the scientists, who didn’t even earn their degrees from UMass Lowell because they did not complete their required free electives prior to being taken, threatening to take things to the next level if they took any action.
The scientists, sufficiently terrified of both the clones and their impending chemistry exams, relented and allowed the experiments to continue. However unethical it was, at least they had steady employment. Did they get paid? No, but it was probably going to look fantastic on their resumes.
Some say that the experiments continue to this very day, with clones stumbling out of the foggy catacombs of West Campus, mumbling about derivatives, the disastrous UMass Lowell second period and organic chemistry. The student newspaper did attempt to cover the curious phenomenon, but they instead decided to cover parking for the umpteenth time.