Students Prepare for Annual End-of-the-Year Galbraith Book Burning


Written by: Melina Cruz

School officials later declared the book burning event a new part of the Stuart Art Collection and titled the piece: “Disco Inferno.”
Photo by Jay Noonan

The end of Spring Quarter at the University of California San Diego is approaching, and as the year draws to a close, students all over campus have begun posting signs for the so-called “Burn the Books” event at Galbraith Hall.

“This is an annual event,” said Clarissa Evans, an event coordinator for freshmen activities. “At least, it would be if Chancellor Khosla stopped sending out ‘cease-and-desist’ letters, and if security guards stopped ripping down our posters. That’s why we’re using a mixture of super glue and liquid plastic so they can’t rip them down this time.” When questioned about the details of the event, Evans said it was “super extra secret, and like, really hard to explain.” Another participant placing posters assured that the event obviously wasn’t secret because all of the information is “like, right there” while motioning to the poster.

“We all go to Galbraith information and gather all the books while dodging security guards,” explained Lisa Blake, a self-titled Burn the Books veteran. “Then we pile the books in a circle in the middle of Revelle. Afterwards, we’re supposed to cover the books in oil — because gasoline is like, a non-renewable resource — and we light it up. Then we dance and party and it’s supposed to symbolize a new beginning. Because, then, the administration can just order new books for the next year and start fresh. It’s just plain fun. Plus, we get all the new sorority and fraternity folks involved, and it’s this whole bonding thing.” The group plans for this year’s Galbraith Burn the Books to be “extraordinarily fun,” with promises of s’mores, cozy blankets, and campfire songs, as well as a “sick DJ.”

Despite their promises, however, polls from passing students have shown that the event may have very limited attendance. “I have asthma,” said Christian Coleman, a freshman. “I can’t attend the event. Or I’ll die. That’s basically it.” Another freshman who chose to remain anonymous said that these types of events were usually “really lame,” and declared they wouldn’t be participating to “preserve their coolness factor.” Alyssa Brown, a senior, lamented that despite the rebellious factor in this particular event, she couldn’t risk not graduating in five years. “I already have three counts of arson. I don’t need more.”

The coordinator groups for freshmen events, however, have emphasized they will not give up on their event. “We plan on putting the posters everywhere we can. We’re even gonna hire a pilot to lug a sign behind their plane and fly it above the school. We have an associate planning on sticking a 20-foot- long sign on the construction in Muir,” Evans stated. “It’s essential we get the word out, even if we make promises we can’t keep. Otherwise, no one will come. There might not be enough marshmallows, and the blankets are actually old rags from Goodwill. But all that matters is getting people through the door and getting the party started.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *