UCSD officials apologized for disrupting “the foundation of trust” between students and faculty.
Photo by Sharon Roth
After a controversial decision by Chancellor Khosla to install a raccoon-themed “Pirates of the Caribbean” ride under a Sixth College parking lot, students and raccoons alike are dealing with the fallout of a sinkhole enveloping the ride. The “Raccoon Pirates of the Caribbean Ride for Raccoons and Khosla Only” project was completed in July of 2019, and has been in use since by raccoons around the greater San Diego area. The project cost UCSD 3.2 billion dollars and is expected to be paid off by increased charges to current and incoming students.
The UC system has boasted that the creation of this facility underneath Sixth has also led to more student jobs. The STDT-3 “Underseer” position was introduced to Sixth college students exclusively to manage ride operations. These students are trained to ‘pacify’ raccoons that refuse to work, with a newly innovated electro-staffs produced by Jacob’s Engineering. The equipment has been introduced as part of the Green Initiative on campus, as they runs on steam.
At the time of its announcement, the ride faced criticism from students about the route to the Sixth apartments being diverted to crossing the I-5, which many considered “unsafe and frankly suicidal.” Student activists admit that participation in protests has died down since midterms began, however, Sixth students report the slump was caused by twelve protesters being struck by cars on the freeway.
On February 10, the Sixth college parking lot was evacuated when the ceiling of the ride began to collapse. Casualties from the collapse were reported as three small, painted boats, five raccoons, a Sixer, and a Honda Civic. Second-year Anne Xu was at the lot when it collapsed. “My boyfriend fell through the floor because he was too busy trying to activate a Spin bike. It was a real shame to lose him, but the real tragedy of this event was when I learned that there were little raccoons in those boats down there. Those poor raccoons really didn’t deserve this.”
Chancellor Khosla emerged from his secret underground lair in a flying, steam-powered helicopter soon after the collapse and was met by a crowd of student activists. Khosla adjusted his monocle and tophat before saying through a loudspeaker, “Leave the area now, or you will be met with lethal force.” When the protesters stood fast, Director of Sixth Res-Life Anthony Jakubsin exited the helicopter in a mech suit, chainguns revving and screaming, “I am your Overseer, second to none other than the Grand Overseer Khosla, He Who Sees All!”
Underseer Miles Labrador recounted the events that transpired. “The sinkhole crushed a lot of raccoons down there, and the surviving raccoons running all the equipment stopped to mourn the loss of their brethren. When Grand Overseer Khosla screamed into his loudspeaker to continue the work, those little guys got angry. They jumped toward the helicopter, aiming for Khosla, but Jakubisin dived in front, saving him but falling into the sinkhole with the raccoons. He screamed for us to help him, but honestly, we’re only getting paid fourteen bucks an hour and don’t get priority enrollment, so we just dropped our electro staffs and watched.”
Search and Rescue teams could not locate Jakubisin at the scene, and he is considered still at large. HDH issued a reward of $250 in dining dollars for information of Jakubisin’s whereabouts. UCSD Administration has reached an agreement with the enslaved raccoons to operate the ride as a not-for-profit co-op once it is rebuilt, where Sixers and raccoons will take turns operating the pirates and riding the ride for maximum enjoyment.