Ninth College Construction Hits Rock Bottom


Written by: Elise Jonas-Delson

“Yeah, there were a few preventable issues,” admitted one engineer. “We probably should’ve done a dry run first.”
Photo by Sharon Roth

UC San Diego students who report feeling like “small fish” in the metaphorical “big pond” that is their university may soon feel this analogy hitting even closer to home, as UCSD has announced plans to construct and anchor Ninth College within the Pacific Ocean, just off the coast of its mainland campus. 

“Our original blueprint for Ninth placed it north of Seventh College, because who needs Genessee Avenue, anyway?” Facilities Management Director Roger Hansen explained. “But then we ended up hitting a few too many road bumps — and the occasional small animal — so we had to make our plans more fluid.” 

The new addition to UCSD’s flagship college system, driven by its mission statement of “Making a Splash,” will feature stateroom-style dorms as well as classrooms equipped with safety goggles, life vests, and state-of-the-art motion sickness paper bags. Aquarium-caliber glass will surround the exterior, creating a “sea-through” environment that is reportedly part of the university’s “commitment to transparency in all forms.” 

Engineers who worked on the blueprint cited UCSD’s world-class Birch Aquarium as their inspiration for the project. “If you really think about it, students aren’t that different from aquarium fish,” engineer Etch Asketch said. “They require food and water, they’re part of a school, and for some reason they can’t shake the feeling that someone’s always watching them.” 

Ninth College will extend Seventh College’s climate change-themed academic sequence with a new program based around the idea of “from learning it to living it.” This will involve a real-world laboratory of life after the advent of sea level rise. Special emphasis will be placed on building teamwork skills and trust among students so that the buildings do not flood and inundate the students’ classrooms and living quarters with seawater. “These days, it’s an invaluable lesson to learn that ensuring society continues to function is but one massive group project,” Hansen said, before pausing to take his KN95 mask off to sneeze. He continued, “When we can’t work together to solve the crises of the present, we all go down with the ship.” 

Academic advisors are still developing additional general education requirements for Ninth College students; however, the advising department strongly recommends Ninth for students who are interested in marine biology, social psychology, or “oddly obsessed with the panopticon model.” 

However, several students have risen in opposition to the plan, including the organizer of Keep UCSD Afloat, Matt Prodhorn. “When we asked UCSD to submerge their plans for adding a ninth college and to stop using additional land to grow the university, we weren’t asking them to take us literally,” Prodhorn said. “The bar is underwater at this point — we’ve really reached a new low. You could say we’ve hit rock bottom.” 

In response to students’ complaints, UCSD released a statement simply advising them: “Just look at the world around you … Right here on the ocean floor … Such wonderful things surround you … What more is you lookin’ for?”

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