Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
January 26, 2023

Breaking: University receives $2B donation to demolish new student center

By DEMI LITSION | April 1, 2022



University officials ask that those interested in donating money for an even newer student center contact them “ASAP.” 

APRIL FOOL’S: This article was published as part of The News-Letter’s annual April Fool’s edition, an attempt at adding some humor to a newspaper that is normally very serious about its reporting. 

University President Ronald J. Daniels announced on Tuesday evening that the University has received an anonymous donation of $2 billion to build a new student center.

This announcement was made at the current student center construction site. Daniels drove a bulldozer to the podium and spoke to a select group of hype men, students, faculty and dogs.

Although Daniels was partially drowned out by the construction work in the background, The News-Letter was able to determine that construction for the (newer) student center will start immediately after the (older) student center is completed. 

Student response was mixed. Some approved of the construction of an even better hub for student activities, while others pointed out how much power anonymous donors seemed to have over the University administration.

“Look, if you can just donate money to tear down buildings, why stop with the student center? Like, what’s next,” said senior Txnkie Li Spear. “If I donated $100 billion could we tear down Brody? Gilman? Shriver? Why not the whole campus?”

In a schoolwide email, Daniels unveiled the architects for the new student center. Severin Magne Aslak Lauge Ltd. (SMALL), a Norwegian competitor to the prior student center architects Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), will be in charge of design. A representative from SMALL described design plans in an interview with The News-Letter.  

“We will implement a huge central campus living room; a massive variety of social spaces; cleverly themed community lounges, art and enrichment spaces; and supreme dining options,” said SMALL representative P. Ness. 

Ness expressed confusion over the proposed addition of a structure that “looked like a cage, but was just labeled as ‘HAC ZONE’” and a room called “Our Lady of Perpetual Construction Chapel.” 

When asked to comment, Homewood Academic Council member Steve P. Assman said in an interview with The News-Letter that along with expected additions to the new student center, there will be a few more surprises.

“Oh yes, the Student (Penitentiary) Center... We got the green light from bestie Ronny D. himself last week to add a space to keep students with multiple disciplinary infractions,” Assman said.

Administration declined to comment on the proposed HAC ZONE and chapel.

The University has tentatively scheduled a weeklong farewell ceremony for the student center in the fall 2024 semester. The ceremony will serve a dual purpose, mourning the older student center while also celebrating the newer student center. It will feature activities such as tag, “catch that dog!” and the return of the adult seesaws.

The President of a popular a cappella group on campus claims that the University is attempting to secure a Beatles impersonator group to perform “Hello, Goodbye” for the duration of the festivities. 

“Yeah, I got an email from LEED [Leadership, Engagement Parties and Exciting Developments] the other day asking if any of our members had good British accents,” they said.

Freshman Hal Schwartz expressed hesitation over the new construction plans.

“I really hope we don’t get into a situation where there are just continuous construction projects for the student center,” he said. “I want to enjoy it at some point.”

UPDATE 4/1/22: University receives new $10 billion donation to demolish the even newer student center. Full story pending. 

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