These are but a few of the words that come to this reporter’s mind in response to the reckoning that, over past weeks, has sent shockwaves through the hallowed halls of Williams College. The reckoning in question? Well, it concerns these very halls themselves.
Investigative reporters at the Haybale were first alerted to the seeds of scandal in early September by one Ambrosia Hopkins ‘25, who, during her twice-daily anaerobic calisthenics routine (“It’s a full-body exercise technique that uses only your own body weight to achieve lasting endurance and cardiovascular fitness,” she explained, unprompted), noticed a strange coincidence in the signage of the many buildings she passed during her workout.
“Weston Hall. Greylock Hall. Griffin Hall,” Hopkins listed, then kept going, for several more minutes. Eventually, she stopped, and pinned this reporter with a stare so haunted, it belonged in a Spirit Halloween. “Matilda Hall.”
Matilda Hall. A seemingly innocent name for a seemingly innocent student. But both are little more than facades – facades that, when torn away, reveal the “equitable” “meritocracy” of this college for the writhing cesspool of corrupt, nepotistic worms it really is.
The other members of Hall and Hopkins’ suite shared Hopkins' shock at this connection. “When I first met Matilda,” commented suitemate Percival Garfield III ‘25, “I thought – normal kid, you know? Probably got a vacation house, couple of yachts, maybe her dad has an offshore account in the Cayman Islands or two, nothing fancy. It wasn’t until I saw her full name on her door that I realized just how high up this thing goes.”
“I thought it was nothing at the time,” said Hall’s roommate Penelope Von Sage ‘25, who wished to remain anonymous. “Matilda, she – she told me she got a B once. Algebra, 8th grade. How could a person like that ever be admitted to Williams, I thought? Well, now we know how.”
Garfield, Hopkins, and the other members of Hall’s suite revealed to reporters the expert deductive reasoning by which they came to their conclusion. In their croom, behind a draped sheet marked “Secret Conspiracy Board,” hangs the evidence itself: a low res JPEG of Hollander Hall, the word “Hall” circled ten to twenty times in Sharpie, and a poorly rendered stick figure drawing of Matilda Hall, connected by a single red string, Charlie Day style.
“It took us a while to realize it,” commented Garfield. “Endless nights of theorizing, conjecture, banging our heads against the wall – you can see the dent right over there. But once we saw what these two had in common, the game was up. The whole thing was blown right open.”
“All of them,” said Hopkins, weeping silent, furious tears. “That’s why she’s here. Her family donated all of them.”
Like the hard-hitting, unflinching journalists we are, the investigative reporters of the Haybale refused to let this injustice slide. We decided to go all the way to the top, to the origin of Hallgate herself: the paragon of privilege, the epitome of entitlement, Matilda Hall ‘25.
In a manner reeking of old money and old, old privilege, Hall refused to respond to these accusations, instead dodging the question with such shameless evasions as “Who are you people?”, “My dad’s a bus driver, what are you talking about?”, “Can you guys seriously stop following me?”, and “Okay, I’m calling CSS.”
Freedom of the press dies in shackles.
While Hall may never corroborate these reports, and we may never legally be allowed within 100 yards of her and her immediate family again, the faith that students like Garfield and Hopkins once held in this academic institution remains shaken to its core.
“Unlike Matilda, we had to work to get here,” stated Garfield, shaking his head in profound dismay. “Thrice-daily private SAT tutoring is, like, hard, you know?”
Hopkins echoed this sentiment: “Just because my parents can only afford to donate one building, maybe two,” she commented, “that doesn’t mean I have any less of a right to be here than Matilda does.”
Hallgate, however, is no isolated case. Through painstaking hours of research on WSO Facebook, Haybale reporters recently identified a development case even more egregious than Matilda Hall: a student by the name of Jake House, ‘27.
“Bascom House. Wood House. Gladden House.” Reports indicate that Ambrosia Hopkins has not ceased listing Houses to this day.