Crimson Hoax: New marine department spawns from IUP’s humanities building


The following is a satirical news column:

The spring semester got off to a roaring start for IUP’s newly formed department of marine studies Wednesday afternoon.  Several dozen people showed up at the new Humanities and Social Sciences building to watch the department’s students take their first strokes underwater and tend to the fish farm, located on the new structure’s ground floor.

“Did you see how many people were there?” Dan Flood (senior, marine biology) exulted afterward.  “I never thought that our new program would draw such a crowd.”

Indeed, the mixed audience of students and faculty braved gusty, freezing conditions to observe the marine students through the doors and windows of the new building.

Decked out in full scuba gear, the students swam around for approximately 30 minutes and tended to the fish farm.

Currently, the facility holds several different species of carp, as well as one species of tilapia.

The expedition encountered some minor difficulty when several of the carp attacked, killed and devoured one of the tilapia, but overall the first IUP underwater farmers were happy with the results.

“Just getting used to the new equipment,” said Brian Slapscales (freshman, spelunking).

“I’ve never dived before, so this was a new experience for me.”

IUP announced the creation of the marine studies department and the accompanying addition of the fish farm only last fall.  IUP is located about 150 miles from the nearest major body of water and doesn’t have any reputation in the field of marine studies.

If that weren’t enough, fish farming, or pisciculture, is usually designed for a specialized facility and is rarely the province of student involvement.

All told, the announcement raised more than a few eyebrows.

But the IUP administration remains confident that the program will hold water.

“Pisciculture is one of the fastest-growing sectors of aquaculture,” said IUP Associate Undersecretary to the Deputy Assistant Director of Communications Craig Fisher in a news conference last week.

“We can grow our own fish right here on campus.”