Classes were abruptly suspended “for the foreseeable future” on Monday when more than half of the student body left en masse to join the Canada Goose Arctic Program in the Arctic Circle. The administration had no other choice but to cancel classes after this large-scale student departure (uncomfortably similar to the migration of the geese encased in their clothing) left most classrooms and residence halls vacant by the start of the academic week.
In an attempt to explain why he attended the program, one of the northbound, down-clad participants, Garrett Jacobs ‘17, said, “I just think it’s an awesome way to get off campus and refresh.” Jacobs continued on to say, “The stress of being a college student can really get to you, so it’s important to put the books away once in awhile and distance yourself a few thousand miles due north. The Canada Goose Arctic Program lets you do just that.”
This level of enthusiasm wasn’t shared by all, however, as other students seemed to express a level of uncertainty about traveling to the furthest reaches of Canada.
“When my Mom got me a Canada Goose for Christmas, I was thrilled,” said Jennifer Taylor ‘20. “But when I heard I was now part of this “Arctic Program,” it came as a shock. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great opportunity and everything, but I have a Calculus test on Thursday and a Poli Sci paper due over the weekend.
“I just don’t know how I’m expected to manage my classes and attend a polar expedition in between. I don’t mean to be ungrateful, but I didn’t ask for this. I just wanted a warm coat.”
The college administration, although initially upset at being forced to change the academic schedule so dramatically, has started to recognize the potential in the students’ departure. Indeed, the Office of the President sent out a campus wide email encouraging the newly prevalent interest in the hyperborean region, and ended their note with the praise: “Never has the college seen such an unwavering interest in a particular area of study. With climate change becoming more and more relevant in our day-to-day lives, the Arctic is an increasingly precious biome. We couldn’t be more proud of our students.”
Specific details of the program remain unclear. Despite the ever increasing volume of its participants, few seem to know exactly what they will do upon arrival. “There are lots of different roles,” stated Martin Stone ‘19.5, who says he’s attended the Arctic Program since his parents bought him a few jackets for his boarding school in Switzerland.
“One day you might be drilling for biologic samples in the Ayles Ice Shelf, and another you could be filming a herd of ten thousand Musk Ox. The range of activities is incredible. Because whatever you need to do, wherever you need to go, the superior quality of a Canada Goose will get you there.”