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In lieu of General Use Permit plans, University builds underground catacombs to provide affordable housing for staff

Satire by

Following the withdrawal of the General Use Permit from Santa Clara County, the University has announced that it plans to proceed with the 3.5 million square foot expansion by constructing a second campus underground, referred to in the official proposal as “catacombs.”

“Have you seen the ones under Paris? Yea, sorta like that,” explained Vice President for Community Relations Helen Grindle. “With fewer skulls — we’re hoping.”

The expansion will include 1.5 million square feet of academic buildings as well as 4,510 housing units that will be considered affordable by County guidelines, intended for campus staff. The new academic space has been planned in part to address complaints by emeriti that they have no offices or meeting space on campus. Emeriti will now be permanently assigned offices that are strategically designed to eventually function as tombs.

Planning materials released to the public depict the below-market-rate housing units as massive multi-family shared spaces, labeled “barracks,” connected by a network of narrow tunnels.

“Consider the housing crisis solved,” Grindle said. When asked about the staff’s quality of life in the new development, she said, “I don’t see what the problem is. Where else could we possibly put them?” 

A lead architect on the design team cited “ant farms” as a main source of inspiration for the project, but the expansion has actually caused outrage in the ant-person community. Skks Ulgr, a community leader in the Gnkl ant faction, stated that the University will be expanding over the royal chambers of ancient ant queen Hlach Kgsk and requested the halting of development until a representative of the Gnkl faction is on the planning board of the project. In response, the University has promised ant-person themed housing and the hiring of faculty in the field of Ant Studies.

The development is continuing without approval by Santa Clara County or the fulfillment of a community benefits package originally promised to the County and Palo Alto High School. 

“Haven’t we done enough? The County can have whatever buried treasure we find. Spare change adds up,” responded Grindle.

The new campus is expected to be fully operational by the 2020-21 academic year.

Editor’s Note: This article is purely satirical and fictitious. All attributions in this article are not genuine and this story should be read in the context of pure entertainment only.

Contact Lana Tleimat at ltleimat ‘at’ stanford.edu.