It was a dreary night in September when six UMass Boston administrators gathered in the old pump house to make a Faustian bargain for increased funding.
The ceremony was reportedly meant to be secret, however cellphone footage of the disturbing affair was captured by Flynn Armstrong, an adjunct professor of business, who had snuck into the building on a dare from one of his students. According to Armstrong, the ceremony began at 11:11 p.m., and lasted until midnight.
Armstrong’s video shows the six administrators gathered around a pentagram drawn in salt on the floor, while a virgin academic program lies chained to an alter in the center. The program, a proposed Cinema Studies major which would have allowed CLA students to study film in greater depth than currently possible at the school, was stabbed thirteen times while the perpetrators chanted a prayer in what is believed to be Aramaic.
When asked if any faculty members might be able to translate the administrators’ speech, a representative of the Classics department said, “Aramaic! Who do you think we are, Amherst?”
Although the six administrators wore dark, hooded robes throughout most of Armstrong’s video, one did remove their hood for a brief section, and while the footage is blurry enough that the figure cannot be reliably identified, many students have speculated it is Linda S. Thompson, MPH, DrPH, RN, FAAN, Dean of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences.
When asked about the video, Thompson said, “I would never do something so gruesome as to sacrifice an academic program in a prayer to the Devil, or Satan, or Mephistopheles, or Moloch, or king Paimon lord of riches, or whoever I’ve allegedly been caught praying to. … I will tell you this, however ... I will do anything in my power to help this school.”
In a separate statement, Interim Chancellor Katherine Newman stated, “I would never condone acts of violence against this school’s academic programs, but I do support the actions of administrators attempting to better this school’s quality of appearance.”
While the chancellor’s office maintains that the ceremony in question never took place, rumors of such dark rituals occurring annually have long circulated within the student body. Other programs believed to have fallen victim to such ill fate include multiple MFA programs, Russian and Vietnamese language studies, and an English concentration in Bionicle Comics.
Since the ceremony took place, a man who identifies himself as “the Stranger” has announced he will be making a large donation to UMass Boston for the purpose of converting more lecture rooms to lab spaces in University Hall.