British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli once said that “a university should be a place of light, of liberty, and of learning.” These days it is also a place for teenagers to make #viral videos: original #content designed to enhance their personal #brands. Except at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan where the modern studies of parody video and topical jokes are eschewed in favor of worthless things like math and science.
GVSU (go Lakers!) has removed a pendulum statue from its campus, after students began riding it to parody Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball” video. The statue had been on the university’s campus since 1995.
According to local ABC-affiliate WZZM, the university claims it’s just protecting the students:
Tim Thimmesch, the associate vice president of facilities services at GVSU said the sculpture was removed so structural integrity could be examined. “We’ve been reviewing this over the last couple of weeks, trying to decide whether we really need to look at structural integrity of the installation,” said Thimmesch. “We decided to have the ball removed and put into storage for now.”
Students are now staging protests, though, remarkably, no one has yet thought to use the slogan, “Mr. Gorbachev, don’t tear down this ball.” (Feel free to borrow my idea.)