In a stunning turn of events, the Board of Managers of Swarthmore College made the decision last weekend to completely divest from the concerns of the college community and invest the college’s entire multi-billion dollar endowment in the rubber duck industry. The decision comes after weeks of careful deliberation with well-meaning student activists and concerned alumni. Thankfully, all of the considerations were carefully thrown out the window before the decision was made, ensuring that a complete lack of transparency in the Board of Managers’ decision-making would be preserved.
Several committees with no decision-making power whatsoever were formed in anticipation of the decision in order to feign a sense of student engagement with the process. The Ducks Matter Committee, the Envisioning Exercise, and the Dean’s Quacking Committee were all formed with an equal distribution of SGO-appointed students, faculty, and staff members and spent several weeks discussing the abstract concepts behind investing in rubber ducks. While students voiced vehement opposition to the rubber duck industry, college staff championed each of the committees as a productive space for meaningful and productive conversation to take place.
“I was really impressed with the many ways college staff made me feel like my voice was heard while simultaneously offering no commitment to act on my concerns whatsoever,” said Ana S. Mallard ’17. Mallard joined the Ducks Matter Committee so that she could find another excuse not to complete her thesis this semester.
The implications of the decision to invest in rubber ducks will be swift and current students will feel its impact. Investment strategist Martha Duckworth believes that the decision to invest in rubber ducks does not reflect a change in the college’s policies or values; rather, Duckworth stressed that the Board of Managers was simply choosing to be fiscally responsible and not tie up discussions of the endowment in “social issues,” otherwise known as the policies and practices that affect real individuals on a daily basis. Beginning with the class of 2017, all graduating seniors will receive a rubber duck on graduation day, engraved with the tiny phrase, “We know that none of you wanted this to happen, but you’re a part of the real world, now!” Furthermore, the college’s official mascot will become Ducky the Duck, effective immediately.