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Student Union mocks Board of Trustees with satirical play

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The Ohio University Student Union, upset with recent developments with the Board of Trustees, expressed their unhappiness Friday evening by putting on the satirical show “The Board: A Dark Comedy with Pizza.”

Written by Chrissy Hallaman and performed before an audience of over 70 people, the show made fun of the perceived attitude of the Board of Trustees, poking fun at everything from how old to how wealthy the members of the Board are.

Student trustee members weren’t spared from the jokes, either; Timmy, the fictional student trustee from the show, gave a presentation to the Board about how students are doing on campus.

“One hundred percent of students are satisfied with the university,” said Timmy, played by sophomore philosophy major Ryan Powers. “One hundred percent of students are also satisfied with the quality of their education. Students are definitely not doing anything illegal or immoral. None of them do drugs or have sex.”

The show also took a jab at the recent tuition increases for both current and incoming students with a scene that had a perspective family coming in with questions for President McDavis, played by senior theater performance major Shambrion Treadwell.

The show also commented on the way students are treated at Board meetings. Those playing students in the show were thrown out just for expressing discontent, and those playing student journalists were thrown out for noticing that something might not be quite right.

The biggest part of the show came when a student presented the Board with a petition to address concerns over potential environmental damage a pipeline planned for the Hocking River may cause.

The scene had a basis in real life, where students gathered signatures to present to the real Board of Trustees expressing discontent with tuition hikes, the planned pipeline and full funding for the Survivor Advocacy Program.

“We spent a lot of time on it, and we were really excited about it, and we met with administrators and requested that we be able to present our petition and our concerns to the Board of Trustees,” said Daniel Kington, a freshman english major who played the fictitious, sexist Board member Earl Goody . “They pretty much just ignored our request and didn’t even allow us to talk to the Board of Trustees. They had a meeting behind closed doors with a couple people who were concerned, but it seemed like mostly an appeasement tactic.”

Ryant Taylor, a Student Union member, felt that the show was a way to point out flaws in the current system.

“It was a way to satirize the obvious problems that are within the Board of Trustees,” Taylor said. “They make decisions that affect all students and community members, so this was a good way to have a more lighthearted approach to showing some of the problems that the university has. The change in tone really spoke well to a lot of people. We just wanted to make fun of the institution in a way that really exposes people to the real problems that are going on.”

The show ended with students taking the board members and dumping them in the Hocking River to be eaten by flesh-eating mutant fish. Audience members enjoyed the end greatly, seeing it as a hilarious move to make fun of a serious issue.

Jessica Lindner, a senior environmental and plant biology major who was in the audience, thought the show was a great way to show those in charge that the way the students were treated wasn’t fair.

“I came because I thought it would be funny to see the Board of Trustees made fun of,” Linder said. “They’re a pretty frustrating group, and it was cathartic. Even though it’s exaggerated, the show hit all the major problems with the Board.”

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