The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Sunday April 2nd

Fish Tank Idea Moronic on Many Levels

My fellow seniors are morons.

Well, at least the 166 jokers who voted to put an aquarium (read: big, ugly fish tank) in the Student Union.

Maybe the problem is that I just can't picture it. Where the hell are they going to put a big-ass fish tank? My pick is the bowling alley, but I suspect it will be located in a much more prominent place. Remember, this bad boy is going to be the size of a wall.

Also, who is going to feed these fish? Anyone who has ever owned fish or won them at the State Fair knows it is virtually impossible to keep them alive.

This is because they are so much fun to feed - grabbing those little flakes, sprinkling them in the fish bowl and watching said fish swim to the surface and suck them up. It's mysteriously gratifying.

Senior class officers are just inviting criticism of this choice, as there is certainly a student organization out there that protests fish living in captivity on this campus. Students in the years to follow will denounce the class of 2001 as fish-hating bastards, and I don't really want to be a part of that.

And UNC and animals really just don't mix. We have Ramses, who gets stolen, painted or killed a few times each year by our rivals. Imagine when Dookies and N.C. State retards have tons of fish at their fingertips to mess with. We're playing with fire.

And I want to know who decides what kind of fish are going to live in the fish tank. Are we going to have baby sharks and clown fish (because everybody loves a clown), or are we going to be stuck with 500 goldfish?

I don't like fish. I don't like eating them or smelling them. I hate swimming in places where they live. You can't pet them, they don't fetch. Hell, they don't even make noise.

If we hadn't had several better gifts to choose from, I wouldn't be incensed. Now I knew no one would vote for the art collection or the graduate advising program, but I thought the jumbotron in Kenan Stadium would be a shoo-in.

This was the kind of self-serving gift I enjoy. Students, alumni and other schools' students who sit in our section could have enjoyed this gift for years to come. Also, jumbotron is fun to say, and Dumbo's mom was named Jumbo.

And everybody loves a replay.

The other option was a scholarship for one urban and one rural student who would have lived together in a cross-cultural experiment. This would have helped out our fellow man and characterized the class of 2001 as a real magnanimous bunch.

The problem was attaching the word "experiment" to this gift. It sounds creepy. But nonetheless, at least someone would have benefited from it.

The fish tank helps no one. I figure we can use it as a really big dunk tank when we have a carnival, but that's it.

Everyone knows college students can't be trusted to be responsible. This whole fish tank nonsense is just asking for trouble. I give it two weeks before some goofball actually tries to jump into the aquarium. It won't be long before someone tries to take the fish out of the tank, to be used as a pet, food or bait. And if some character starts throwing rocks at the fish tank, we have a big mess on our hands.

You can bet your ass nobody would screw with a jumbotron.

Senior Class President Jason Cowley said, "It's what the class wanted. That's the number one thing we wanted to take care of."

It's actually what 166 people wanted.

I ask my fellow seniors, the ones who didn't vote, to be part of the solution, not the problem.

I won't be giving one cent to fund this fish tank, and I ask you to follow suit.

If we pool our efforts, there could be a tiny fish bowl sitting on the Union information desk with a plaque on it reading "Class of 2001."

I'll even chip in to buy one of those little scuba swimmers to dress it up.

Columnist Ashley Stephenson can be reached at


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