President Kaler Declares Himself Supreme Emperor

Mitch Bendis

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Recently, the University of Minnesota Board of Regents held one of its regular meetings. This meeting, like all Regents meetings, was held in the super-duper sub-basement of Smith Hall, approximately five floors below ground level. As we are all aware, the super-duper sub-basement of Smith is only accessible through a series of coded doors, past armed security personnel, and by answering a riddle asked by the ghost of Robert Bruininks. 

However, while this meeting seemed completely normal, events quickly unraveled inside the cryogenic meeting chamber. University president Eric Kaler, dressed in his customary hooded black robes, took to the podium unauthorized by the Regents. Kaler stood in place for several seconds, staring blankly, yet piercingly, at the small audience that managed to gain access to the chamber. 

After thirty seconds of unnerving silence, Kaler spoke in a low, croaked voice, “The students sit in their ivory towers, not aware of the perversion and destruction that surrounds them. They are ignorant of the grand picture, unaware of the new order emerging from the ashes of the old. Fear not, for in this time of uncertainty, I will rule with a steady hand. It is with great reluctance that I accept the position of Supreme Emperor of the University,” Kaler lectured to no one in particular, staring blankly at the back wall.

Kaler continued, “As my first act with these new powers, I declare the destruction of the University of Minnesota, and announce the formation of the First Minnesotan Empire. Long live the Empire! Long live the Empire!” Kaler continued to chant for several minutes, before somersaulting back through a series of coded doors. 

Across campus, there is much concern over Kaler’s declaration. Some students, like senior communications major Shmi Mothma, are worried about the ramifications. “What does he mean, First Minnesotan Empire? Is this still an accredited university? I have finals next week and I’m about to graduate, man! Seriously, I’m, like, freaking out right now!” Other students, like sophomore Carlson student Qymaen Gunray, praised Kaler’s decision. “A Minnesotan Empire? What a fantastic idea! This will create so many opportunities for our university. I can’t wait to see everything the Supreme Emperor has to offer the community.”

However, there is discontent stirring among the university elite. In a controversial move, Kaler abolished the Minnesota Student Association and Student Senate. He said, “These things? Meh! I’ll form a security council with my dogs and the cashier from Starbucks.” This move shocked many senior administrators, who have formed their own separatist university government. Kaler, in response to their secession from his Empire, vowed to “…destroy the separatists with extreme prejudice.” 

Kaler’s secretary, Asajj Secura, is more annoyed than concerned over the looming showdown on campus. Secura, speaking to the Minnesota Republic over an intricate series of soda cans tied to strings, said Kaler has locked down Morrill Hall. “He won’t let me out,” she remarked, “I haven’t eaten dinner, but Eric said we can’t leave until the administrators bow to his demands. It’s really irritating because I forgot my Netflix password so I’ve been reading Wikipedia articles all day.”

When we asked what the Supreme Emperor is plotting inside his Morrill stronghold, Secura laughed. “Eric’s not plotting anything. He bought his nephew some Star Wars toys last week and he’s been playing with them all day. He just asked me to order the complete saga on Blu-Ray for him, I think that’s really what he’s waiting on.” Secura did not seem overly worried about the state of university affairs, saying, “I just hope this phase of his ends quickly. I really don’t want to be stuck here until he can see the new movie, The Last Jedi.He just really likes Star Wars, I guess.”