Cumnock Hall – Broken bones, bruised brains, and battered hearts – these are the injuries that have plagued the skiing and snowboarding population at HBS this year. Despite the usual hype and anticipation, record low snowfalls during peak season – especially during the official ski trip weekend – resulted in frustration, scratched equipment, and cringeworthy Insta-stories.
“My skis were so bad,” said one RC student. “They needed a wax more than my late-winter bikini line.”
“It just wouldn’t snow,” sighed another RC. “I saw more powder on the Goldman trading floor than I did on the slopes. It was so depressing.”
The rest of the student body widely echoed their sentiments. In an informal and statistically insignificant survey, 87% of poll takers stated that this had been the worst ski season of their lives. Without the fluffy white stuff, injuries were at an all-time high; wipeouts were no longer cushioned, and yard sales ceased to be entertaining. The culprit for this misfortune? A whopping 98% of poll takers indicated that climate change was to blame.
“We always talk about climate change as something that happens slowly and is hard to measure. I think this winter shows just how much impact climate change is having directly on our lives,” stated one EC, Avi D’skeer. “Now we know exactly how famine-stricken children in South Sudan feel, and it’s really not fun. I’m thinking, like, ‘We need to do something about this. My partner’s P.E. firm owns a condo in Beaver Creek, and what are we supposed to do if we can’t even use it?’”
Based on their harrowing experiences, a group of socially-minded students are taking matters into their own hands. In collaboration with the Social Enterprise Initiative, these students are launching new conservation initiatives that they hope will save ski weekends for future HBS generations – and, more importantly, for the planet.
Given the completely-original-and-not-at-all-trademark-infringing moniker “SXSW” (“Save eXcellent Ski Weekends”), the new program’s cornerstone is waste reduction. One such initiative: takeout containers in Spangler will no longer be permitted for those students eating in the dining hall, and students found to be using takeout containers indoors will be charged a “Climate Shame Fee” on their student bill.
“With this move we anticipate a ten-fold reduction in waste and a six-fold increase in white liberal guilt,” said one of the leaders of the program, Wanda B. Green. “And studies have shown that, while increasing the latter doesn’t actually combat climate change, it makes people a lot more likely to have insufferable conversations about it.”
Other waste reduction initiatives include a new social enterprise startup, Dunder, aiming to eliminate repeat Instagram posts and thus conserve electricity.
“We estimate that the amount of computing power it takes to power redundant social media use requires the equivalent of building approximately five new coal power plants a month,” remarked the venture’s CEO, Socha L. Justiz. “That math may be a bit fuzzy, but anyone who’s had to see the same scorpion bowl on GroupMe five times knows our value proposition is crystal clear.”
And this is just the start – the SXSW leaders have many more ideas in the pipeline that they hope to roll out, including Aldrich “Dark Days” where RC classes are taught with the lights off, and a new travel policy mandating that travel to and from all treks take place by either train or container ship.
Remarked Green, “We’ll have succeeded when no future HBS class, let alone a South Sudanese child, ever has the type of ski experience we had this year.”
As the concussions subside and those on crutches return to full mobility, one can’t help but wish these intrepid students success in their worthy endeavor.