Satirical Spectator: Spectator Uncovers Evidence Implicating Dean Evans and Student Affairs in Starting the Liberty Hall Fire of 1803
By Andrew Dobermann
After careful investigation, the Spectator is pleased to reveal the findings of its research into the Liberty Hall fire of 1803. While we expected such results, we are nevertheless disturbed by the inescapable conclusion that Dean Evans and Student Affairs orchestrated the burning of the old Liberty Hall building as part of a grand conspiracy to keep students closer to their ultimate goal of an in-town campus.
Endless hours of searching the University Archives ultimately yielded a receipt proving that Dean Evans purchased one barrel of pitch and three boxes of matches in December of 1802, just weeks after the Board of Trustees insured the building. Moreover, laboratory testing of the still-standing stone walls revealed traces of the same type of pitch purchased.
When asked for comment, Editor-in-Chief Ben Gee ’18 had this to say:
“Everything makes sense with what we know to be the traditionally nefarious agenda of the Student Affairs Department. This was the third time the Hall had burned down. They weren’t going to build it up again and certainly no one would have reason to suspect foul play. The insurance would let them rebuild closer to town and keep students on-campus, far from their beloved party houses in the country.”
Publisher Ben Whedon ’18 expressed his disgust with the revelation:
“I never thought it went this deep. I’ve never trusted student affairs but it’s clear we are dealing with 200 years of duplicitous action on their part. They must have thought moving into town would kill the fraternities. They would have to buy their own houses and it would be harder to hold parties.”
As this nineteenth-century criminal act is well past the 1 year Virginia statute of limitation for arson, we are unable to recommend prosecution. We do, however, advise that all residents of University housing familiarize themselves with their fire escape routes and ensure that their smoke detectors are equipped with fresh batteries.
Our thanks to former EC President Wilson Miller ’17 for the tip.