Above: three helicopters seen stealing Rathje hall from East Campus, Grinnell.
EAST CAMPUS - In the most brazen robbery in college history, Rathje Hall was stolen from Grinnell College this past week. The million-dollar structure, which housed 71 students at the time of the robbery, was inexplicably replaced overnight with a sizable plot of dirt and a single sign with “IOU” written on it.
Several Kershaw and Rose students report hearing a series of voices and digging sounds at the dorm between 2-6 AM but attributed it to an unannounced new construction project rather than the first dorm theft in recorded history.
Local law enforcement officer Keith Lant says, “This robbery is unprecedented, and we have have launched a full investigation. We have all three officers on the job. Our current leading theory is that Rathje itself was a mass hallucination, and the dorm itself never existed. But of course, we will look into other avenues as well.”
As for the student body, there are several theories. Many suspect that the robbery is a form of ghastly revenge committed by the late Frank Rathje Jr., the alumnus the dorm is named after.
“We’ve got a lot of people looking into the records on this regarding whether a current Rathje student’s grandparent deeply wronged Mr. Rathje during his time as a student. They we next door neighbors and the grandparent had a piano which he played far too loudly, and Rathje always asked him to stop, and he always said he would but never did. Also, multiple times he did not hold the door for Rathje and once they were working together on a group project and he just completely slacked off. As a result it’s believed that Rathje swore to get revenge on him and all his descendants for eternity. We’re still piecing together the story, but there’s certainly something here,” William Jones ’20 stated in an interview.
Others believe the nature of the thieves was much more mundane.
Jeffrey Pakanati ‘19, a resident of Rose, said, “I swear that I heard the sound of propellers and saw someone in protective gear swing past my window on a rope in the middle of the night. I’m positive that Rathje was abducted by burglars looking to capitalize on the lucrative trade in LEED certified buildings. And now they have a bunch of captive environmentally aware students they can force to explain the benefits of sustainability and extent to which the capitalist-fossil-fuel-industrial complex is harmful to all of society, in order to get a better deal on the final price.”
Other students are less concerned with what happened and more concerned with how the incident happened at all.
Rachel Polony ’18 said, “It seems like campus thefts keep getting worse and worse, from baked goods from the d-hall to the end table from south campus…what I’ve been expecting is an increase in security. I seems ridiculous that security is incapable of protecting the most basic components of Grinnell property: the dorms.”
While there still hasn’t been a public announcement of their response, it’s rumored that the administration’s initial plan is to fine the families of the currently missing Rathje residents in order to recoup the losses of creating the structure.