As the seasons shift, so does the fair landscape of Columbia University. The quads are shrouded in thick plastic, College Walk’s phallic fountains cease to flow, and Alma’s shining head is coated in snow. These changes are the most noticeable; but venture a little further to the doors of Butler library and even in the most frigid of weather you will see Lance Gruber, CC ‘19, preaching loudly to his pampered East Coast audience.
A junior hailing from Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Gruber witnessed his first East Coast winter two years ago and has since committed himself to informing his peers from more geographically fortuitous destinations that New York City’s chill “doesn’t even fucking compare to an afternoon on the banks of the Big Sioux.”
Dressed in little more than a burlap shawl and some Tevas, Gruber sneers at Canada Goose-clad passersby, condescending students and tour groups alike.
“He’s clearly cold,” noted bystander Linda Harman, SEAS ‘20. “I don’t know why he has to be such an asshole about it.” Other concerned students have approached Columbia administrators about Gruber’s disruptions; but collectively, Gruber’s critics have received only the reply to ‘let him be’. “In the absence of any real personality, our midwestern students sometimes struggle to find their niche on campus, and must resort to misguidedly boasting about their native climate,” pointed out Dean Kromm of Undergraduate Student Life. “While this is certainly an extreme case, Mr. Gruber’s actions are nothing we haven’t seen before.”
At press time, Gruber could be seen visibly shivering as he attempted to convince a crowd of Tibetan international students that they “hadn’t seen a real wind tunnel” until they walked from Sioux Falls High School to the Pizza Hut on Main Street.