By Nathan Schmidt
Yesterday, a Fairfield University student brazenly defied all common sense and self-preservation by scaling the waist-high railing between the Bannow Science Center and the Barone Campus Center. The railing, which was installed presumably to protect passersby from being hit by trucks entering and leaving the BCC’s loading bay nearby, has long served as an impassable obstacle to most students, making the climber’s deed not only the first of its kind but also a completely crazy idea.
The student, identified as Brett Hatterfell ‘20, approached the railing at 3:49 PM from the side facing the DiMenna-Nyselius Library, wearing a backpack filled with school books and a seemingly ordinary outfit of blue jeans and a Fairfield hoodie. As onlookers watched with dawning realization and horror, he then proceeded to grab onto the top of the railing, swing a foot over the edge, bring his other leg up after him, and jump off the low wall to the asphalt parking lot on the other side. Miraculously, nobody was injured during the event, though its implications for Hatterfell’s sanity may be less optimistic.
When approached for interview later that day, Hatterfell was openly defiant. “You can’t control me,” he said between sips of a protein shake spiked with Monster energy drink. “You can’t tell me what to do. There’s nothing I won’t try. I came to Fairfield to broaden my horizons, and you bet your sorry asses that’s what I’m gonna do.”
University faculty reacted to the incident with great consternation, especially since everyone considered the railing such an obviously insurmountable barrier that there is no rule against scaling it. Students were similarly worried, mainly for the safety of anyone who would attempt such an impossible feat.
“I guess it is a little inconvenient having to cut through Bannow to get from one side to the other,” said Holland Flyte ‘20, Hatterfell’s apartment roommate, who walked into the living room shortly after Hatterfell ended his interview by sprinting out the door. “But I’m telling you, Brett doesn’t care what you guys think. He doesn’t care what anyone thinks. When you get down to it, he’s pretty scary.”
Following the astonishing event, the campus administration is now deliberating whether to sink to a new lowness of human dignity by putting a sign on the railing asking students not to climb over it.