Financial Aid Office Helps First Student in 39 Years

By Brent Zundel
For the MSU Exponent
June 8, 2012

Note: This column originally appeared as part of the Exponent’s Sugarbeet page, a satirical biweekly feature that attempts to stimulate discussion of critical community issues.

In a stunning turn of events last month, the MSU Office of Financial Aid successfully helped a student for the first time in 39 years. According to a Financial Aid informant who spoke on condition of anonymity, the assisted incoming freshman, Brian Naeve, is likely ruined for the rest of his college career.

“He’ll expect perfectly reasonable things from Financial Aid now. For instance, he’ll likely assume our office will correctly account for all of his scholarships, treat him politely during the majority of our interactions and just generally attempt not to make his life a living hell,” the insider explained.

“Unfortunately, none of that will ever happen again.”

A probe by MSU’s Information Technology Office discovered that the student’s assistance was due to a computer glitch, which accidentally credited both of Naeve’s scholarships to the correct account.

The Financial Aid office, which has been tormenting students since “like seriously forever,” according to junior cell biology and neuroscience student Tiffany Swarthy, declined to comment.

Instead, Financial Aid informed this reporter that there were five forms that needed to be filled out before they could answer whether or not they had intended to help Naeve. Three of those forms required his consent, given both verbally in song and written in dactylic hexameter. The Exponent was directed to their website, which explains that code MSU-FA-1406-1a specifically prohibits iambic pentameter.

“I’m sorry, but without those forms, I can’t answer any of your questions,” explained Scholarship Director Paul Ruby. “Rules are rules, and breaking them would undermine everything we do here.”

On Wednesday, May 30, the Exponent submitted a Freedom of Information Act request with the support of a few rogue student senators in an attempt to obtain records of Financial Aid employees’ handling of the unusual computer error.

In the middle of Wednesday night, Eric Dietrich, the Exponent’s editor-in-chief of two years, mysteriously disappeared from the Exponent office in the student union building, where he often resides. Dietrich has still not been located, although what appear to be the trimmings of his entire beard hint at foul play and — potentially — torture.

While not specifically banned by the Geneva Convention, unauthorized beard-trimming is generally frowned upon by the student senate’s Code of Conduct. “Unless some loser is totally wasted!” added returning senator Joseph Kurosawa.

Dietrich has been replaced with Derek Brouwer, a skinny hipster-looking senior in history whom many news reporters suspect of sympathizing with the Financial Aid office. In an emergency meeting convened at the crack of noon on Thursday, the student senate confirmed Brouwer to lead the Exponent in perpetuity in case Dietrich does not return.

Potential explanations about Dietrich’s disappearance abound. “I’ve known about the Financial Aid office’s secret police for years now,” explained reporter Garrett Smith. He went on to detail an elaborate plot involving a previously unknown splinter cell of student senators dedicated to “overthrowing the tyrannical oppression of the fascist Office of Financial Aid.”

UPDATE: Thursday, June 6, 2012, 3:48 a.m.

Garrett Smith has gone missing. Anyone with information regarding his disappearance is asked to present themselves for a friendly questioning at the Financial Aid office in the basement of the SUB.


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