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The University has reason to believe that the death of several Mallards has been caused by gold poisoning. Investigations are underway to determine the quantity of gold that may in fact be located beneath the campus.
The Mallards have been congregating around the construction site for the MINA (Music Institute of National Arts) building. The project has been ongoing for eighteen months, is now a year behind schedule and an estimated million pounds over budget. However, Director of Facilities, Mark Swindlehurst was keen to stress that the inconvenient deaths of several Mallards was the primary reason for the delays.
“It’s not our fault. The ducks are to blame. They keep dying on us and it delays everything. Any insinuation that our contractors spend their days drinking tea, making sexist remarks to young women or using a pneumatic drill at 6am every morning to make as much noise as possible is nonsense.”
He went on to add: “We never even said the building would be ready by June 2011. We meant June 2013. It was a misprint. Honest.”
The University, however, is now conducting a thorough investigation into how the Mallards have contracted gold poisoning.
The Pro-Vice Chancellor for Colleges and the Student Experience, Professor Amanda Chetwynd is convinced that the Bailrigg campus is actually the site of a gold mine.
“The Vice-Chancellor and I have decided that where there’s gold poisoning there must logically be a gold mine. Numerous reports indicate that. My duties will now change to reflect this important institutional development. Let’s be honest, we all know the colleges are screwed
and the student experience will be nonexistent once my boss and his cronies hike up fees a few months from now. I think a change will do me good. I always wanted to be a gold prospector. Ever since I watched Gunsmoke as a child.”
Plans are already afoot to import some specialist miners from Japan to locate the potential treasure trove. One of the seven miners, known only as “Doc”, contacted SCAN to assure staff and students that his team would take to their task “like a duck to water.”
Due to accommodation problems, the miners will have to stay in the Minor Hall for the duration of their stay. When asked why the seven Japanese miners will not be given rooms on campus, Hilary Simmons of the College and Residence Office responded via email that “[she] just couldn’t cope with the demand.”
Security concerns over the possibility of vast amounts of gold beneath the campus has meant the Vice-Chancellor has dispensed with the services of Acting Head of Security Mark Salisbury. Former MI5 agents who are highly qualified, used to hostile situations and competent in handling firearms will instead be seconded onto this new and dangerous mission. A senior University spokesperson shrugged at Salisbury’s departure: “He was only ever here temporarily anyway.”
The Vice-Chancellor, when contacted by SCAN, was in bullish mood over Lancaster’s new found wealth:
“Osborne can make all the cuts he wants to this sector. We’re not going down. We have more money than Cambridge or Oxford now. We’ll buy Manchester United, swipe Virgin Rail from Branson and pump so much money into LUTube.TV they’ll blow the BBC out of the water. In ten years Lancaster University will be bigger than Apple and Microsoft put together and our campus will be worth more than Silicon Valley.
However, redundancies will inevitably continue and modules will still be cut. Especially if you’re in FASS.”
The Management School are already seeking to cash in on this golden opportunity. The Faculty Dean is already planning special LUMS tie-in memorabilia as well as relocating the whole Management School to Morecambe: “We’re world class, we need more money and we need more space. First Morecambe, then possibly Preston if we’re feeling cheeky.
The issue was raised in Union Council but no-one had anything to say. Some Part-time Officers were spotted wearing Cartier gold watches on leaving the meeting however.
Outgoing LUSU President Michael
Payne did add some personal remarks: “There’s nothing left to make [us] feel small, luck has left [us] standing so tall.”
Bailrigg FM’s constitution is to be amended as a result of the discovery. The amendment will state that a goldthemed song must be played on the hour, every hour, in place of the news. Though many at the radio station oppose this change, due to the funding they receive from LUSU there is little they can actually do about it.
Meanwhile, Director of Finance Sarah Randall-Paley is ecstatic about the potential discovery: “People are actually reading my financial report now [known as the Gold Report]. It’s about time someone paid attention to it. I do have to come out with one every bloody month.