Provost announces fall quarter to take place in giant hamster balls

May 17, 2020, 9:23 p.m.

The administration has finally come to a decision regarding fall quarter, after much deliberation. Late last night, Provost Persis Drell informed the Stanford community that classes will be on campus in the fall, but all students will attend classes in giant blow-up hamster balls. 

Lillian Michaels ’21 had submitted the suggestion as a joke.

“We used the balls for a Cardinal Nights event last year,” Michaels explained. “I was just bored in quarantine when I sent in the suggestion. I didn’t think they would actually put us in giant rodent balloons.”

Provost Drell, however, is incredibly serious about the initiative. Students will each be given a blow-up ball and pump, and they will be expected to “suit up” before heading to classes or common spaces. The hamster balls serve a double function: preventing students from breathing on each other, and also encouraging social distancing due to their absurd size. The encapsulating nature of the balls will prevent all physical contact. 

It is not all bad, according to the provost, who highlighted the positives in her email. She explained that students will no longer need bikes on campus, as they can simply roll to their classes. She also believes that the balls will cater to Stanford’s fun-loving nature. 

“What’s more fun than sitting in the quad with your friends?” Provost Drell explained. “Now, you can sit with your friends in the quad while rolling around in giant beach balls. It’s like a portable playground.”

Some students have raised concerns about the practicality of the balls, like how to get through doorways and how to handle the bathroom. One student against the initiative, Henry Lee ’22, has questions.

“I just need to know,” Lee exclaimed. “How will I poop when I am trapped in a balloon prison?”

These questions are yet to be answered, but some students are less hesitant about the provost’s announcement, Michaels among them.

“I was going to buy one of the hamster balls for myself anyway,” Michaels said. “Honestly, this is kind of epic.”

Editor’s Note: This article is purely satirical and fictitious. All attributions in this article are not genuine and this story should be read in the context of pure entertainment only.

Contact Kirsten Mettler at kmettler ‘at’

Kirsten Mettler '23 is an Executive Editor of The Stanford Daily. She is a former Managing Editor for Arts & Life and Desk Editor for News. Contact her at kmettler 'at'

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