In a speech delivered at his State of the University Address, President Kaler announced his intention to lead the university through the process of seceding from the state of Minnesota in an effort to continue to grow the university in both size and strength.
“For years, people have been using the phrase ‘the University of Minnesota is so big, it could be its own country’ as an insult,” Kaler stated during his speech. “But today, those insults will reek of irony as our great school becomes a new nation.” At the conclusion of his speech, Kaler attempted to lead the crowd in a cheer of “Ski-U-Mah,” which was met with silence and stunned faces from the crowd.
Following the address, President Kaler and his staff, whom he has re-named his “cabinet,” released an official, 30-point proposal detailing how the new nation will be structured. It consisted mostly of the following:
-The new country will henceforth be known as Gopherica.
-The Minnesota Rouser will become the National Anthem.
-National healthcare will be offered to citizens by the Boynton Healthcare System.
-The existing Army ROTC (Reserve Officers’ Training Corps) will be renamed Goldy’s Army and will exist as the national defense force.
-Students who have any political, social, or economic relations with the University of Wisconsin, Madison, will be tried for treason.
– The existing Saint Paul campus will become a territory of Gopherica, but will not have all of the same rights as the rest of the country (similar to Puerto Rico).
-A committee will be formed to develop the new language of Gopherica, which will be primarily based off of the majestic communication patterns of real gophers.
-Using Goldy’s name in vein will now be punishable by up to five years in prison.
-Goldy the Gopher will become the national bird.
The proposal anticipates Gopherica to be a fully functioning and independent nation by the fall of 2015. Under the new status of “independent nation,” it will be responsible for all governmental policy and action. These new responsibilities include, but are not limited to, public programming, law enforcement, economic policy, and terrorism management.
So far, not everyone has been as excited as Kaler about the decision to secede. “I don’t care how big and powerful the University of Minnesota has become,” states Lara Yemer, a resident of a Bloomington, Minnesota. “I paid taxes that supported the growth of the university. It’s just plain rude to take advantage of the state of Minnesotans like that.”
Even those who would gain immediate residency into Gopherica have expressed concerns of the coming changes. Amidst fears of rising tuition across the United States, questions about whether in-state tuition and reciprocity of tuition will still hold have gone unanswered. “The only reason I went to UMN was because I could afford it,” complained Joshua Steiny, a junior majoring in Russian. “If the creation of Gopherica causes tuition to rise, I’m jumping this crazy train and stabbing Goldy in the back. If I have to pay a cent more, I’m joining the ranks of Bucky the Badger. Minimizing college debt always outweighs maintaining national loyalty, yo.”
When asked how the university would make-up for hundreds of millions of dollars in state funding that would be lost in the case of a successful secession, President Kaler had no comment.