GVSU’s Allendale campus is returning to normal after a descent into chaos caused by the 24-hour closure of the campus’s Panda Express location. The restaurant in Kirkhof, newly opened for this semester, was closed all day on October 26th due to a gas delivery problem (ironically enough, one of the frequent results students report when eating Panda Express) and needless to say, without Chinese food, students flipped their shit.
The chaos began around 10:00 a.m., as frequent customer Garret Wilhelm, a sophomore, arrived to stake his place in line: “Waiting in line here is like buying an iPhone every morning,” he told us, “You have to get here early.” Upon arriving at the restaurant, Wilhelm was stopped by the rope divider and its attached sign explaining the restaurant’s closure. “I was pretty upset, but I’m good at keeping my cool,” he said through tear-streaked glasses.
The restaurant’s next spurned patron, however, was not as good at disguising his pain. As Garret turned to leave, he encountered Davin Coor, a Criminal Justice major. According to Garret, and multiple eyewitness accounts, Coor screamed at the top of his lungs upon learning of the restaurant’s closure. “He sounded like an angry lion,” recounted Wilhelm. David roared before throwing Garret several yards across the dining room. Fortunately, his fall was broken by a backpack an anonymous student had left on a table to claim it for when they returned; those tables fill up quick.
David quickly decided he needed to get inside to quench his hunger. Alongside his two friends who had accompanied him on his Panda Express visit, he then partook in a blood oath, chanting what sounded like Latin before attempting to convert other students to the cause. At this point, Naomi Westfeldt, a senior majoring in Communications, established her own tribe with a group of friends, promising converts that their cause was noble and joining was the only way to “cleanse the Earth of the wicked Coor” (Coor and Westfeldt both declined to be interviewed for this story, but a Tweet posted by Westfeldt at 10:07 a.m. on Monday reads “I get mad without my #orangechickenlove ::angry emoji::”
The skirmish then spilled outside of the doors of Kirkhof, as students campuswide began pledging allegiance to either Coor or Westfeldt. The clash then escalated when students in individual housing units began diverting and forming their own alliances. “I had no idea what was going on,” said Rebecca DuFrey, a sophomore. “One minute I was walking to Au Sable, the next I was pledging to scourge the land of both the wicked Coor and the foul Westfeldt, carrying a spear, and only speaking in what sounded like Latin.”
The battle raged into Monday night and early Tuesday morning as students established base camps on either side of the campus, with most clashes occurring in the campus’ commons. Though no casualties were reported, a great deal of injuries were treated, and the Little Mac Bridge was destroyed when it was detonated to eliminate one of the Westfeldt clan’s major attack routes. At 10:30 a.m., however, the Panda Express reopened as usual, and both clans agreed to a peace treaty. All students then discarded their spears and primitive muskets, washed the war paint from their faces, and ordered their Grilled Teriyaki Chicken and Brown Steamed Rice as though nothing had happened.
For now, calm has returned to the University. To many, however, this incident has served as a stark reminder of college students’ mental health in times of stress, and how necessary routine and Crispy Shrimp, can be for the busy Laker.