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Satire: Eagerton on ASU

A highly abridged, definitely real tour of all the University has to offer


Satire: Eagerton on ASU

A highly abridged, definitely real tour of all the University has to offer

This is ASU, No. 1 in innovation and No. 2 in lying about how sustainable it is, behind the Environmental Protection Agency. It’s a university I attend — on occasion — and chances are you do too in some capacity, unless you are hate-reading this magazine from the Daily Wildcat’s newsroom. In which case, get inspired.

This is the remarkable story about how ASU transformed society and became an oasis of culture and civility. It’s a journey that’s taken me years and hundreds in embezzled funds to write, and it starts at the Nipple of Knowledge.

ASU, a history

They say the Nipple was placed where ASU’s (sort of) founder, John Samuel Armstrong, was abandoned and raised by a she-coyote. Like when Romulus got the brilliant idea to build Rome and fill it with pasty marble columns, Armstrong was inspired by Tempe’s stolen land and dust-filled skies to start building ASU’s predecessor, the Territorial Normal School, with his bare hands. A feat only the most clinically depressed architecture student could accomplish today.

When asked about the many similarities between the Roman Empire and ASU, one professor in the history department said, “If we suppose that University President Michael Crow were to be an emperor, you could say he is quite good at providing students ‘bread and circuses.’ With the free concerts and easy access to dining-hall tater tots the University offers, I think he keeps the students just happy and entertained enough to prevent riots.

“Also, the fact that tortillas are banned from Mountain America Stadium because students used to throw them at opposing teams, I think, is very reminiscent of gladiator culture.”

Remember — we’re all just plebs in Crow’s world.

Not long after the Territorial Normal School’s founding, President Teddy Roosevelt blessed the steps of Old Main with his Bull-Moose energy, saying, “It’s a pleasure to see such buildings, and it is an omen of good augury for the future of Arizona that a premium is being put upon the best type of educational work. Moreover, I have a special feeling for this institution, for seven of the men in my regiment came from it.”

Of course, he couldn’t have known that the future of the school was 20-year-olds bathing and urinating in the fountain at his feet. Or maybe he did, and it was his men who were the first to do so. We may never know. 

(For those wondering, the definition of augury isn’t worth looking up. You’ll just be more confused.)

Over the years, the school suffered several identity crises. No one could agree on a name — the school’s title cycled from the Territorial Normal School to the Arizona State Teachers College to the Arizona State College — until 1958, when “Arizona State University” became the official name after students marched around with signs because, naturally, that’s what needed protesting in the ‘50s.

“They marched to remove the word ‘teacher’ from the school’s name,” a professor at the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College said. “At that point in time, the engineering college and other budding STEM programs had been added, and those students didn’t want anyone to think that they were teachers.”

What we should take away from this is that men in STEM have always been insufferable and there’s a reason not a single engineering teacher has more than three stars on

Once the word “teacher” was removed from the school’s name, athletes began to matriculate to the desert and found the dry heat did wonders for their performance. 

This was, of course, in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. The Sun Devils won the Rose Bowl in 1987 against the University of Michigan, and athletics have gone downhill ever since. Our only entertainment is watching coaches get fired, coincidentally also after losing to a Michigan school.

“The history of ASU is one of triumph over adversity,” a history student said. “Even if the game sucks and the coach gets fired, you can still bet on a fox running across the field to save the day.”

The age of conquest

Taking a page out of historian Jared Diamond’s smash hit “Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies,” ASU decided to launch its own conquest and slowly invade Phoenix suburbs and other major U.S. cities.

Starting in the west, which is a bit out of order because most conquests historically started from the east, ASU launched an operation from Tempe and successfully planted its flag in the neighboring city of Glendale. The land of my people.

Glendale’s ASU West campus, now named the West Valley campus for some God-forsaken reason, is designated a Phoenix Point of Pride. When confronted with the question of, what makes a collection of buildings that looks like a high school during summer break year-round something to be proud about, this West Valley campus professor said, “The West Valley campus, while often forgotten, is the heart of ASU and is dedicated to its mission of inclusion and innovation.”

I don’t know about you, but I think it’s hard to forget the heart of anything. 

Next came ASU Polytechnic, or as it was creatively named back then, ASU East. There’s not much to say about Polytechnic, except that it’s proof karma is real, as many of those pesky men in STEM have to board a nearly hourlong shuttle ride out there from Tempe to take a test and then repeat the journey while contemplating where they went wrong in life.

In 2005, in between learning to run and to use a spoon, I was wrapped up in the news of ASU announcing its fourth campus in downtown Phoenix.

Naturally, my thoughts were along the lines of “Is this necessary?” What’s going to happen to affordable housing? What will happen to the people experiencing homelessness downtown when the area becomes gentrified?

I was quite advanced for a 2-year-old.

But all seriousness aside, even before President Crow came into power in 2002, ASU was on a mission to conquer the state. And now, ASU is on track to spread our dry-campus customs not only to the rest of the country, but to the entire globe.

“It’s projected that by the year 2036, 1 in 10 people globally will know who Sparky is and have an opinion on whether or not his mustache is creepy,” a source in the athletics department said.

On campus

Most people don’t know this, but ASU is actually home to a working torture chamber and death ray.

The torture chamber, officially known as Mountain America Stadium, roasts fans and players alive. The design actually came from one of Leonardo da Vinci’s notebooks, where he proved that a stadium with an open roof in the middle of a desert mixed with students consuming mass amounts of alcohol can and does lead to near-death experiences.

Beneath the stadium is where Emperor Crow keeps the Division I athletes in cryotherapy chambers, only to be brought out for training, games and the occasional finance exam. Think about it: Have you ever seen a student-athlete walking around in the wild? The more you know.

As for the death ray, it’s in the basement of the Biodesign Institute, and that’s all I’m at liberty to say.

If you keep walking east from the death ray’s general vicinity and manage not to get run over while crossing Rural Road, you’ll eventually hit the Greek Leadership Village, a 33,000 square foot palace of sobriety and ASU’s crowning glory.

By building one structure that displaced hundreds of revelers and miscreants throughout Tempe in their prime, the University was able to catapult itself to a new level of respectability. So much so that media coverage and popular culture references cover ASU’s work to save coral reefs only and no longer mention diseases that used to infect its students.

“Essentially, the University had several marketing experts and scientists come in to address ASU’s brand image and found that all problem areas led back to fraternity brothers running around with paddles on Wednesdays at 7 a.m.,” an ASU brand ambassador said. “But instead of completely exterminating and ushering them off campus entirely, we thought it was best to corral them into overpriced communal housing. It was all very civilized.”

If you follow the excised fraternity brothers or hordes of sorority girls wearing slight variations of the same outfit, you’ll eventually make it to Mill Avenue, a bustling bazaar that has everything from mediocre sports bars to a taco place that sells literal croutons in a tortilla.

At some point, you will be led into the welcoming, if sweaty, embrace of C.A.S.A. When mentioned in conversation, you might think C.A.S.A. is an adorable Hispanic grandmother’s home, complete with plastic wrapped furniture. But it’s actually where blackout-drunk 21-year-olds are carried out by burly bar bouncers on any given night and where 35-year-olds go to relive their college glory days, making the sea of 2000s babies very uncomfortable.

It’s here where you’ll first notice a glitch in the carefully constructed matrix ASU has spent years working on and thousands of dollars in embezzled funds to build.

Back when the COVID-19 pandemic was ending the world, ASU saw it as an opportunity to implement maximum innovation and launch Zoom university, the start of a dark path.

Over the past four years, ASU has been hurtling toward and pushing for technological singularity faster than the rest of the world. For those who aren’t chronically online sifting through Reddit posts, technological singularity, or simply, singularity, is a hypothetical future point at which technological growth becomes uncontrollable and irreversible, resulting in unforeseeable consequences for human civilization.

Scary stuff.

By partnering with OpenAI, offering more online degrees and using virtual reality in classrooms, ASU has already achieved this. That’s right: We are living in a simulation.

That means you can blame AI when you have to tell your parents you failed your Sociology 101 class — again. 

The good news is somewhere between your second and fifth bucket at C.A.S.A. and after you’ve met your fifth Kaitlin of the night, you will realize this supposed “reality” is all a lie — only to forget it five minutes later. 

So let me remind you. Everything is a carefully constructed lie, including this article.

Edited by Camila Pedrosa, Savannah Dagupion and Madeline Nguyen.

This story is part of The Best of ASU, which was released on April 30, 2024. See the entire publication here.

Reach the reporter at and follow @audrey_eagerton on X. 

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