For years MSU students have jokingly referred to Bridger Bowl as Bridger Bowl University; this is in reference to how little time they spend on campus compared with Bridger. Often times, ‘#bridgerbowluniversity’ can be found adorning the Instagram photos of many college students who decided to skip class in favor of skiing. Nobody knows for sure who came up with the hashtag, but it is now firmly rooted in the culture of Montana State. However, this amusing expression has never been anything more than a joke. That is, until now.
A recently released proposal from Montana State University details plans to transfer and build significant university infrastructure at the base of Bridger Bowl. The ambitious proposal builds on the plan laid out by the university’s ‘What it Takes’ campaign. It calls for the building of a brand new dorm building in the field below the Bridger Bowl parking lot, as well as the construction of three new lecture hall buildings specializing in University Studies. The proposed Bridger Bowl campus would act as an offshoot of the university for students who are unsure college is the path for them.
Many at the university felt obligated to offer facilities focused towards the ski bum faction of the student body. “Many students who enroll here do so for the skiing more so than the academics,” MSU President Waldo Cruzaldo said. “Many of these students drop out after their freshman year and become ski bums, and consequently this makes it difficult for the university to continue maintaining our unsustainable enrollment targets. Not to mention the lost income from out-of-state tuition dollars.”
Many in the Bozeman community were quick to react to the news. According to Bozeman resident and former MSU student Ian Tremblay, the plan is a good idea. “I decided to take a year off and get residency after my freshman year,” Tremblay said with a wink. “I had no interest in continuing with college, but I had to pretend I did to keep my parents happy. This new plan would’ve allowed me to keep skiing and ‘going to school’, which is all I really wanted!”
Others in the community reacted to the plan with less enthusiasm. Local resident Jane Andrews criticized the plan vehemently. “All this new proposal will accomplish is to further increase the influx of people moving to Bozeman,” Andrews said. “When I moved here five years ago there were way fewer people, now it seems like the whole valley is getting crowded out. All I wanted was a town close to the mountains so I could ski and bike, and now all these new people moving in are crowding out the locals like me.”
The University Council is set to meet and vote on the proposed campus expansion in mid-May. Until then, the university is accepting community input on the project. Those who would like to make a public comment or donate to the project may do so on the Montana State University website. Until then, we will have to wait and see whether Bridger Bowl University becomes a reality.
“Editors note: this article appeared in the March 31, 2016 edition of the Exponent, the “Excrement”. The edition is the annual April Fool’s edition of the paper. All articles are satire. For questions and comments please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or (406)994-2224.”