Mission MOO Lays Out Ten-Year Plan to Colonize Mars

On Monday, the College announced in the Campus Digest that it will be replacing its goal for a carbon-neutral 2025 with a new, more exciting one: Mission Mars: Oberlin Occupy 2035, or, as the Board of Trustees has affectionately been calling it on its Discord server, Mission MOO. In Oberlin’s ongoing relationship with the United Nations and Elon Musk, it has booked a one-way ticket to colonize Mars.

Just like Alan Shepard on the moon, Oberlin is excited to be the fifth liberal arts college in Ohio to take its campus to the newly terraformed academic landscape just 164.97 million miles away. Continuing its long history of settler colonialism, the institution is excited to announce the lineup of students who will be among the first to touch down on the new campus. In true Noah’s Ark fashion, the ballot includes two students each from the Jazz and Organ departments, as well as two COVID-era graduates who still haven’t left Oberlin. Students in the TIMARA department, already called TIMARtians, were ecstatic at this news and have selected the synthesizers they plan to bring to their new Mars basement. Oberlin’s Mars colony will certainly require some muscle, so some of our top student-athletes, members of the bowling and pickleball teams, were selected for the job. While the Horsecows and Preying Manti were originally vetted for the position, the teams refused to disband, and, due to limited resources, the first mission trip was not able to send all of them. Naturally, two students each from the Oberlin Student Cooperative Association, OBurlesque, and Azariah’s Café baristas will also be on the trip. At this point, no English majors have been recruited.

Along with the expected “Occupy Mars” t-shirts that litter the clothing racks at the bookstore, YeoPress has begun printing more creative merchandise in support of this institutional movement. As of this week, the campus is full of screen-printed tote bags sporting images of the terraformed evolution of the planet complete with the slogan, “Nuke the poles!” This phrase refers to a solution to climate change that Oberlin has now adopted: heating the poles of another planet to make it hospitable for humans. In this revolutionary decision, the Board of Trustees has reasoned that warming up Mars is a far better investment than cooling down Earth, at least for the benefit of the institution. 

Students also contributed to this decision at a creative project and research symposium in Wilder Main Space. The presentations included “May the Yeobie with You,” a creative plan for rebranding Yeobie in their new habitat on Mars, and “To Solarity and Beyond,” outlining the plan to host the first-ever Solarity on Mars, with the special guest of … Ice Space. The new Food Studies concentration presented “Stevie, the Final Frontier,” complete with menus for the first dining hall to be built on the red planet. 

One exciting provision of this new plan is that the College will halt all of its recent construction, redirecting the funds to the transportation of bulldozing equipment to the new Mars site. If you’re concerned about the holes dug around some of your favorite buildings, such as the Science Center or East Hall, the administration has some good news for you! Without the need for ecological conservation, connecting these buildings to the geothermal plant is no longer necessary. Luckily, some History majors will be transforming the ditches around North Quad into historically accurate medieval moats, complete with drawbridges. In collaboration with this project, some Dance majors ad-hoced for extra funding from the Student Finance Committee and were able to contract a team of synchronized swimming alligators to perform original choreography as their senior capstone. The gators are permitted to remain in the moats free of cost for the duration of summer, after which they will be required to pay rent and join the meal plan.

The gators hold more significance than just artistry and amusement. They will be a vital cog in the Living Machine. After years spent developing the technology for the building, the Environmental Studies department finally revealed the true goal for the machine. The system not only mimics the natural cycle of waste water but will actually serve as Oberlin’s first biosphere spacecraft, powered by the alligators. (I wanted to make an EcoOlympics poop campaign joke about how the spacecraft is powered by fecal matter but restrained myself.)

While some graduating students worry about the pioneering fun they will miss out on, others are proud of the innovative spirit of their soon-to-be alma mater. 

“I think that [MOO is] a true testament to the pioneering spirit of exploration and creativity that we have seen at Oberlin for several years,” College fourth-year Kushagra Kar said. 

As Editor-in-Chief of The Oberlin Review, Kar also maintains hope for this mission to bring opportunities for himself and other Oberlin students. 

The Oberlin Review has been thinking about how to expand its readability for a long time, and I think that Mars is an infinite market to be tapped for both advertising and for readership,” Kar said. “The thing about Mars is just there’s no internet there. You can’t just live tweet out of Mars, you need a newspaper! Hopefully the Review can work to publicize what Mission MOO is really about. I’m also hopeful that this partnership with Elon Musk can translate into some personal employment.”