The following story is satire. All events and characters are fictional.
One of the best parts about attending Lawrence University is the frequency in which we bring speakers to our stage to enlighten our students. Students are allowed to suggest convocation speakers, which gives us the freedom to bring in speakers that we find relevant. A surprise addition to the convocation series was just added. This year, by student demand, “Weird Al” Yankovic will be making an appearance. His speech will be on his being a vegetarian, a fact that everyone obviously knows.
Lawrence University may have influenced Yankovic’s decision to stay away from talking about his wildly successful music career. Recently, vegans and vegetarians alike have complained about the lack of options at our school. As it turns out, Yankovic is a strict vegetarian. In an interview with a news website called OnMilwaukee, he stated, “I am still a vegetarian, and I try to be a vegan, but I occasionally cheat. If there’s a cheese pizza on the band bus, I might sneak a piece.” It is believed that higher-ups at Lawrence University hope that Yankovic’s speech on vegetarianism will help students take a more lax stance on what dining services has to offer.
Students have reported feeling slighted by this decision, especially those enrolled in the conservatory. When students elected Yankovic to the stage, they hoped that they would hear about his creative process. Yankovic has become a wildly successful musician, and to not hear about his journey is a shame. Even more so, not hearing him perform is a travesty. He has so much to share in the way of creating music, performing and making parodies of beloved songs. Everyone is baffled by the news of his topic. What they found to be of value will apparently not be touched on at all.
Everyone can get a kick out of the funky man doing his thing, but as it turns out, Yankovic is not going to do anything musically related at all. In fact, his contract for this event specifically states that he is forbidden from talking about his musical career or performing in any capacity. Students feel as if the institution is silencing creative genius.
While vegetarianism is an important topic to discuss, to bring in a man of such prestige and not have him discuss any other aspect of his life is upsetting. Vegetarianism is a small part of Yankovic’s overall life, but it is all that Lawrence University is interested in hearing.
Surprisingly, vegetarians and vegans are upset by this decision as well. One student, Leif Eatings, stated, “I don’t think just one person can represent a lifestyle. It’s great that Yankovic is speaking out about his vegetarianism, but I’d prefer someone who has done a lot of research on the topic to speak to it.” Eatings paused and added, “Also, I really just want Yankovic to play his parody song ‘Eat it.’”
Overall, the decision was met with poor reception. Students are hopeful that there will be a revision to the famed satirical singer’s contract. Only time will tell what Yankovic will do during his time at Lawrence University.