A consortium of Chicago colleges has begun a defensive recruiting attack called “Focus On: Appleton” in an effort to lure students from the Fox Cities south in response to Lawrence’s Chicago campaign. “We’re sick and tired of Lawrence coming down and taking all of our great students,” read an obscenity-laced press release from the Northwestern University admissions office. “It’s time for Lawrence to realize that if you [expletive deleted] with the bull, you [expletive deleted] with the horns.” Other colleges and universities have declared “unconditional war” on Lawrence, including DePaul, the University of Chicago, the University of Illinois at Chicago, Roosevelt University, Robert Morris College, tiny Shimer College, Northeastern Illinois University, National Louis University, the DeVry Institute, Robert Morris College, and – for some reason – Chicago Kent and John Marshall Law Schools. According to Stanley Fish, secretary of defense and putative spokesman for the Chicago Defense Consortium, Lawrence’s Chicago recruiting activities violate a 1974 treaty that censured Lawrence for granting full scholarships to New Trier Township High School’s entire class of 1973. While so far, according to Fish, the war is primarily in the “psy ops” stage, there are reports that Chicago officials are provoking a larger conflict. At a recent New Trier rehearsal of “West Side Story,” a DePaul musical theater operative challenged Lawrence conservatory admissions officer Jacob Allen to a no-holds-barred bout of fight choreography. Following LU’s policy banning first strikes, Allen wisely elected to “keep cool.” The Chicago Consortium is close to sealing several alliances with Wisconsin schools and cultural institutions in an effort to encircle Lawrence. DePaul has enlisted Marquette and St. Norbert in what will be called the “Holy Midwestern Empire.” The University of Chicago and Northwestern are teaming up to fortify the Milwaukee School of Engineering. In an attempt to undermine Lawrence’s cultural influences, the Northwestern, Roosevelt and DePaul music faculties have convinced the Chicago Symphony to relocate its summer home from Highland Park, IL to Bailey’s Harbor in Door County. In what the University of Chicago called the consortium’s “nuclear option” – referring to the U of C’s atomic credentials – the venerated university will dispatch its seven Nobel laureates to Appleton East, West, North, Central, Neenah, Menasha and Kimberly High Schools. Under the plan, Fox Valley students will develop an insatiable taste for highly theoretical, research-intensive economics, the physics of symmetry, and cultural production in South African literature beyond the Lawrence curriculum’s capacity to satisfy. Shimer feels confident that it can successfully challenge Lawrence’s “hippie cred.” Legal scholars from Kent, John Marshall, U of C, DePaul and Northwestern surprised Lawrence’s concert choir with a temporary injunction that barred the group from performing at the Baha’i Temple last week. Choral director Rick Bjella was not disheartened, though, telling the choir, “They can silence us, yes, maybe they can, but can they silence the music in our hearts, the truest songs of all?” Lawrence has been cautious in its naval and ground tests of the Chicago blockade, but midnight leaflet-dropping flights from the Outagamie County Airport – featuring a rushed, un-proofread copy of the new viewbook – have proven successful. Lawrence has also stripped former UIC dean Stanley Fish of his honorary degree, to the chagrin of nobody, least of all Fish. Dean Syverson, for his part, has been maintaining a steely public line, replying to requests for comment simply with “Bring it on.