BURLINGTON – As those watching baseball know, life-sized cardboard cutouts of pictures of fans sitting in the stands is all the rage. Now, with socially distancing creating the necessity of empty chairs separating students in classrooms, the University of Vermont, desperate for income, has come up with a fundraising scheme.
Those students who decided to opt out of attending classes live, friends, parents, alumnae and others can buy cardboard cutouts of themselves together with famous people or friends. They can also designate certain classrooms and lecture halls where their cut outs will be placed. They will be “seated” in chairs which will otherwise be empty because of the six-foot social distancing rules.
Amounts required for contributions are still to be determined, but the School hopes this will lead to closing its anticipated budget gap by $10 million.
There will be multiple options available. A cutout of a mouse sitting next to a student could be placed in a science lab. Einstein can be in a physics lab, Madame Curie in a chemistry room, and how about Phish in a music classroom?
John Belushi can appear in a classroom where the school’s cannabis classes are usually held. World religion classrooms could have, for example, cardboard cutouts of Muhammad, Jesus, Moses, Buddha and the Dalai Lama. A jihad response team has been prepared and put into the queue in the event that a cardboard cutout of Muhammad does actually get printed.
To kick off the campaign, the Board of Trustees have collectively contributed a million dollars to place 100 life sized life sized cutouts of catamounts throughout the Davis Center.
Champlain is planning a similar campaign. Cardboard cutouts of Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Sarah Connor, Lieutenant Simon “Ghost” Riley and others will be available.