Following anonymous complaints by unidentified students, future celebratory bonfires will not include wood, USG president Shawon Jackson ’15 announced in an email Friday.
“Though we understand that, in the past, it was common to use wood when making a fire, we believe that the Bonfire is something which should be a source of pride to the whole community,” Jackson said.
Bonfires are traditionally held on Cannon Green to celebrate the football team’s defeats of both Harvard and Yale in the same season. There is no account of a fire being made without the use of wood, but the USG says it is confident that it can find an alternative that no one will find objectionable.
“Burning wood is a very loaded activity and image in the context of American and world history,” Class of 2014 president Luchi Mmegwa said. “Some members of the community have gone as far as calling it ‘barbaric.’”
Indeed, members of the history department confirmed that many barbarians were known to burn wood. Though wood-burning is a common occurrence in many American households, some students point out that it has been practiced in the past by such objectionable figures as Genghis Khan, Joseph Stalin and, in all likelihood, the Roman emperor Caligula.
At press time, the USG had not announced what would be burned in place of wood, though that may be the least of its worries: Sources have confirmed that a small but vocal group of students also objects to the Bonfire’s extensive use of fire, which has played a role in such objectionable events as the Great Fire of London.
A smaller, more vocal group of students also objected to the use of ‘bon,’ which means ‘good’ in French, the language spoken in France, a nation which once guillotined its own citizens and held several colonies in West Africa.
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