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Destler Dodge

 In the aftermath of the brutally cold winter of 2015, which included the coldest February on record that Rochester has ever experienced, there has recently been much discussion over ways to survive the freezing weather. One of the possible solutions that has resulted in equal amounts of derision and enthusiasm is a petition filed to secede Rochester from New York to Florida. This begs the question: Does the superhero called Earthquakeman, who can move cities from place to place, really exist, or does he live in the petitioner’s fantasy?

The idea, like so many other pointless and idiotic ones, originally surfaced on RIT PawPrints, RIT’s premiere website for student petitions and online (·read: couch potato) activism. Richie Stones, a sixth year student from the Department of Meteorology, fed up with having to rewrite his project report every time the temperature fluctuated, decided to take matters into his own hands and filed a petition on PawPrints to move Rochester to the much warmer state of Florida.

The idea gained momentum after a particularly cold Monday when the population was divided by the temperature, much like the blue-black/white-gold debate, into people who like cold and people who hate it. Suspiciously, the former comprised most of the students at RIT. Whether it was a ploy by the utterly lazy RIT student body to try and get an extra day off or not remains unconfirmed.

While RIT refuses to budge on snow days, the petition has continued to find support in unlikely quarters. A source in the mayor’s office revealed that the administration is seriously debating the move, while being simultaneously concerned about potential resulting pitfalls. When pressed further, the source managed to smuggle a document out of the office on a flash drive, crediting Edward Snowden for the inspiration. Distorter can now exclusively reveal that the mayor’s office has been secretly safeguarding itself against a move to Florida.

Unsurprisingly, Mayor Personable WarrenCarver jumped to her own defense and blasted the attempts as being short-sighted. “Seceding into Florida is a temporary solution to the cold weather. Accepting the move would open the door to similar petitions in the future. What next? Moving to Seattle when Florida becomes too hot in July? Los Angeles in September? Sooner or later, we would end up overseas, potentially somewhere in the middle of the Sahara. It would be a bureaucratic nightmare to organize passports and international travel documents for that number of people every four months, not to mention that it would lead to increased illegal immigration. The City of Rochester is determined to do everything possible to stop that.”

RIT's administration remains torn on the issue, even though University of Rochester has come out in support of the move. RIT’s reluctance boils down to the lower tax rates in Florida. “We are committed to maintaining a standard of education that offers our students the best value for their money. Unfortunately, that standard requires heavy investment and having to pay lower taxes doesn’t go well with the policy of hiking tuition,” read a statement from the administration's office.

Of course, not all members of the community are in opposition. In an interview with yours truly, Dexter Morgan, a former blood analyst with Miami Police Department, says, “I used to live in Miami with my son. Sadly, a family emergency required me to leave the state. I miss the sun and the surf.” Touchingly, Morgan tears up at that point, making further inquiry impossible. His poignant tale of heartbreaking loss changed my mind as well. We must support Rochester seceding to Florida. For a sad father and for the unfortunate student wanting nothing more than to complete his project report.