Manchester University
Oak Leaves

April 6, 2018

Faculty to Help Rebuild Clowns' Reputations

Evan Harris

Coulrophobes beware… or rejoice! We know clowns are not your favorite people to come across, but to those who plan to overcome that fear, clowns are creating a new way to get you to like them, and they have asked the MU faculty for help. 

During finals week in May, all faculty members will dress up as clowns and wear clown makeup in an effort to help rebuild clowns’ damaged reputations, as well as boost your mood while taking final exams. 

Their reputations were damaged after a series of creepy clown sightings across campus in spring 2017, causing a frenzy amongst students and leading to clown hunts in the surrounding woods and the nearby Eel River. “I was in my room,” sophomore Demetra Riley recalled. “I looked out of my window, and I saw a clown dancing outside with an umbrella, which I thought was strange, so I went downstairs to look out the door, but he vanished.

Sophomore and East Hall Resident Arpan Paul said: “I was leaving the East Street Apartments one morning. When I was near the East Hall parking lot, I turned around and saw a silhouette of the clown about forty feet away blowing bubbles. I did not know what is was at first, but when I turned back around, it wasn’t there.”  

Many attempted to hunt down the clown with lures including cream pies, balloons and Whoopee cushions. They were unsuccessful, and the clown’s actual identity remains unknown. 

As far as faculty dressing up as clowns, there are positive feelings from faculty.  “I am on board with helping the clowns become positive members of the MU community once again,” said Stacy Erickson-Pesetski, associate dean of Academic and Student Affairs and associate professor of English. “I just hope I do not trip over my big clown shoes during class.” 

Riley is also in favor of this, but also shares concerns about other students. “I would personally be okay with this and find it funny, but there are many other people who would find something negative about this,” she said. 

However, some students oppose the idea altogether. “I do not think this is a promising idea at all because it may not be helpful to students with a fear of clowns,” Paul said. “If you think about it, some students may feel very uncomfortable with being the same room as someone dressed as a clown. Plus, it would not help rebuild a clown’s image by having professors dress as clowns as long students are scared of them, so it’s pointless.”