FULLABALOO: Ye for 2023 commencement speaker

Richard S. Fontaine IIIV, Founder of the BS Club

This article is entirely satire. All information and interviews below are fictional and for entertainment purposes only.

After rapper Ye, formerly Kanye West, reversed centuries of antisemitism with an Instagram post praising Jewish actor Jonah Hill’s performance in 21 Jump Street, Tulane University knew it had its next commencement speaker. (Emma Clark Luster)

After rapper Ye, formerly Kanye West, reversed centuries of antisemitism with an Instagram post praising Jewish actor Jonah Hill’s performance in 21 Jump Street, President Mike Feetz said he knew he had to call off Leslie Odom Jr. and replace him with the musician as Tulane University’s 2023 Commencement speaker.

“We had some students who were really into his music and his message and given that 22 Jump Street was filmed on campus, it just felt right,” Feetz said. “Love Hamilton for sure, but there’s something about Donda that just hit home for me.”

The moment that really finalized the decision for Feetz, though, was when Shmerica Woodley, associate vice president and dean of students,  sent Ye’s album, “Graduation,” to Feetz in a text followed by 14 fire emojis. 

“Loved his take on academia. My favorite song? Definitely ‘Drunk and Hot Girls,’” Woodley said. “It provided refreshing commentary on other elements of graduating, or in this case, not graduating. My role on campus is to keep the kiddos safe, listen to one line of that song and you’ll never want to touch alcohol. I will say, it’s raunchy but catchy.”

Woodley said final contenders included Ye and Malala, but felt the rapper aligned more with campus values. 

“I’m more of a music guy, and there is music in New Orleans, so it just made more sense,” Feetz said while checking his Snapchat private story from the night prior.

Woodley said she spoke with The Boot Bar and Grill and The Palms Bar about hosting a “Ye and Night” event to fund Ye’s plane ticket. 

“Our budget’s really tight after Book Fest,” Woodley said. “We literally almost had to close down for a semester because of how much we spent on balloons.” 

According to the Balloon Spending club, also known as BS, Tulane spent an estimated $14 million on balloons this year alone.

“I was worried we wouldn’t have any balloon funds for graduation, but then we received an anonymous donation from Bill Gates,” Woodley said.

Feetz said he would have had to cancel graduation without Tulane’s iconic embellishments.

“It’s what makes Tulane, Tulane,” Feetz said when asked about the importance of balloons. “They say it’s the people that make the place, but it’s really just money, and without [the balloons], we can’t welcome Ye to our beautiful campus,” Feetz said.

After his speech in May, Ye said he plans to finish his tour in Orange County, California, one of his largest super-fan communities. 

“I’d definitely like to make some fan visits, give back to the people a little,” Ye said.

When asked about his speech, the rapper said he could not reveal the content but said to expect a Torah portion.

“It’s my special day, you know, a boy doesn’t get that ever again,” Ye said. “The theme is a surprise, but I can say I’ve been working on ordering a photo booth and an ice sculpture of the Star of Jewish.”

The commencement speech will take place at Snake and Jake’s Christmas Club Lounge on May 20, followed by a meet and greet at Hillel.

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