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As an incoming freshman in college, I am pretty excited about living in a dorm with a whole bunch of other people sharing similar interests. I always knew Butterfield Hall was amazing, but I appreciate it all the more because of its crazy history. I mean, come on, what person can boast that their dorm seceded from the United States? Not many.
Butterfield is the smallest dorm on the University of Massachusetts – Amherst campus, thus its inhabitants are much more involved with each other. Many alumnae remember it affectionately and are upset at its current demise. Being known as a “hippie” dorm, Butterfield had a long history of activism.
Here is a time line of events to convey the greatness of its hallowed halls.
1970 – Dorm becomes coed.
1979 – Butterfield secedes from the University, raising a Swiss flag for all to see.Late 1980’s to early 1990’s –Halls began to smell of marijuana, nudity was becoming popular and attractive people wanted to live there. Life was good.
1992 – Steve Howard hangs pirate flag out window.
~ Housing forces him to remove it.
~ Marc J. Randazza affixes pirate flag to old ham radio antenna on roof. Flag represents Butterfield’s rebellious spirit.
~ War between Housing and Butterfield begins.
~ Area coordinator, Matt Oulette has flag removed for parent’s weekend.
~ Butterfieldians create a ten foot long banner that announces “Matt Oulette is a C*NT” for all to see on parent’s weekend.
~ Banner removed on Monday, Tuesday Butterfieldians raise pirate flag again. This time antenna is smeared with Vaseline and broken glass is poured around surrounding area. The pirate flag remains for the rest of the year and becomes a rally symbol for the “Free State of Butterfield.”
1993 – Butterfield secedes from the United States out of rebellion of Housing, forming a micro nation dubbed “The Free State of Butterfield.”
~ President Randazza purchases a Scottish Lairdship, making future Presidents part of nobility.
Late 1990’s – Butterfield’s sense of community starts to crack as it attracts people who otherwise would have lived in sororities or fraternities.
1999 – Ethnic Cleansing begins with a series of strict regulations that oust many students who otherwise would have been a positive influence on new students.
So there you have it! Today Butterfield is a freshman dorm of creative, close-knit students who form bonds for life. Butterfield’s legacy will always live on in both our minds and our hearts.
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