Students returned to campus from spring break to find a large rectangular figure covered with a blue tarp in the center of the College Union. It was revealed this week to be a replica of a TARDIS. TARDIS is an acronym that stands for “time and relative dimensions in space” and is a time machine that is larger on the inside than it appears from the outside. The term originated from the popular British science fiction television show “Doctor Who.”
This new addition to the Union has caused quite a stir, as students try to figure out why it was placed there in the first place.
“I guess the answer really is in the question: Why? Just because. Certainly, this year is the 50-year anniversary of ‘Doctor Who,’ so there’s been a lot of hype about that. So that could be a catalyst as well,” Director of Student Life Charles Matthews said.
“It’s just one of those things that’s fun for most people. It does cause people to stop and look and ponder. Ultimately, a college union is a place of social collision, and one of our intentions is to have people question and engage in discussion, and I think this is sort of a conversation piece,” Matthews said.
Matthews explained that the decision to originally cover the replica was in order to “amp up the mystery” and get students across campus talking about it.
Although the piece in the Union doesn’t contain certain aspects that the original TARDIS has, including a plaque describing what a police box is, the production quality is up to standard, and people may open the replica and go inside. Unfortunately, there is nothing inside the TARDIS other than a switch that activates a flashing light on top.
On Tuesday April 1, a sign was taped to the replica explaining that it was a memorial to visiting lecturer of anthropology Denice Szafran. This sign was later removed, as the college made no such official dedication.
“I don’t know how that misinformation was passed on. I think someone took it upon themselves to post that sign on there,” Matthews said. “If that is a form of grieving for an individual, that is OK with me, but I also don’t want to say that is what [the TARDIS] is there for because that isn’t really accurate.”
Due to this year’s upcoming Geneseo Recognizing Excellence, Achievement & Talent Day, the TARDIS will be relocated in order to create lobby space for the event. Matthews said the TARDIS will definitely return to the Union; however, future plans are still in the works.
“I’m planning on doing something more with the piece around campus, although I’m not ready yet to roll that out,” Matthews said. “That may not happen until the summer until I have more time, but then I will share that with the student body.”