Editor’s note:This article was published as part of an April Fool’s Edition of The Concordian

In a controversial decision on Monday, Concordia’s Campus Color Palette Committee decided to paint the statue of Dr. Joseph L. Knutson, currently located in the Knutson Campus Center, a shade of white. The statue, popularly known as “The Chocolate Man,” may soon be known as “The Vanilla Man.”

Marcus Absent, an alumnus on the committee, said the decision was made to honor Minnesota traditions, such as eating colorless food and building snowmen. He strongly denied the allegation that the decision was made to reflect the Scandinavian background of many Concordia students.

“We recognize that Concordia’s student body is very diverse,” Absent said. “This decision was made purely to honor our great state. A better name might be ‘The Minnesota Mashed Potato Man.’”

Another member of the committee, Dr. Olaf Andersenson, cited the tendency of Minnesotans to make foods that are all beige or white as part of the inspiration for the decision.

“If you look at common Minnesota foods,” he said, “you don’t see a whole lot of color. Potatoes, lefse, walleye, tapioca pudding…about the only color is in corn, and if you make it creamed corn then that’s mostly white too. We felt the Knutson statue should match what kids are putting on their plates.”

However, the cooking of foods that lack color was not the only tradition the committee wanted to honor. Another consideration was the custom of making snowmen during the winter.

“Anywhere you go in Minnesota, you see snowmen,” Andersenson said. “Since we have such an abundance of snow in Minnesota, Minnesotans are naturally very skilled in snowcrafts.”

Ray Beeze, a Concordia junior, thinks that the change will be a pleasant addition to campus life.

“All the stress in college makes you really miss childhood,” he said. “Having a white statue in the campus center will be almost like having a real snowman on campus. I think it will bring joy to a lot of people.”

Absent said if students see the Knutson statue as representative of all snowmen, it could even spark a higher degree of artistry in the snowmen currently seen on campus.

“People usually just make snowmen out of three snowballs,” he said. “If students see the Knutson sculpture as an example of what their snowmen could look like, we might soon have a veritable exhibition of custom snow sculptures in Moorhead.”

Andersenson commented that the nickname change is ultimately unnecessary and encourages students to continue calling the statue of Knutson “The Chocolate Man.”

“After all,” he said, “there is white chocolate too.”

Mary Beenken

I am a senior English writing major and political science minor at Concordia College, but I originally hail from Fort Collins, Colorado. I have a deep passion for humanitarian aid and the power of the written word. I am currently the Editor-in-Chief of the 2011-2012 Concordian, though on occasion I also write and take pictures. Dream job: hybrid freelance journalist/human rights lawyer.

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