Whitties start betting on which hall will be quarantined next

Conor Bartol, Oatmeal Enthusiast

Following last week’s quarantine of Anderson Hall, some enterprising Whitman students have attempted to turn a profit by creating an underground gambling ring based on residence hall lockdowns.

Illustration by Eli Rodriguez.

The students have established a spreadsheet listing residence halls and allowing students to place bets on when they think a quarantine might occur. In lieu of money, students have developed a flex-dollar-based system. One anonymous student said, “once I hit the big jackpot, I’ll be eating sushi for every meal.”

According to the students who began the gambling, they wanted to “get something good out of future lockdowns,” saying that, “Anderson Hall could have been any of us. In the event that another hall is quarantined, we might make some money.”

However, not all students are as enthusiastic about the betting, with some calling it “tasteless,” saying it “trivializes the COVID-19 rules,” and “is totally rigged, I’m telling you.”

Whitman College has made several attempts to shut down the gambling, saying that it sets a bad precedent, but has so far been unsuccessful. The college released a statement asking students not to participate, saying that it would “reduce the effectiveness of COVID-19 measures,” and “promote unhealthy gambling habits on campus.” The latter concern may have been a response to rumors of late-night Black Jack games in the Lyman basement.

After accusations that the existence of the gambling ring would encourage more people to break COVID-19 rules, the creator of the ring responded, “we implore everyone to follow the rules — especially Prentiss residents from the first to the eighth of March.”