A Groninger Tradition

Abandoned as an infant high in the mountains of Colorado, James was taken in and raised by a family of marmots. They trained him in the art of satire, but warned him: ‘With great power comes great responsibility.’ He didn’t understand the truth of their words until his adopted rodent brother, Donald Trump’s hair, turned to the dark side.

James could only sit by and watch, helpless and appalled, as his evil brother meme’d his way to the White House. Forever changed by what he had seen, James fled to The Netherlands and vowed to always use his powers for good.

The following is based on a corroborated account of real events.

Night fell on Stadspark and a hooded figure emerged from the trees carrying with him an altar. The twisted and dark thing bore the Vindicat insignia on its dias. He placed it in the center of the clearing and knelt in the grass, waiting. Slowly, students began to arrive. Clad all in black and cradling lit candles in their outstretched hands, they lurked on the edge of the trees.

At exactly midnight, a goat with a silver chain around its neck was led into their midst.

When the goat was brought to the altar, students quickly encircled it and began a chant in the old tongue. The kneeling figure stood and pulled back his hood, revealing the wavy locks and maniacal grin of Vindicat Rector Stijn Derksen.

The chanting grew louder. Rector Derksen produced a ceremonial knife from the folds of his robe and held it aloft. The students’ incantations crescendoed as he pulled the beast’s head back and slid the blade across its throat. The Rector screeched in triumph and held a stone bowl to the goat’s neck.

Derksen moved around the circle, dipping his finger in the blood and writing ‘10/10’ on each student’s forehead. As he drew his bloody finger away they extinguished their candles and melted into the blackness.

A threatened tradition

From cherished party games like ‘light someone on fire’, and ‘stomp repeatedly on the throat of a new member’, to harmless pranks like ‘literally forcing a student to drink gin until he dies’, in recent years many Vindicat practices have come under scrutiny. In order to assuage public concern, oversight committees have been assigned to Vindicat and other Groningen area student associations, though they’re having trouble retaining staff.

‘I’m scared’, said a member of one oversight committee. ‘I always feel like something is watching me from the shadows, something dark. I can’t sleep. Sometimes when I look in the mirror I see blood running from my eyes like tears.’

In addition to an abnormally high turnover rate, committees have noted that misconduct is difficult to prove due to the fact that all photos taken at Vindicat events seem to come out as nothing but static.

Though they do respect the public’s opinion, Vindicat leadership has been adamant about the controversial ceremony’s cultural significance. ‘We understand, and appreciate the public’s concerns about us staying up past our bedtimes right before finals’, commented one board member. ‘Our traditions are just an aspect of Vindicat culture that’s too important to give up. Plus, the tormented dreams of eldritch horror sent to us by the Blood God are a small price to pay for good grades.’

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