Nora Turriago '16
This week, it was announced that Zayn Malik would leave British boy band One Direction. The fan base suffered an incredible blow: videos have been uploaded of fans weeping, in hysterics, demanding that Zayn return to his rightful place.
However, Zayn did not actively choose this early retirement. Rather, it was forced upon him. With his weak vocal skill set, timid stage presence and constant absences from rehearsals, the band started searching for a worthy alternative. After searching intensively for six months, they found one in Northampton, Mass.: President Kathleen McCartney.
Despite her current occupation as the president of Smith College, McCartney had no qualms about leaving for One Direction. “I have long harbored an interest in vocal artistry,” she revealed, “and I have always closely followed the career of One Direction. Although it pains me to say goodbye to Smith College, I must follow my dreams, listen to the deep yearnings of my heart and fulfill the obligations that come with being the newest member of One Direction.”
Her departure has resulted in shock among students and faculty members at Smith. The majority of students are supportive of President McCartney’s decision. As one student said, “It is One Direction after all, and when One Direction calls, you answer!”
It seems those most befuddled by the decision are Smith professors and administration. In an effort to resolve any tension, President McCartney held a question-and-answer panel in Seelye. Questions included, “How dare you?” and, “Do you even like One Direction, or are you in it for the fame and fortune?” Despite the pointed fingers and accusations she received, President McCartney stood firmly in her decision.
“I realize there is no way to appropriately prepare for this,” she said during the panel. “However, I ask for your sincere patience as I work with my staff to figure out an interim arrangement. I feel deeply blessed to have been able to work at Smith, and I will always remember the people I met and my time here. But now, I must move on to my next journey.”
President McCartney will give a campus-wide speech later this week, addressing more details of her departure, as well as who will replace her. Before then, she will devote seven hours every day to her vocal strengthening exercises, which include memorizing all the One Direction songs and practicing harmonizing with Harry Styles’ breathless falsetto. She will make her worldwide debut as the newest member this summer, when One Direction goes on their 2015 summer tour. Smith students who choose to attend the tour will receive 50% off all tickets.