The Black Chairs vs. The Brown Chairs: New Addition to the UC Sparks Fierce Campus Rivalry

by Ben Kaplan


Tensions are rising on campus following the latest outbreak of hateful acts between supporters of the Black Chairs and the Brown Chairs. Those optimistic about the impact of the new university center addition on campus have seen their hopes dashed by the leather-feud between the two furniture clusters.

Animosity between the Black Chairs and the Brown Chairs dates back to ancient times—back when the leathers covering their frames were still cows and bulls capable of literally locking horns or mooing at each other in a disdaining fashion non-respectively.

Students and faculty were initially hopeful that the two sides could put aside their difference and learn to sit aside one another here in Carnegie Mellon’s tolerant, progressive, post-factional campus community, but this has sadly not been the case. Already, students have begin taking sides and reports of spiteful acts have proliferated, with several documented cases of students putting their shoes on the bare-leather of the chairs and even some alleged acts of students deliberately spilling coffee on unsuspecting chairs.

“The Black Chairs are oversized and ugly and totally don’t mesh with the surrounding interior décor!” says one student enrolled in Carnegie Mellon School of Design (which is actually a department that’s part of the College of Fine Arts) who wished to remain anonymous for fear that the CMU P.C. Police would lock her in Wean Hall if her identity was disclosed.

Responding to the above comments, the Black Chairs promotion group Black Chair Matter More retorted: “Black Chairs are way more comfortable than those petite bony squares that call themselves chairs sitting in their posh new UC addition with their fancy built-in electrical outlets. Black Chairs were here first and were doing just fine before the brown chairs moved into the UC and started taking the Black Chair’s jobs” (which were providing a convenient place for students to meet up and browse their phones for forty minutes when they’re too lazy to go back to their dorms after ingesting a burrito at El Gallo D’Oro)!

Despite all the hostility however, some students are working to bridge the gap between the North and South side of the UC. Tony, a senior member of a club that’s been meeting at the Black Chairs for years, and Maria, a sophomore whose sorority holds weekly ABP (Au Bon Pain) coffee socials at the Brown Chairs, recently made their romantic relationship Facebook official in a gesture of inter-chair unity after having to meet surreptitiously in Wiegand Gymnasium all summer. “Whether on the Black Chairs or The Brown Chairs, we’re down to plop down and sit intimately together while making other students uncomfortable “ proclaimed Tony. However, the couple has not gotten off Scott free for their perceived transgression “Despite having followed our hearts, Tony was tragically punished by his club when they removed him from their main mailing list, and has had to get by via messaging other members on Facebook, some of whom have waited over a day to reply” explained Maria.

After having binge-watched 9 episodes of Parks and Recreation while seated in a new Brown Chair, this readme journalist can ascertain that the Brown Chairs are less comfortable than the Black Chairs, though still pretty comfy. However, some students I spoke with feel that “Black Chairs are TOO big” and comfortable, with one senior noting that that once “[she] sits black, [she’s] too comfy to get back-up.”

In order to counter rising tensions, administration just announced that they are hosting a Chair Cohabitation Seminar in order to promote peaceful sitting, and in a prepared statement, President Suresh declared that “We believe that the two sides can reach an accord in accordance with CMU’s values of tolerance and openness to types of chair—and in the event an accord cannot be reached we’ll have no choice but to relocate that chairs to Wean Hall and Hamerschlag House on opposite sides of campus. Can’t have this $#!+ happening when President Obama arrives! ”

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