OPINION: Medieval defensive capabilities of K-State’s mightiest castles

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The exterior of Nichols Hall on July 25, 2018. (Alex Shaw | Collegian Media Group)

If there is anything that remains true from childhood to adulthood, it’s that strangers are always dangerous and safety is not guaranteed. Any day now, paramilitary forces from Wyoming or whatever can invade our proud state of Kansas. And who knows what those Wyomingites are going to attack us with?

This is why Kansas State University has castles — limestone castles with battlements and more — because the day may come where a “Red Dawn” situation occurs and Fort Riley is on vacation.

Each of these strongholds has its own strengths and weaknesses. Which will you choose?

Dickens Hall

Capacity: Quite a few people

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The exterior of Dickens Hall on July 25, 2018. (Alex Shaw | Collegian Media Group)

Dickens Hall can be seen as a standard castle, boasting only one balcony from which to dump boiling oil on invaders. But worry not, as the windows on the top floor open up, allowing you to dump boiling oil from there, too.

This building — err, castle houses the departments of philosophy and statistics, which are both incredibly important for a castle that will be holding a large amount of refugees. Not only will you have statisticians inside for rationing supplies and counting beans, but you will also have philosophers to ask, “Why is beans?”

The exterior is rugged, and while it could be argued that most days you can just walk through the front door, keep in mind that the doors can be locked.

Bluemont Hall

Capacity: A whole darn lot of people

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The exterior of Bluemont Hall. (Courtesy photo by Reddit user Prima Materia Photos)

Many claim Bluemont Hall is the arch nemesis to Dickens Hall. If these two Manhattan castles had stewards, Dickens would have a kindly old mage in a felt hat, while Bluemont would have the creepy, bald version of Merlin from the movie “Excalibur.”

Getting into this castle is the easy part, but navigating it could require a guide. The endless hallways full of boring walls seem to shift in ways that will make it very easy for you to get lost. That said, if you do enter and get lost, having your campus invaded will be the least of your problems, which could be a good thing if you think about it.

Holton Hall

Capacity: Talking furniture (and probably a few people)

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The exterior of Holton Hall on July 25, 2018. (Alex Shaw | Collegian Media Group)

The home of K-State’s student support offices is a terrifying gamble of a castle for several reasons.

One is that the galloping hordes may gravitate toward Holton. If our administrators were crippled, the campus’s infrastructure would crumble with it. That said, the galloping hordes may actually avoid it like the plague due to their notorious aversion to paperwork, so it’s still got a chance.

If you’re into that sort of emotional roller coaster, this castle may be the one for you. Similar to Dickens Hall, dumping hot oil from the second floor and locking the doors should be fine.

Anderson Hall

Capacity: Very important people, including you

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The exterior of Anderson Hall on July 25, 2018. (Alex Shaw | Collegian Media Group)

Anderson Hall is the Grand Central Station of K-State, holding the office of the president and other administrative abodes.

On its surface, this castle has the best of both worlds. There’s plenty of room, and the rockin’ tower gives you a view of the whole campus, but there’s a catch. In a state of emergency, invaders may attack many buildings at once, but their leader will seek out the K-State president first.

The decision is yours. Do you trust the president’s security to defend you as well? You should, I hear those folks are quite nice.

Nichols Hall

Capacity: A castle’s worth of people

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The exterior of Nichols Hall on July 25, 2018. (Alex Shaw | Collegian Media Group)

Nichols Hall is perhaps the “castle-est” of all the castles on campus, sporting superb defensive walls with cover in the form of trees so dim-witted invaders may not notice the castle is even there. Unlike many castles on this list, Nichols features perfectly spaced battlements along the edge of its roof so defending archers can take cover. The battlements are so perfect, they must have been designed by the inventor of castles himself.

Being home to a theater, dance studios and various arts and sciences, Nichols Hall has exactly what you need to stay entertained as war rages on outside. The only real downside is how obvious of a choice it is by those “in the know” such as yourself.

Is that really a downside, though? You’re great, and more people who think like you would be even better. This is a good plan.

Memorial Stadium

Capacity: Grass, I guess?

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The exterior of Memorial Stadium on July 25, 2018. (Alex Shaw | Collegian Media Group)

This is just silly. Look at this, you can walk right in the middle of it. There are only walls on two sides, and the building to the south of it isn’t even a castle — it’s more of a palace, really. What sort of wool am I trying to pull over your eyes here?

Worry not, as I have saved the best for last. Memorial Stadium is not one poorly designed castle, it is two separate underground bunkers.

The east and west stadiums are both fine halls to wait out an invasion, walled on their outside ends by shatterproof glass with battlements on the roof. Not only this, but the stands that lay over top of the secret bunkers are covered by camouflaging grass, making this place your safest bet against medieval attack drones.

The only drawback is the inability to pour hot oil on anyone, as these buildings have no discernible second floors, but sometimes you have to sacrifice the finer things in life for safety and security.

Micah Drake is a senior in English. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Collegian. Please send comments to opinion@kstatecollegian.com.

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