By A Gen-Xer.
DISCLAIMER: This article is part of The Torch’s annual “Torchure” issue, the April fools Issue. During the Torchure, our journalistic ethics and commitment to the truth hop on the earliest bus out of town, and we spend the better part of the week trying to coax them back with cannolies and baby oil. The Torch will return to faithful, truthful coverage of UMass Dartmouth-centric news next week, until then, enjoy whatever this is?
The Mutant Activity League(MAL) is one of the oldest and most ignored groups on campus.
Founded in the 1960s the MAL was created as a safe space for mutants on campus to find similarly-abled peers and was originally a combination human rights and intramural sports organization.
Since its humble beginnings the group has made many advancements for on campus mutant rights, leading to the desegregation of mutant and non-mutant housing in 1983 and the Mutant Accessibility Act in 1994.
The Mutant Accessibility Act was revolutionary for its time, mandating that the university provide accommodations for mutants whose abilities made it difficult for them to use university facilities.
This Act is the reason UMass Dartmouth was one of the first public universities to install freight elevators in every building for students of larger and denser body types as well as guardrails along walls for the more gravitation ally challenged students.
The Mutant Activity league is not just an activist network (Though many of its members do go on to teach at well known mutant activist Charles Xavier’s school for gifted youngsters or to participate in local and global politics).
It is also a recreational league where mutant students on campus can find nondiscriminatory activity groups, such as the ever popular mutant ball league, which was featured in Trending Mutant magazine and has spread to encompass other campuses as well and is rumored to be in talks with the NCAA to develop an official league.
Non-mutant students are welcome to participate in MAL activities but they must understand that the point of the league is to allow their mutant peers to express their abilities to the fullest of their potential (within reason of course).
The MAL also breaches past sports and into the arts scene.
The MAL has its own gallery in CVPA 616 as well as a collaboration space in the basement of Birch only accessible to mutant students.
This month the MAL gallery is featuring work from UMass Dartmouth alumni and mutant artist in residence Alison Blaire. Yes that’s right 90s pop sensation Dazzler is the MAL’s artist in residence this year.
Most of her work is in her preferred medium, holographics, and enhanced by her mutant ability.
Blaire uses holographic image capture technology to record her pyrotechnic performance and then creates a three dimensional display that viewer can walk through.
Throughout her residence Alison “Ali” Blaire will be holding weekly symposiums for all students on campus at the MAL main office in CCB 1610. The topics range from “How to handle stardom in your early twenties (Don’t do what I did)” to “How to create a hard light recreation of subatomic particles” to “So you wanna fight the man(toeing the boundaries of legal vigilantism).”
Blaire’s varied history has proven to be a huge asset to the MAL and her symposiums showcase her enchanting personality and unrelenting thirst for knowledge.
Another UMass Dartmouth and MAL alumni Jubilation Lee has spent her four years after graduation splitting her time between her old high school -The Xavier Institute- and working with the MAL on-campus to provide mutant students with fewer resources options and post graduate opportunities to find a career post graduation.
Lee also runs a biweekly podcast on queer culture in the mutant community “Queerly Xistential.”
The Mutant Activity League is always looking for new members and you can email their president Trevor Hawkins at firstname.lastname@example.org, he’ll always keep an eye out for you.