Stanford East Asia Library Opium Den Draws Criticism

February 23, 2015 12:00 pm
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Stanford East Asia Library Opium Den Draws Criticism

The movement of the East Asia Library to its new location in Lathrop has greatly increased its use by students as a study space. In what has been widely criticized as a tasteless and over-the-top gesture by the administration, the Stanford Center for East Asian Studies has opened a historically accurate and fully functional opium den. Stanford claims it will function both as “a relaxing study space” and an “immersive historical experience.”

The Flipside paid a visit to the opium den where we met with Thomas Lam, a representative from the Center for East Asian Studies. “We hope this library will provide a safe space for students to come together and enjoy harmony and beauty of East Asian cultures. A space where students can recline and hold long opium pipes over oil lamps and inhale the vapors.”

Upon mention of opiates being somewhat dangerous and addictive, Lam smiled dreamily, shrouded in a haze of sweet, swirling smoke. Stanford administrators have not been available for comment, nor have they responded to criticism for the tacky and historically inaccurate “Hen Hao!” and “MSG free!” posters confusingly adorning the walls of the den. Nonetheless, insiders speculate that there will be no administrative word until an equally alienating alternative to celebrate British imperialism is concocted.

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