Saturday, November 16, 2002

Pitt Sophomore Crusades for the Rights of Orange Race

Every time Nikki Long fills out a medical form, job application, or student survey, she feels righteous indignation well up inside of her.

In the box labeled “Race,” she sees Black, White, Asian, American Indian ... everything but what she is ... Orange. “I’m sick of pretending to be something that I’m not,” Long said. “I think I speak for thousands of sorority girls, Hooters waitresses, and strippers, when I say, ‘Don’t shortchange the orange!’”

Long’s daily visits to The Fake Bakery in Squirrel Hill have given her skin a bright orange hue. To keep up her carroty complexion, she also uses sunless tanner and maintains a diet high in beta-carotene. “I embrace my orangeness and I think it’s time that Pitt did the same.”

Long started her grassroots campaign, “Orange You Tired of Racism?”, two years ago, but received little attention from University officials. “We needed a high-profile orange mascot to get attention, so we used Ernie from ‘Sesame Street,’” said Tiffany Wood, public relations director for the innovative orange-pride movement. “Unfortunately, the Rainbow Alliance already claimed him so we were forced to use Gossamer, that big, hairy, orange Looney Toons monster-thing.”

When Warner Brothers heard that their obscure character was at the forefront of the crusade for equal orange rights, the company donated $50,000 to the cause. “Gossamer is a positive role model for the orange community and we're happy to see him get the recognition he so rightly deserves,” Warner Brothers CEO Barry Meyer said.

“Money talks,” Long said. “I waved a few G’s under the chancellor’s nose and now my Orange brothers and sisters are finally getting their props!”

The Pitt community now has promised to break ground for a new facility to help all students understand the plight of the Orange Race. The new Bronze Panther Tanning Salon is scheduled to open on August 1st.

Said Chancellor Nordenberg, “This new tanning salon may help me shed my pasty white complexion.”

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