Finally, spring semester has arrived. A chance for new beginnings and fresh starts, it fills our minds with hope. We set goals of good grades and getting assignments in on time, not to mention simply going to class. As unrealistic as these ambitions are, we can control them.

But other things are just out of our hands. A new semester also brings the same frustrations.

Late last semester, the back road behind Mountainview College was closed for the season due to snow. This route is a great shortcut for us commuting types who enter campus through the back. Instead of having to pass by the University Union, Glenn G. Bartle Library and the Lecture Hall to get to Lot M, this back road provides a fast and clear way to the parking lots.

The day those yellow gates were locked together for the first time, I got about eight texts and BBMs from different friends all essentially saying, “Dude, the back way is closed already, I hate this school.” My sentiment began to parallel theirs on my circuitous way to the lots, as I proceeded to dodge students entering the crosswalk from every direction. It got me thinking and asking around; why is that back road closed?

As my research commenced, I realized there was more to this story than I first expected. First, I heard that the road was closed because Baxter the Bearcat raids a dorm every Thursday night to bring a freshman back to the secluded area and eats them. I asked a professor in the psychology department; he said Baxter’s violence and brutality were clearly an identity crisis — he doesn’t know whether or not he is a real animal.

But I wasn’t satisfied with that answer, so I began to dig deeper. I found evidence that the road provided a platform for former President Lois DeFleur to fight Mike Tyson for the naming rights to the Spine. Some say the battle is still going on today, which is why the road remains closed.

Again, I wasn’t satisfied, so I finally uncovered the truth: salamanders. Yes, salamanders are the reason why we have to drive about two miles out of the way to get a parking spot. Apparently, these precious little creatures cross that road from campus to the Nature Preserve to do the dirty every spring. The University has built them little ramps so they can get up and over the road en route to their sinful festival.

These little ramps make plowing the road impossible, so the school simply closes the road from first snowfall to the end of the migration.

Really? Everyone is going to have their own opinion on this, but I plan to protest. I have already looked up salamander recipes online that have promised to take me on culinary journeys.

Realistically, I know that’s not going to do anything, so I give my fellow students fair warning. My friends and I are not used to driving on the Brain, so things could get messy. I beg of you — please look both ways before crossing (apparently you should also keep an eye out for amphibians).

This should be a fun semester!