Honor Committee adds "pirating 'Paul Blart Mall Cop 2'" to list of crimes punishable by year-long suspension and crippling social exclusion| Jan 7, 2020
The Honor Committee announced in an email last Thursday that “pirating ‘Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2’” will be added to the list of violations under their jurisdiction.
“Pirating is NOT a victimless crime,” the chair of the Honor Committee Mo V. Pohlise ’24 wrote in a Twitter D.M. to the Daily Princetonian. “Each and every time you illegally download ‘Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2,’ you chip away at Kevin James’ 80 million dollar net worth, and I’ve seen what that does to a man!!”
Pohlise spearheaded the effort to ban pirating “Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2” in conjunction with University officials, anti-piracy advocacy groups, and artists’ rights activist Taylor Swift. According to Pohlise, making the initiative a reality took a year of attending Undergraduate Student Government meetings, creating task forces, sitting on committees, and asking pre-written questions at Council of the Princeton University Community meetings.
Established in 1893, the Honor Code remains a reciprocal, two-part agreement between students and faculty to uphold the highest standards of conduct at the University. The Honor Committee website states, “While the words of the Honor Code Constitution have evolved with time, the underlying spirit of trust and commitment to [not pirate ‘Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2’] pervades the University Community.”
As such, henceforth undergraduates will be required to sign a pledge whenever accessing the University WiFi: “I pledge my honor that I have not pirated ‘Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2,’ and have no intention of pirating ‘Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2.’” Students who suspect others of pirating “Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2” are obligated to report suspected violations to the Honor Committee.
The addition follows a pirating incident involving E. Lee Gal ’22. At 2:19 a.m. the night before Dean’s Date, following 13 straight hours of the “hashtag grind” on her term paper for SOC 287: Rule of Law in the Modern World, the sophomore decided to take a study break.
“Look, it was a late-night act of desperation. I was tired, I was hangry, I was a mile away from the Wa. I needed a lil’ somethin’ to take the edge off,” Gal said.
That “lil’ somethin’” just happened to be Paul Blart.
Wendell described her decision to screen the sequel as “productive procrastination,” citing Paul Blart’s steadfast adherence to the rule of law in public shopping malls, the topic of her sociology paper.
“For Paul Blart, safety never takes a holiday. When duty calls, he answers. I wish I could find a man like Paul Blart,” said Wendell, gazing longingly out her window.
No later than 24 hours after the incident, Gal received a call in the dead of night from a blocked number. She didn’t pick up at first because “Jesus Christ, what millennial in their right mind talks on the phone anymore?” After the eighth call, however, she acquiesced.
According to Gal, the voice told her to meet the Honor Committee at the Nassau Hall Cupola at 00:17:46 military time. There, Pohlise informed her of the rule change and her retroactive punishment: a year-long suspension and devastating social isolation. To allow Wendell time to reflect on the severity of her crime, the University stipulated that she is to spend the next year somewhere cold and desolate. At the time of publication, Gal was considering a semester at Cornell.
According to the new policy, which was passed narrowly along party lines in the USG Senate and ratified by an intern in the deep dark pits of Nassau Hall, punishments for pirating will be retroactive. So although Gal was the first to receive disciplinary action, anyone who has pirated “Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2” since its 2015 release is at risk of suspension.
The Honor Committee has requested that students refrain from clearing their Internet history while they check the records. Let me repeat. If you or a loved one has pirated “Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2” in the last four years, you may be at risk. It would NOT (wink) be a good idea (wink wink) to CLEAR YOUR INTERNET HISTORY RIGHT NOW. Browse incognito, use the computers at ’Stone, hack into the WiFi at Small World Coffee, whatever — you have been warned. They’re on the lookout.
Under the new policy, students will still be allowed to pirate the original “Paul Blart: Mall Cop,” on the grounds that classic works of cinema should be available for educational purposes.
This article is part of The Daily Princetonian’s annual joke issue. Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet!