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Cards Against Bennington

A conversation with Lily E, the creator of the ‘Cards Against Bennington’ pack that was sold during Sunfest. 

For most of the students on campus Sunfest was an exciting music festival to celebrate the end of classes and the coming Summer. For Lily E it was a deadline for an impulsive project she came up with two weeks before. 

The idea was simple: make her own version of the popular card game ‘Cards Against Humanity’ based around Bennington College. The card game contains two types of cards, white and black. The black cards have a statement with a blank that the white cards are supposed to fill to make the funniest answer. 

The goal was to have it ready by Sunfest, so with only two weeks Lily stayed up until three in the morning multiple nights and used every free hour not in class to work on the deck. Lily said that she asked her friends and people on the lawn for card suggestions but most she came up with herself. About 15 cards out of 300 were inspired by other people. 

Because Lily is a sophomore, most of the cards only relate to the last two years. A few of the cards that relate to previous years are bits of Bennington lore that most students hear about. Such as the goatboy, the catacombs, and the propaganda film from 1951. Other card ideas Lily didn’t know about were the infamous possum crucifixion in Booth in the 80s and that butch lesbians started Stokes (which she’s not sure is true but makes a great card). Lily’s favorite card is ‘Chef Steve’s chefussy’, which is a joke that started on the controversial anonymous chat app, Jodel. Lily said that she didn’t want to include too many Jodel-centric cards because not everyone has it. She’s also a fan of the card ‘decorating my dorm room with the blood of my enemies’. 

An issue Lily ran into while creating the deck was that she was coming up with so many cards that nothing seemed funny anymore. She went to her roommate, friends, and IT to get the formatting right and to make sure the cards were funny. Another issue was getting the grammar right on all the cards. To get the cards in time for Sunfest Lily had to pay extra for shipping and expedited production time. 

Luckily the cards came two days before Sunfest, giving Lily enough time to get them ready for sale. The cards came with two decks to a box so she had to cut the boxes in half. She labeled the boxes and tied ribbons on 34 packs. During Sunfest Lily sold about 19 packs, 5 are reserved. When asked if she was going to donate a pack to the library Lily said that they are, in fact, planning to buy one. In fact, many faculty members wanted to purchase packs, including Laura Walker, who has a card of herself in the deck. 

Some of the cards are college related, such as “blasting music at ungodly hours” and “pulling an all-nighter”, but most cards are strictly Bennington related and wouldn’t make sense to outsiders. Other noteworthy cards include “Swan taxidermy night”, “men who look like the rat from Flushed Away”, “going barefoot”, and “Trying to get into 4000s literature classes”

Lily plans on selling decks at craft fairs and out of her room in Perkins on the first floor. She has other ideas for various expansion packs themed around the catacombs, the dining hall, international students, and even a faculty version. 

Cards Against Bennington is more of a love letter to Bennington than a diss. Lily loves this school and wanted a way to celebrate it. She hopes seniors who pick up a pack can view it as a time capsule or souvenir to remember their time here in ten years. 

Lily E always carries the decks around with her so if you want to buy one, all you have to do is ask. 

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