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Albion College’s student news­paper, The Pleiad, apol­o­gized Sunday after running a fake story saying Hillsdale College would close for admin­is­trative and financial reasons. The story ran on April 1.

The article, which ran in the April Fools’ Day edition of the paper known as The Plebian, said Albion College would absorb the majority of Hillsdale’s stu­dents after the closure and drew concern from Hillsdale alumni, friends of the college, and a prospective student. The article has since been retracted and replaced with an official apology.

The Pleiad’s man­aging editor, Alex Carey, who wrote the article, said one of the Pleiad’s staff writers sug­gested the idea.

“The idea came from a current sit­u­ation, actually,” Carey said. “One of the middle schools near Albion is closing, so we took that idea and asked, ‘What if a college near us closed?’”

Carey said the story was not inten­tionally printed to target a con­ser­v­ative school or to cause problems. Con­sid­ering Hillsdale’s prox­imity to Albion, it made sense for them to choose Hillsdale, Carey said.

For the most part, stu­dents at Albion and at Hillsdale saw the article for what it was — pure satire.

“Most of us know people from Hillsdale, so we all thought it was humorous,” said Albion senior Kate Casebeer, sister of Hillsdale sophomore Sarah Casebeer. “We figured that Hillsdale stu­dents would find it amusing, as well.”

Hillsdale’s Senior Director of Admis­sions Zack Miller said the admis­sions office saw the article online and knew that it was not meant to be factual. Despite this, Miller said he did receive a call from an admitted student who inquired about whether or not the story was true.

“There were a very small number of con­cerns,” Miller said. “Most people under­stood it was satirical.”

Not everyone at Hillsdale found the story to be amusing. Matt Schlientz, vice pres­ident for mar­keting, said the story did cause con­fusion for some.

“Because of that, we did reach out to John Thompson, the asso­ciate vice pres­ident for mar­keting at Albion, on Sat­urday to request the story be removed,” Schlientz said.

After Hillsdale’s mar­keting department con­tacted Albion, The Pleiad retracted the story Sunday, and the fol­lowing statement replaced it: “This story was a part of the April Fool’s Edition ‘The Plebian’ and was, in fact, not true. The Pleiad apol­o­gizes for any con­fusion that may have been caused.”

Clare Kolenda, editor-in-chief of the Pleiad, said that she was the one who made the decision to retract the story after hearing that Hillsdale had reached out to Albion.

Carey clar­ified that the article was written purely out of the April Fools’ Day spirit and that no one foresaw the reaction it drew.

“We took the story for what it was, an April Fools’ Day prank,”  Schlientz said. “However, given that online content lives forever and rather than risk any further con­fusion, we felt that the prank had run its course, and it would be best if the article was taken down.”

The momentary tension between Hillsdale and Albion over the jocular article also attracted national news cov­erage and was picked up from The Asso­ciated Press by media outlets across the country.

The vast amount of attention the article has received has come as a shock to the Pleiad staff, Carey said.

“We didn’t think it would get seen,” Carey said, “We def­i­nitely didn’t antic­ipate this much attention.”

The staff of The Pleiad apol­o­gized for the con­fusion the article caused. What began as a harmless joke was taken more seri­ously than they had orig­i­nally intended, Carey said.

“I feel really bad,” Carey said. “We didn’t do it on purpose.”