A Student's Perspective on the Daily Show Episode Featuring Binghamton University and Rastafarian Religion 1

A Student’s Perspective on the Daily Show Episode Featuring Binghamton University and Rastafarian Religion

The other day I was watching the Daily Show, and to my surprise, it featured my school, Binghamton University. I had heard reports that a segment had been filmed on my campus with one of the students, and now I finally saw the episode appear on YouTube, which is a great site. Simply Go to the website YouTube and type in the keywords, “Daily Show Binghamton,” and you will find a hilarious episode featuring my university.

The Daily show decides to film a segment over the controversy featuring one student named Aaron Akabari going on a hunger strike because of his religious views on Rastafarian dietary measures. However, the dining halls on campus were not met according to his nutritional needs, and he decided to go on a hunger strike.


His hunger strike was so controversial because some people claimed that all he wanted was attention and recognition with his name in the newspaper. As a student on campus, I thought that he was crazy going on a hunger strike. The Daily Show episode even states how ridiculous it was for him to go on a hunger strike and also compared him to Gandhi’s hunger strike. Some students thought that he was going on a hunger strike to protest the school’s policy of making each student pay a fee for the campus dining halls. Every student that lives on campus in a dorm room must have a required meal plan to pay for food from the dining halls. Some students say that was the real cause of his hunger strike. The episode even makes fun of that with the correspondent from the Daily Show, Dan Dakeri, who does a great job in the segment.

The segment starts with religious persecution and then cuts to the student Aaron from Binghamton and compares it to his religious persecution which as the show states in the end, really could be a hoax by this smart student as many of the students at Binghamton University felt. Even it is was a hoax from my opinion, he is one smart kid because he got himself his segment on the Daily Show which is pretty cool, even if it is making fun of himself which he knew he was doing at the time.

Other interesting points that most people didn’t know after watching the segment: the picture of the school is not that of Binghamton; I believe it is the entrance of Yale’s administration building. However, the dining hall and dorm hall are real and do exist on the Binghamton campus. A joke that was made during the show that many people may not have gotten: Dan Dakeri states that when he asked for comment by administrative officials, he was unable to get anyone to comment. Then he says, “That was alright because it was my ‘safety interview’ anyway.” Then a graphic appears on the screen that shows the college banners of several top schools in the country like Harvard, Yale, Princeton, UPENN, etc. The reference is to the fact that when college students apply to colleges, they have their dream schools that they wish they can get into like the Ivy League schools, then there are the targeted schools which students think that they can get into. Finally, there are the “safety” schools that students know they will automatically be able to get into with their grades and test scores. For many students, “Binghamton” is their safety school and they come to Binghamton after getting rejected from all other schools. Students at Binghamton University, especially me, thought the joke was pretty funny.

The show also makes fun of the Rastafarian dietary requirements and pictures the marijuana leaf and has Dan Dakeri and the student Aaron Aabari smoking up. In fact, in one scene, the correspondent Dan Dakeri is high from smoking up from the floor of a bathroom and jokingly interviews a professor on dietary restrictions. The segment also features one of the school newspaper reporters being questioned throughout the part and I’m not quite sure why they put her in because her interview isn’t funny at all.

In conclusion, this is one hilarious episode and segment, and it only takes a few minutes to watch. For anyone on the west coast of the U.S. or in middle America, it put my university on the map for colleges.

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