A Farewell to the Opinions Satirist, Allison Dantinne

By Leah Mensch, Opinions Editor

EDITOR’S NOTE: With campuses emptied and University life brought to a halt, student journalism is in a tough spot right now. We’re asking our readers to please support the work of our current staff, as well as the next generation of Pitt student journalists, by donating here. Thank you for your support!

The first time I ever met Allison, she was staring into the abyss at an opinions meeting, eating Talenti gelato straight from the container. That was almost two years ago, and I still can’t think of a better way to describe her in a sentence, except for maybe this: once at a party, Allison and I sat in the corner of the dining room and talked about female representation in classic literature for an hour.

If you don’t know Allison Dantinne, then that’s truly a shame. But, you still have about a week before virtual graduation to find her email at the bottom of one of her satire pieces, email her and arrange a Zoom meeting. Allison is our staff satirist, and with this, has come many adventures. 

Allison wrote a satire piece last spring about the astronomical prices at Forbes Street Market. She recommended stealing oranges from the dining hall instead, and a good citizen of Pittsburgh emailed her, reminding her that stealing is illegal and promoting a crime such as this is atrocious. But despite this mishap, Allison returned to The Pitt News week after week and continued writing satire. She sat in Starbucks overnight in the fall and in the spring, wrote everything from horoscopes to an ode to Ricardo, her South Oakland House Mouse — the latter of which terrified my mother. 

I’ve gotten to know Allison not just as a satirist and staff member, but as an essayist, fiction writer and most delightfully, a friend. Sometimes when I read her work — whether it be a column for The Pitt News, or a piece in one of our writing classes — I sit for a moment and wonder how someone can be so good at what they do. But it’s become quite clear to me in the course of knowing her that Allison is so good at what she does, not just because she’s talented, but because she loves writing with all of her heart. She believes in what she’s doing. 

To be frank, the opinions family isn’t ready to send our mother, Allison, back home. She’ll spend a year studying secondary education at Lehigh, after which, she’ll become an English teacher. I don’t know if anyone as funny and witty as Allison will ever come through The Pitt News again. But what I do know is this — the world is going to be a far better place with a teacher like her. 

Is this the part where I’m supposed to quote Emerson, or some other white guy? Well, Allison, go confidently in the direction of your dreams, as long as that direction doesn’t involve eating an underripe banana, or something equally as atrocious. 

We love you.