BOSTON UNIVERSITY — Jaywalking is not exclusive to the inhabitants of Commonwealth Avenue. However, a study overseen by Professor Gregory Harrison of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at BU found a troubling relationship. The number of BU students jaywalking on Comm Ave is directly proportional to how close to final exams they are.
A Facebook survey conducted on the matter initially yielded no results, because it got lost in the thousands of other surveys made by desperate statistics students pressuring their peers to help them finish a class project. But the research eventually became a field study conducted over the span of four semesters. It observed the number of jaywalking incidents that occurred at the traffic light in front of SCI. The results were troubling, to say the least.
“BU pedestrians were five times more likely to illegally cross Comm Ave when finals were less than three weeks away. Also, I would hear curious things in passing. They didn’t even seem to have a connection to the time of the semester,” said Professor Harrison.
“For example, I heard one student remark, ‘bout to pay for that 3.4% increase!’ right before stepping in front of three quickly approaching cars. And it seems that students especially favor jaywalking whenever a BUS is involved. I don’t know what to make of this data,” the professor continued. “There’s some mysterious common experience here at BU that encourages studies to engage in this risky behavior. With more research, maybe we can get to the bottom of it.”
The Black Sheep interviewed a few of these rebel BU pedestrians to hear their side of the story.
“Who has time to wait for the crosswalk light?” asked Matt Smith (ENG 19’). “I study mechanical engineering, and I have a five-hour final for my engineering mechanics class. I need to pass it because I’m studying to become an engineer. I have literally zero time to obey traffic laws.”
Other students, like Karen Miller (SAR 20’), are more careful about their jaywalking practices. “You have to be selective, you know? Like if three BMWs are flying down Comm Ave, then that’s a good situation. Those drivers can definitely afford to pay for my hospital bills. But if you can’t swing BMWs, then timing is just as important. Getting hit by a car is, like, the one excuse that professors will accept for missing a final. Not that I’ve done that or anything, hahaa! It’s hypothetical, obviously!”
“I do it to wake myself up in the morning. That adrenaline really works wonders!” said Chase Williams (CAS ’19). “After coming to BU, I’ve become so sleep deprived from constantly trying to save my shit GPA. But I can’t afford to buy coffee anymore. So a car almost hitting me every morning is a good substitute. I do have to cross the street more often during finals to get the same rush.”
The Black Sheep asked Professor Harrison if he believes that students’ distressed mental state during final exams is a plausible explanation for his results.
“I can’t speak for other professors. But in my own classes, I think I’m very considerate of my students’ time. They need only study for four hours a night to be ready for in-class quizzes. Then they just have to remember every single word they’ve ever read for my class in the past 5 months. Given those factors, they’re guaranteed to do well on the final! It’s not in my nature to rule out any possibilities, but I doubt the stresses of BU are what’s causing this trend.”