This Tuesday, January 19th, the streets of University of North Texas were once again filled with students. Drivers were particularly excited about the new semester starting as all roads, once again, were treated as pedestrian only paths. Avenue actually being used correctly, and the concern for cars went unnoticed as students crossed at their leisure. However, the unacknowledged cars were not the cause for incident this week on campus. Instead, the University of North Texas had a close call when a student nearly drowned in the excess of syllabi handed out by professors.
The Mean Green campus strives hard to maintain the “green” reputation, and many professors have worked hard to make nearly all syllabi electronically available on Blackboard. Unfortunately, some professors continue to fill students’ backpacks with the skin of trees and print their same syllabi 1000 times for the beginning of each semester. One student in particular suffered from this cruel extraction of oxygen.
Natalie Forrest went about her first day of courses as any other student, unaware of the pile of papers that would soon reign dominant. “I honestly didn’t see it coming. I thought professors would be efficient and just put their syllabus online,” Natalie recalled. “My first professor printed out the 23 page syllabi, each powerpoint slide she has ever made, along with all the outlines for the entire semester. She was nice enough to supply each student with a free wheel barrow for their trek on campus.”
By Natalie’s third course of the day, classmate Brock Chives stated he “saw Natalie come in with wagon loads of papers, only for that professor to print out a loose leaf version of the textbook which continued to weigh her down.”
Students who witnessed the near tragic event recalled it when one paper fell from the top of her wagon. Soon after she picked it up, a nearby classmate sneezed, startling Natalie and sending her facedown into a pile of syllabi.
“It was a lot like that scene in Charlie in the Chocolate Factory where Augustus Gloop is enveloped into the Chocolate River,” recalled another classmate. “We all watched as Natalie slowly sank deeper into the pile of papers.”
Many students gathered to take selfies with the drowning victim, which trended around campus with the various hash tags: “ #girlfailssyllabusweek,” “#rockpaperNatalie,” and a probably-unrelated trending tag “#dogsarejustminihorses.” The trending topic helped draw attention to the possible change this tragedy could bring about. UNT Recycling Club made a statement: “The fight to end these syllabus trodden courses needs to be MEANER and exceptionally GREENER.”
Along with the Recycling Club, many students uninvolved in organizations, that just simply dislike paper being handed out in class, have formed a new club. This new club goes by the name “UNT Stop Giving Us Papers Club.” Natalie’s tragic fall has already raised the total of students in this new organization from three to six, an influx that has really united the university during this sensitive time.
Natalie remains in stable condition, and those professors responsible for her tip-over have been called to cut down the paper usage in future courses. For any other students dealing with a heavy workload, the campus is working to make more room for spare wheelbarrow availability. The “UNT Stop Giving Us Papers Club” is also reaching out to Natalie by organizing a wheelbarrow race on campus, where students hold their friends feet on their shoulders as they walk on their hands. This should gather awareness by doing nothing for the cause.