Campus Cousin: Getting Turnt
Your cousin knows what you’re thinking, and no, this edition’s topic isn’t about binge drinking (not even Nesquick). Instead, your iconic cousin wants to discuss the bane of student existence: “campus access control systems”, or, as they are colloquially known: “those f***ing turnstiles”.
Surely there have been times when you’ve arrived on campus in the pouring rain, after practically needing a jet ski to so much as leave your house, only to realise that when those finger scanners get wet, they don’t work. Try as you might to towel your fingers on any dry patch of clothing you have left at this stage, all you get in return are those annoying beeps and the flashing red light that says, “No dice, buddy”. Worse yet, if you’ve arrived at a gate that isn’t main entrance, you’re expected to walk all the way there to have your card manually scanned. At this point, most people recognise the day as a write-off and go home. How does this lack of access promote good academic practices among us, I wonder?
Every UP student goes through the trial of getting stuck in a turnstile at least once – if it hasn’t happened yet, beware: your turn is coming. Most people will give you nothing more than a shrug and a half-hearted “askies” before leaving you to sort out your own peril. Others might be rude and outright laugh at you, but sometimes there are kind souls out there who give their time and effort to help get you out. Spoiler: these people are never members of campus security. One would think, but one would be wrong.
Perhaps many of you can relate to the scenario of being late for a test or exam (it happens to the best of us), and after you made a heroic rush to campus, the turnstile denies you access just because. This is a gamble, of course, since your options are to retry the same turnstile until it budges, to cycle between the turnstiles, or to go to a different gate entirely. The success of this is all dependent on the temperament of the turnstile in question, and how many virgins it expects you to sacrifice to grant you access that day. Again – not really a promotion of academic excellence, is it? These are, of course, merely ponderings.
Your cousin hopes that if you have ever been a victim of any of the above situations, that you have fully recovered from the trauma. And if you haven’t, your cousin sincerely hopes that none of this bad luck ever befalls you – unless you’re able-bodied and take the Humanities building lift from the third floor to the fourth – then you can get stuck.
Don’t go chasing turnstiles, stick to the boom gates and main entrances that you’re used to.