Satire by Patrick Monreal
Stanford police are requesting that all undergraduates remain indoors through the end of next week following reports of a lanyard outbreak on east campus.
The first notice came early Wednesday morning, when the Stanford University Department of Public Safety (SUDPS) issued an AlertSU notification stating that masses of unidentified persons wearing red lanyards were spotted swarming dorm complexes.
“They just kept coming … and coming,” stammered a nervous New Student Orientation (NSO) volunteer. “I’ve never seen anything like it. Thousands mindlessly marched together throughout campus, as if something was calling them.”
According to SUDPS, Center for Disease Control (CDC) personnel arrived on campus at around 10 a.m. on Wednesday to contain the outbreak and start treating the infected. Officials believe the disease can be contained within the next few days but are worried about the first day of class on Monday.
“This is not unlike other outbreaks that have aligned with past NSO’s,” a CDC spokesperson said. “We usually are able to take care of most of the infected by the weekend, but flare-ups often present on the first day of school.”
The CDC classifies the illness as Lanyard Seasonal Disorder, or LSD for short. Victims are most vulnerable to the neurological disorder when they first arrive on campus; newcomers are especially susceptible. Visible symptoms of LSD include wearing a red lanyard everywhere, traveling in packs and using “where are you from?” as the second question in every conversation. LSD is not lethal, but there are some extreme cases of alcohol poisoning once the NSO dry period ends.
“I witnessed a group of 30 to 40 of them trying to fountain hop outside Green Library at 3 a.m.,” reported an upperclassmen who wished to remain anonymous. “They had no emotion in their face … no soul. Then, one of them slowly approached me with a lanyard and I sprinted as fast as I could home.”
The CDC has warned other residents of Stanford’s campus to stay indoors and avoid those with lanyard. The LSD epidemic is centralized in the east campus complexes of Stern and Wilbur Hall (possibly the location of the hive), but a few clusters of cases have also been reported in Lagunita Court, Florence Moore Hall and Governor’s Corner. Residents in these areas may want to take extra precaution by donning a full Tyvek® high-density polyethylene fiber body suit and face shield.
If faced with an infected individual, the key is remaining calm, said SUDPS spokesperson Bill Larson.
“Stay still until they approach you. When they do, you have to disarm the infected person by cutting the lanyard lose,” Larson said. “Remember that whoever they once were is now lost. There’s no guarantee the individual will be the same person they were before LSD. Sometimes, the madness wins.”
Editor’s Note: This article is purely satirical and fictitious. All attributions in this article are not genuine and this story should be read in the context of pure entertainment only.
Contact Patrick Monreal at pmonreal ‘at’ stanford.edu.