In an arguably predictable turn of events this week, the UChicago Dean of Students John "Jay" Ellison announced that the College would no longer be holding Orientation Week. It has been replaced by Disorientation Week, an opening week for first-year students aimed specifically at causing them as much panic and confusion as possible within a seven-day span.
“Like I said before,” commented Ellison in a statement, “this university is not about safe spaces. In fact, at this institution, we feel it’s best to promote the very opposite. Being coddled simply is not conducive to academic excellence. Furthermore, a culture of rigorous inquiry is maintained by three things: hard work, commitment, and the gnawing fear that comes from not knowing what the hell is going on at any point in time.”
The University has taken great steps this year to ensure that the Class of 2022 enters as the most disoriented class yet. The opening itinerary for new students includes being forcibly spun around 1,000 times, meet-and-greets with University of Illinois professors, and helpful informational sessions about campus life given entirely in Esperanto.
“Please, someone just give me a hint at what is going on here,” said first-year Daniel Juarez. “I still don’t know what house I’m supposed to be in, my I.D. is a completely blank piece of plastic, and when they gave me my schedule it was just a slice of baguette that had, ‘Figure it out for yourself, loser,’ written on it in Comic Sans. It feels like we’re in some kind of messed-up 1980s social experiment or something.”
As an added measure, all faculty have reportedly been instructed to let loose a blood-curdling scream and slap the face of any student that asks them a remotely coherent question. What’s more, free merchandise given out at events will instead feature the logos of various community colleges across the United States instead of UChicago and all clocks will run at different, random times. For many new students, this may not be what they were expecting. For the rarer students that expect the unexpected, Disorientation Week may not be the “unexpected” they expected.
“I thought Disorientation Week would be some cool underground thing where the returning students tell you what UChicago is really like,” said first-year Meghan Steinberg, who was struggling with a University-provided map comprised of abstract geometric shapes and its corresponding five ciphers. “Turns out it’s just them taking sadistic joy in making us feel like rats in a maze. This is what I get for not going to a state school.”
At press time, Ellison was preparing his commencement speech, which he plans to replace with one thousand bagpipes playing a single note at full volume for a “character-building” hour and forty-five minutes.