Students refuse to read responsibly during fall break

Photo: Rémi Yuan

Reading levels on campus reached a crisis point this past reading week, causing most University of Ottawa services to become overwhelmed.

“Everywhere I go on campus, I see students highlighting, underlining, dog-earing, and applying colour-coded sticky notes in text books. It’s an epidemic,” said English professor Dominic Burrell. “I wonder what students expect to get out of all that reading, anyway?”

The walk-in health clinic has been overflowing with casualties, primarily attributed to injuries caused by students reading without watching where they are going.

“We’ve had students walking into each other, walking into walls, falling down stairs. You name it and we’ve seen it,” said nurse Jackie Chaplain. “Students need to remember that reading is a sedentary activity and should be conducted in a safe space, like a library.”

“As well, students should take regular breaks from reading in order to avoid getting ‘texter’s thumb,’” she added. “‘Texter’s thumb’ is a repetitive stress injury that can occur when students hold a textbook upright for prolonged periods of time.”

Protection Services confirmed the number of students involved in reading activities has soared well above the recorded average.

“This reading week has been a security nightmare,” said campus security guard Avon Peterson. “I’ve broken up at least 10 fights that started when students began comparing who had the latest textbook edition.”

The widespread chaos was not limited to the U of O campus. One student wrote a letter to the Tomato complaining about poor behaviour on OC Transpo.

“It’s my personal nightmare come true,” wrote the student, who wished to remain anonymous. “Whenever I take the 95 now, all I can hear are these people reading their textbooks aloud and laughing. I don’t care about your subjects, people. I’ve got my own reading to do, so keep it down.”

Even the Ottawa police are concerned about the increased reading levels. Dozens of students have been ticketed for “texting” while driving.

“We want to remind students that reading textbooks while driving is an illegal and unsafe practice,” said Ottawa police Chief Charles Bordeleau in a statement to the press.

In addition to the possible health and legal ramifications of all this extraneous reading, counsellors at the Student Academic Success Centre warn of additional unforeseen consequences.

“We’ve seen a lot of students coming in this week, emotionally distraught about trying to have a conversation with a friend who is pretending to listen, but who is actually checking their textbook’s index or glossary,” said Joselyn Bleeker, head of counselling services. “Basic courtesy suggests that when you are having a conversation, you should close your textbook completely. Even consider putting it in your backpack to avoid temptation.”

Because of this widespread anarchy, the U of O is now considering skipping reading week in the winter semester in order to avoid similar problems.