Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 10
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman Sign Switcher brought into custody

Illustration by Jonah Rosen-Bloom

After being eluded for months, Whitman Security has finally apprehended the Sign Switcher, the shadowy mischief-maker responsible for the replacement of campus signs with other campus signs. Interrogation of this folk hero, who will surely be revered for decades, has shed light on some of the most confounding aspects of campus life. 

“At first, it was light work: classroom numbers, dorm room whiteboards,” explains the Switcher, whose identity has been withheld by The Wire for reasons The Wire also withholds. “Then I started getting creative.”

First, the Switcher struck Cleve, switching every sign they could find. Outright chaos ensued as students tried to navigate by the position of the pizza oven, embarked on expeditions to the far-off land of J-Caf, and began eating napkins, which were now labeled as bagels. This last approach spread so quickly that Switched Station Day is now considered a campus holiday, marking the first utterance of the once unfathomable phrase “not enough Cleve napkins.” By complete coincidence, this reporter failed to set foot inside Cleve on Switched Station Day, sustaining himself with to-go boxes acquired the previous night.

Thrilled with their success, the Switcher branched out into traffic signs. “DO NOT ENTER” in doorways sent Anderson Hall into quarantine, until a new exit was created when a student, panicked about missing their midterms, heaved a textbook through a window. A “NO RIGHT TURNS” on Styx had students walking counterclockwise laps for hours. The Switcher even planted a “ONE WAY” sign in the grass by Lakum Duckum, leading to the infamous Lawnmower Incident.

The Switcher began mixing genres. All labels on the Penrose shelves were replaced with Zodiac symbols, and building names were swapped with ASL hand gestures. The Switcher’s downfall came when they tried to replace street signs with signs of medical conditions: “I was adorning a signpost with the symptoms of palmar erythema, and they caught me red-handed.” 

At this point, the Switcher began requesting access to a computer, muttering about word counts and the wrath of their editor.

Restoration of signs to their proper places is ongoing, although some switches have yet to be detected – that is, according to the Switcher, who, again, remains anonymous. For now, to prevent being misled, students are advised to disregard all signage, including floor level screens in elevators and safety warnings in chemistry labs.

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