Satire: McDowell hall elevator’s revival perceived as a prank after nearly a semester of construction
'I was betting on the end of next semester for the elevator to be fixed'
The following piece is satire and should not be misconstrued for actual reporting. Any resemblance to a student, staff or faculty member is coincidental.
The second elevator in McDowell Hall has been under construction for the past few months until its recent grand reveal to the residents, which was later perceived as a prank. It has been a long journey of anticipation and disquiet for the residents in McDowell.
“It felt like a miracle when I saw the doors to the second elevator opening,” said Tommy Smith, a McDowell seventh-floor resident. “It was like walking into paradise through the Gates of Heaven, a gift from God!”
Prior to the end of its maintenance, residents of the McDowell Hall were anxiously anticipating the renovation’s due date. The students’ impatience led to talks about the lack of regard from the school to McDowell Hall due to the distinct difference in time efficiency compared to the three-day elevator construction in the Constitution Hall.
“I know we pay less living in McDowell than students in Constitution, but the stark difference in treatment is honestly quite upsetting,” sophomore Tina Scott said.
Although the University described it as an “upgrade project,” according to the emails sent out by Housing and Residence Life on Dec. 3, the students were well aware of its priority in the grand scheme of events at AU. Students were also disheartened that AU underestimated their ability to distinguish between falsehood and truth.
“Even though residents are obviously being treated unequally, the least AU can do is to be honest and transparent to us,” sophomore Tanya Silvester said. “It would be even worse if they used this opportunity to prank us after so many months of peek-a-boo with the elevator maintenance. This might be my final straw to transfer schools.”
In contrast to the negative view, some students were reported betting on the finishing date with meal swipes as a coping mechanism and a way of relaxation from all the stress from school.
“Honestly, I never thought I would become a gambler coming to AU, and it has become quite a refreshing after-school activity of mine now,” sophomore Tyler Sanders said. “I am definitely not winning by any means and I’ve already lost 69 swipes, but it has alleviated my worry of not being able to finish all my meal swipes by the end of the semester.”
However, as the betting got out of hand, students slowly lost interest and hope in guessing when the elevator would be finished. The expectation continued lowering as time went on. It started with “by this Friday,” “by next weekend,” “it has to be before fall break, right,” to “if it is not completed by Thanksgiving break, it will never be finished.”
After nearly a semester of maintenance, the elevator is finally fixed. Although most residents are excited about the return of the second elevator, many have worries and doubts.
“Wow, it’s such a significant change, it’s like… it’s like the end of an era, you might say,” sophomore Monica Geller. “I just hope it isn’t a prank from AU. We’ve been through enough this semester, with the mold invasion, the ladybug attack and of course, the elevator forecast.”
After a semester of construction and a roller coaster of feelings and anticipation from the McDowell residents, they find themselves having difficulty accepting the reality that the elevator might just be ready for them.
However, this jubilation did not last long before the students discovered it was under construction again. To students’ disappointment, the elevator only functioned temporarily because it was a “final inspection.” Some students even reported it was clearly returning to maintenance after experiencing a sudden drop in the elevator, from the fourth to the second floor, and witnessing the mysterious blinking signal that rapidly switches from “L” to “5” as if the elevator is jumping from the lobby to the fifth floor.
“It felt surprisingly fun, it was like riding the Tower of Terror from Disneyland in a strange way,” resident Toby Snyder said. “I mean, I would prefer having a safe, functioning elevator, but I can also settle for this.”
“What if there is a ghost haunting the elevator? Is that why it’s taking so long for 2Fix to fix it?” resident Theo Stewart asked. “The thrill and spookiness of this elevator remind me of Haunted Mansion from Disneyland but in a good way.”
While some students had the time of their life riding the elevator, as it is a pandemic-friendly way to go to an amusement park, others did not appreciate this quirky addition to the newly renovated elevator due to their fear of heights and death. Rumors have been circulating that the broken elevator is AU's end-of-the-semester prank to amuse and humor the residents to make them stay in McDowell for the spring semester.
Was the prolonged elevator renovation in McDowell Hall a prank from the University, or was it a genuine issue that required a large amount of time to be fixed? The University has yet to address the residents’ semester-long concern and they are testing the “fixed” elevator themselves now they have returned to campus.
Emily Brignand is a second-year in the School of International Service and a columnist at The Eagle.