After elevators in multiple buildings stopped working and became hazardous for students, campus transportation decided to fix the problem by simply catapulting students up the stairs to get them to classes — you know, the reasonable solution.
Last Friday, this new strategy was tested with the implementation of a trebuchet placed at the foot of a staircase in Columbine Hall, where the elevators have been malfunctioning. The engineering students who created the trebuchet stood next to it at the bottom of the stairs and loaded one student at a time into the sling, before launching them as far up the stairs as they could go.
“The idea here is to keep things running as smoothly as possible, and maybe even to make them smoother,” mechanical engineering major Badi Deah said of the trebuchet design. “If it turns out we’re onto something with this trebuchet idea, we might not even need elevators anymore.”
One unnamed student took issue with Deah’s argument, pointing out that replacing an elevator with a trebuchet is the literal opposite of progressive innovation, before being launched up the stairs and directly into the wall.
When multiple students experienced serious head injuries as a result of the trebuchet, Deah and her team decided that their current system was not working and needed to be modified.
Consequently, the engineers began providing a helmet and kneepads to each student as they were hustled into the sling. They planned to include elbow pads as well, but according to Deah, they couldn’t find any and stopped looking.
“Safety is our number one priority,” Deah promised. “We wouldn’t want to be loading students into a medieval weapon packing enough force to break the stone walls of a castle without considering their welfare.”
By the end of the day, the damage inflicted on Columbine’s hallways, not to mention the hundreds of injuries reported by trebuchet victims, all meant that Deah and her team were forced to remove the trebuchet in the name of finding another solution to the problem.
Witnesses reported Deah stomping away, muttering about how “nobody at this stupid school appreciates cool stuff.” She then tripped over the sling, accidentally activating the trebuchet, and it launched her into the philosophy class she had been skipping.
Maintenance is reviewing other solutions to the elevator problem, including fixing them.
Photo from history.howstuffworks.com.