It’s midterms season, and you know what that means—Butler is full of backpacks, books, and Blue Java coffee cups. Why? Because the students to whom those items belong are going to class whilst occupying an empty seat you so desperately need. Brave Butlerites Robert Sheardown and Claire Friedman tell you how to deal with the infamous Butler Camper.
Picture this: you walk into Butler late on a Sunday night with a paper that needs to be done for a Monday morning class. Your bag weighs roughly one thousand pounds, and you’re not totally sure why you spent last night watching Netflix instead of working. The security guard starts to give you shit for the five coffees you’re carrying, but stops when he sees how utterly dejected you are.
You make your way up to the reading room only to find out that you are far from alone in your procrastination; the room is packed with people and the air is stale with a deathly BO-desperation combo. You move on to the next room and then the next, but, like a bad horror movie, each room is completely packed—or so it would seem. Many of the desks are occupied not by actual human beings, but by depressingly large stacks of books, even more depressing snack food wrappers, or artfully arranged coats and backpacks. You, brave traveler, have stumbled upon the infamous Butler Camper (scientific name: Butlericus Campericus).
You swallow your rage-sadness and decide that enough is enough; you’ve passed the same pile of books twice in the past 30 minutes and you’re 80% sure nobody is actually sitting there. Still, you cannot summon the courage to make a move. You wait because maybe they’re in the bathroom, running to pick up food, or crying in a nearby stairwell. After fifteen minutes later, you begin to suspect something much more malicious at work; maybe they’re talking with a friend, cackling at the seatless masses roaming Butler. Perhaps they’re making an extended run to Chipotle, or playing a cruel trick on you personally. Almost involuntarily, you start forward. Still, you wonder: am I doing the right thing?
Yes. Today is a day for justice—displace the camper. Feel no guilt as you sweep their detritus to the side. Instead, feel vindicated as you toss away abandoned books (probably not even being read anyway) and claim the territory as your own.
Displacing a camper takes courage. Here are some tips on how to successfully fight the Butler Camper scourge:
- Wear horse-blinders to avoid catching shade from those sitting in the same area.
- Bring rubber gloves, in case you have to pick up something gross in your displacement efforts (i.e. a used tissue or an apple core).
- Put in headphones, even if you’re not listening to music, to throw off the perfect unapproachable vibe.
- Prepare a sharply whispered argument in case your camper comes back. Examples might include variations on “sucks to suck” and “finder’s keeper’s.”
Camping, but in a much darker and less beautiful place via Shutterstock