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Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

Scott Kull: The new Director of Athletics
Abigail Taylor, Contributing Writer • April 16, 2024

The Seniority Report

“It’s a tough job, being a Seniority Reporter. I have to wear all leather and hide in trees a lot. The chaffing is ridiculous, let me tell you. And don’t get me started on my allergy problems.” - Elaine Best, seniority reporter.
“It’s a tough job, being a Seniority Reporter. I have to wear all leather and hide in trees a lot. The chaffing is ridiculous, let me tell you. And don’t get me started on my allergy problems.” – Elaine Best, seniority reporter.

By: Elaine Best, Editor

This is The Seniority Report, where I investigate the hard-hitting mysteries of Wofford’s campus. This week, I had prepared to take on Air Terrier, our not-so-loyal Wi-Fi.

But once I arrived at the IT department, everything changed.

I had entered the office with my laptop and my list of grilling questions for the workers. But the second the front desk worker turned around, I knew something was amiss.  His eyes widened and he dropped the handful of floppy disks in his hand.

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“You’re that Seniority Reporter, aren’t you?” he said.

I confirmed my identity and was about to pull out my autographed picture – something a journalist always has on hand, just in case – when he yelled, “Get her!”

Before I knew it, a student worker kidnapped me, throwing a garbage bag over my head, and a used one by the smell of it.

After they threw me in a chair, the bag was thrown off my head, and I found myself in a dark room. A single light hung above me and a masked man emerged from the shadows.

“Tell us everything you know,” he said. “I know you’re on to it—all those stories you’ve been doing, they all point to it.”

I pulled out my notebook and threw it on the table in front of me. “I’ve tried three days in a row to get Netflix to work. You know what I got? Nadda. Explain that.”

“No, tell us everything you know about Project Q,” the masked man said.

I frowned. None of my research had included any mention of Project Q. Granted, I hadn’t done any research because I couldn’t get Air Terrier to work, but still.

The masked man began to lose it, pounding the table with his fist, saying I knew all about “the secret stairs of Teszler.”

I was about to unleash my two weeks of Tae-Kwon-Do training from Master Henkel when the masked man’s phone buzzed. He checked it and cursed.

“They’re attacking us on Yik Yak again,” he yelled to someone in the darkness. I heard more scrambling, and a door opened to my left as three other people ran out of the room.

It was then that I realized there was nothing binding me to the chair. I could have left at any moment.

It was the first time I ever felt like a fool. Ever.

I took a few laps around Wofford trying to get a grip of myself. It was Fate’s design that I ended up outside the library. I tried not to go, but I had to.

Journalism called.

I made my way to the back of the library. I saw it then—the mysterious torch that hung on the wall. Gripping the torch, I pulled down, revealing a staircase from behind the wall.

The secret staircase of Teszler.

I ran down it and was let out into a small room. A strange book sat in the middle of the floor. It was a Lisa Frank designed notebook. Picking it up, I flipped through the pages. A key fell into my hand. Curiously, I checked the first page to see if the owner had written their name down.

I could not believe who it belonged to – I had found Ben Wofford’s diary.

One entry written in nineteenth century gel pen read, “Dear Diary: Someone called me Ben Waffle again. Will their teasing ever stop? The only thing I have to protect me is the statuesque Project Quintessential…”

My mind raced: Ben Wofford, the diary, Project Q, statuesque, waffle… How had I not seen it before?

I made my way to the statue that sits on the front lawn of Old Main. Sure enough, I found a hidden lock in a hidden place. My shaky hands turned the key and another secret staircase was revealed to me.

It’s a good day for a journalist when one secret staircase is revealed. But with two secret staircases? I was a god.

A journalism god.

The stairs led to an eerily familiar place. The hairs stood on the back of my neck, mostly because I never shaved them. They had gotten quite long.

I was in the dungeons of Burwell – Aramark’s land.

A door opened at the end of the hallway. I could have turned back at that point – could have lived a life of ignorant bliss.

But that’s not how journalism works.

Walking through the doorway, I fidgeted with my investigative journalism hat. The room was empty, save for a recipe book that sat on the floor. I made a note to research why Wofford refused to put its books away on a shelf.

“I knew you were on to us.”

I shrieked, throwing a stapler I’d stolen from the library at the voice that came from behind me.

It was the masked man.

He grunted as the stapler hit him square in the gut. I demanded the masked man explain himself.

He went on an unnecessarily long tangent that I will not bore you with here. I think I fell asleep a few times while he was talking. Something about a childhood trauma involving a goat.

I regained focus, however, when he mentioned Aramark.

“The IT department has acted as a secret service for Aramark, tapping into people’s cellphones, hacking into their computers… It’s why the Wi-Fi has gone in and out,” he explained. “Aramark needed new bodies to claim to expand its world domination process. And what better place to brainwash people than at a college?”

Aramark was after world domination. I had known all along, hadn’t I?

“So, the food…,” I said.

“Yes, there’s something in the food. That strange taste – you may have noticed it. It’s how we’re gaining control over the student body. Literally,” he said. He nodded toward the recipe book on the ground. “You can read it, learn what has happened to you all.”

My loyal readers, I did it. I looked at every recipe in that book. And for once, I don’t have the heart to reveal this final conspiracy to you. Parts of it you already know—the mulch was used to cover up the smell of chemicals they were putting in our food; the fire alarms were actually connected to Aramark’s security system, going off each time a student ate healthy food; The Space was meant to prepare the future wards of the Aramark State; and the tour groups were the first phase of the brainwashing process.

And so, I must bid you all goodbye, for I have made it my life mission to stop Aramark and its devious plans. Sadly, I turn in my badge as Seniority Reporter, and take up the apron as a chef of Aramark.

Undercover was more my style, anyway.

Thank you, Wofford. It’s been a pleasure.

Over and out.

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