Tuesday morning, while walking backwards past the Women’s Building, volunteer tour guide Samantha Engles was overheard assuring parents of the total safety of the campus while trying to keep a straight face.
“Don’t worry, the areas to the west, south, and east of campus are completely safe,” Engles barely managed to squeak out, choking back a laugh. “Plenty of students live off-campus and none of them have ever felt unsafe in any capacity whatsoever.”
“What about the shooting I read about that happened here last week?” one nervous grandmother asked while clutching her darling grandson’s hand.
“Actually, Forsyth is technically a public street, not part of campus, so don’t you worry about a thing.” Engles uttered through a continuous stream of giggles.
We reached out to Christina Greenberg, Dean of the Office of Doublethink, to learn more about the tour guide’s blatant lies. “It’s all in the training we give our guides,” Greenberg explained. “We drill them on all the right answers to the common questions. By the time they’re out with a group, they can recite ‘There’s plenty of things to do on the weekends that don’t involve drinking,’ or ‘WashU makes sure students have a healthy balance of work and rest,’ without even thinking about it.”
As for the tours themselves, the rehearsed rhetoric seems to be having the intended effect on many prospective students and parents. “I was originally worried about sending my son here,” Laura Hawkings told our interviewer, “but then my tour guide explained how the school has emergency telephones every twenty feet and constant police patrols along high-traffic paths off-campus. That definitely reassures me that this school isn’t in a high-risk area.”
At time of writing, Engles was most recently seen warning people not to step on the seal, since quirky rituals like that have been psychologically demonstrated to make a place seem more inviting.