Responding to cries for help, Hopkins Sophomore Ben Knightly ran to the Freshman Quad to find a scene of what he called “pure horror.” He shook as he recounted what he saw this afternoon:
“They were lying all over. They’d been in line for food, or were walking to the gym. They were my friends, you know? And then-“
He began to sob. What he could not bring himself to say was that the scene on the quad was caused by a single freshman who had lost control of his lanyard and viciously maimed other students with his J-card and keys.
Every gathering of freshmen brings with it the terrifying threat of lanyard-related injuries. We’ve all seen them, walking through the halls, maybe even in our own dorms. They seem harmless. Absent-mindedly spinning their keys and j-cards, they look like classic college kids. But it only takes one rogue swing to make an innocent pursuit into a tragedy.
Professor Judy Orange, an expert in student psychology, points to an atmosphere of abundant cliché that has led many students to pick up the lanyard-spinning habit, the so-called ‘lanyo-banyo.’ “The problem begins with modeling behavior, they just think it’s cool, but now some fraternities are reportedly holding lanyo-banyo parties, impressionable young students are drawn into this dangerous behavior, and it was only a matter of time before something like today’s disaster happened.”
However, Dr. Maxwell Smith, the president of Don’t Ban the Lan, has a different outlook on the trend; “Most schools are missing the opportunity for real, and permanent improvement. These students are victims, they can’t help but spin their lanyards.” He believes that the dangers from lanyards is only because student’s aren’t educated about their dangers, or their potential usefulness.
He proposes a multi-million dollar facility to harness to the rotational power of lanyo-banyo, a facility, he argues, that will make back its investment triple-fold. Researchers would attach freshmen to turbines, 24 hours a day, as they don’t have much work to do anyway. Hopkins administration is entertaining plans to build Dr. Smith’s facility, citing the benefit to both student safety and the environment.
“I am ashamed to admit that I once spun my lanyard,” says Hopkins President Ron Daniels, “but I learned how dangerous it can be, and in the wake of this tragedy I will make sure students only use their lanyards for good.”