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What exactly are those 'black things' under the chairs in Wheeler?

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MARCH 18, 2015

Although we are unable to get to the bottom of this unsolvable mystery due to the massive amount of valid hypotheses floating around, we were able to narrow it down these logical choices. If you do know what they are, however, please feel free clear this ever-growing confusion by commenting. We at the Clog, as well as the rest of the student body, would really appreciate it.

Air ventilation

The most popular, and probably the most accurate, guess is that those “black things” (the most politically correct term we could find) are part of the old-school air ventilation. Supposedly, it works like an upside-down sauna, where the old, carbon dioxide-filled air goes down into the infamous “black things,” as fresh air enters the room. Thank god for the possibility that we are not constantly recycling germ-filled air from other students lecture after lecture.

Flood prevention

Another hypothesis is that the black mushroom-like contraptions, if and when a flood occurs, would soak up the flooded water. As slim as that possibility is, it would be an effective way to get rid of the water that would potentially prevent the student from learning the life-changing lessons that can only be transmitted through a 705 person lecture hall. But if this hypothesis was true, it would lead to other mind-boggling questions: Where would the water go once it sinks into the black thing? Does it work like a black hole?


This explanation may be way off base, because it definitely does not make a comfortable footrest. But it is in the right place for putting your feet, that’s for sure.

Prevents your drinks from rolling down the rows

Although the sign outside of Wheeler says “No Food or Drinks Allowed,” we students still have to stay hydrated. With the curvature of the auditorium, not carefully placing your drink could potentially be detrimental. A detrimental situation would be if, without the black stoppers, your Gatorade bottle just rolls down towards the bottom of stage, and your professor uncovered the deep dark secret of you having a drink in class.

Releases carbon monoxide to make you sleepy

Have you ever dosed off unconsciously in the middle of lecture, only to wake up 30 minutes later, wondering how it all happened? Well, guess no more! It isn’t because you stayed up until 2 a.m. procrastinating on your essay, or the fact that you had to turn it in at 8 a.m., because some outside factor is clearly making you more tired than your usual sleep deprivation. There is a conspiracy that says that perhaps the “black things” are the reason for your lack of engagement and interest in the lecture material.

Gradually sucks away your soul everyday you’re in lecture

Being in an hour and a half long lecture seems to just suck the soul right out of you, doesn’t it? Guess what? So do the mysterious “black things”… maybe.

Contact Catherine Straus at [email protected].

MARCH 19, 2015