The case of the missing couch
At Deakin University circa 2002, a group of students were in need of a new couch for their share house. The student union had purchased a brand new four seater for the student bar, so they hatched a brazen plan to acquire it during a university social night.
Waiting until the security guard’s back was turned, they picked it up and ran it out of the building to the cheers of tipsy onlookers. It was lumped into the back of a battered old hatchback and spirited via back streets to the thieves’ nearby lair.
The student union obviously noticed it was missing and issued a reward for information. This jangled some nerves within the gang of thieves when one of them, who was in his last year of his degree, realised the incident could prevent him from graduating if the powers that be found out.
At around 1.15am, three nights after the couch went missing, campus security received a phone call. A muffled voice at the other end of the line informed them that:
“The couch you are looking for is sitting outside building H3.”
Six out of ten ain’t bad
Back 1987, Monash University student Col Robertson had a history lecturer who was “getting long in the tooth and a bit lazy”. Robertson and his classmates suspected that the old codger wasn’t really reading their essays as they were all seemed to be receiving about 6/10, regardless of how much work they put in.
Robertson decided to get to the bottom of it. Halfway through one of his essays, he inserted the following words:
☐ Tick this box if you have read this far into my essay
The essay was returned with a mark of 6/10 and the box remaining unticked.
The students of Cambridge and Oxford Universities are renowned for throwing some of the most lavish and exclusive parties in the world. Admission is so sought after that students go to extraordinary lengths to sneak in. In fact, it’s become somewhat of a sport, with students coming up with increasingly inventive methods to pull the wool over the eyes over the security guards each year.
In an interview with student newspaper Varsity, a serial ‘ball crasher’ told of his first ever ballcrash: hiding himself in a laundry cupboard for hours until the party got under way and he and his co-crasher could ‘brave it down the staircase to join the festivities’.
Julian Dismore, a Cambridge student in the 1980s, says he stole his way in through the kitchen. Some friends placed him the dumbwaiter (a tiny freight elevator designed for transporting small items, not people, from the kitchen to the dining room) and he emerged in the middle of dinner, to the bemusement of guests.
But for all the dastardly schemes involving swimming rivers and breaking limbs, sometimes the simplest method is the best. According to one former collegian, a hockey-playing economist friend walked right in simply by pretending to talk on his mobile as he sauntered past no fewer than three security guards.