By Nathan Schmidt
Over the past few weeks, the university’s Writing Center has suffered a major drop in attendance due to an attempt at advertisement gone disastrously awry.
Posters have been put up around campus depicting a word search autocomplete, as on a phone, with answers that describe services offered by the Writing Center. While most of the poster is fairly innocuous, it was unfortunately decorated with a cartoon drawing of Lucas the Stag that is so frighteningly malformed that it has driven students to actively avoid the service it’s advertising.
“It looks like Scooby-Doo and Mickey Mouse had a genetic monster kid together and then jammed a pair of antlers into its skull,” said Cassandra Compton ‘20, who has sought out help at the Writing Center for numerous essays and projects over the years. “It looks like someone tried to draw a cartoon stag without knowing how to draw stags or humans. It’s a self-contained argument for university censorship. I feel dirtier just for knowing I’m part of the same institution as this thing.”
Regrettably, the Writing Center is only the latest victim in a long line of unsettling disturbances caused by the bad illustration. That one same nightmarish rendition of Lucas has been in use on campus in various capacities since the 1980s, and it is considered part of the university’s classic aesthetic despite its obviously unlikable appearance. Accordingly, even works like this recent poster, which was clearly designed to appeal to the smartphone-using students of the 2010s, are tainted by an art style that was likely out of touch even when it was first drawn.
University freshman Thomas Moore ‘22 came forward as saying, “I had been kind of on the fence about going to the Writing Center, but this pretty much killed it for me. I don’t think I want to get involved with whoever thought this cartoon was a good idea. It’s like, actually creative how bad it is. You ever seen a cartoon character with two skulls inside one head before? Because that’s basically where we’re at.”
It is unclear how long the Writing Center staff intends to keep the posters up, but in the meantime, students are advised to simply not look at the walls when the woeful advertisements are nearby.