Satire | Campus Scout | How to protest in 5 easy steps

By Campus Scout

There is a loud boom outside the closet in which Campus Scout sleeps. He jolts, rudely whisked back to reality. 

With a groggy head, he hears someone outside ask loudly, “What is a woman?” He shakes his head — Gregory Hall has always been his favorite nap spot, but now people are asking ridiculous questions at the top of their lungs. 

Scout cracks open the door and peers outside, seeing a line of people with signs welcoming somebody named Mark Welsh — or at least that’s what his sleep-induced blurry vision can make out. 

The people right outside seem excited, but the people further down the hall and outside the doors seem less than thrilled. Scout shakes his head again, retreating back into the broom closet.

An idea forming in his mind, Scout decides to establish once and for all the correct procedures for protesting — it might help the poor souls outside. He moves aside the brooms and mops, grabs his bedazzled dream journal and begins to write a series of steps

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He entitles it, “Letter from a Champaign-Urbana Closet.”

Step 1: Invest in markers

Scout recommends the 12-pack of Black Uline Sharpie Professionals on sale for a mere $50 from its producer’s website, but anything durable will work to get the message across. Also, to conserve marker juice, write as few words on the signs as possible. 

The punchier and shorter the message, the better. In this specific case, Scout recommends “I Do Know What a Woman Is!” since that seems to be the point of contention. 

Step 2: Start a conversation

Not one with the opposing side, silly. Scout knows it’s difficult to talk to those with irrational dissenting opinions, so he recommends gathering all the protesters of common beliefs into one big online chat room for planning purposes. 

The best thing about an echo chamber is that everything is easier to hear. 

Step 3: Stay mysterious

If the opposing side doesn’t know their enemies’ message, then how can they refute it? Scout recommends that all aspiring protesters out there keep their motives a complete secret.

Remember those concise signs? Keep them succinct but as vague as possible. Grab some industrial-grade ink remover and write “Woman Are!” instead. 

Communication is for couples, journalists and therapists, not the chosen few destined to protest. 

Step 4: Blindly charge, sword drawn

It’s good to remain informed, but any worthy cause is self-explanatory. Scout believes in immediate action — the first impulse is always the most genuine.

Researching the opposition is an unnecessary task. As long as a protester knows what they’re doing, they don’t have to worry about dissenting opinions. 

A football team doesn’t have to know the play the other team is going to run. The same goes for protesting — only instead of yelling play calls, they’ll be loudly proclaiming those concise slogans mentioned earlier. 

Step 5: What is a right? 

Perhaps it is the continuous banging and repeated shouting of the phrase that woke him up, but Scout cannot shake the question — if we’re really so curious about what a woman is, then what is a right?

Scout peers outside again. All the Mike Waltz fans are still there. Scout scans the crowd for the protesters, dream journal in hand. 

They remain as well. Scout begins to exit, but a man bursts out of the packed lecture hall, enlightenment in his eyes.

“I know what a woman is!” he exclaims as he runs past. The people nearby cheer as he passes. The people at the end of the hall express their discontent, ready to make real admirable gestures of protest. 

Scout retreats into the closet. He furiously erases Step 5 and writes instead:

Step 5: Remember your rights

Scout especially recommends the First Amendment. It’s one of the classics, and it will serve any protester well. 

Exercise it. Just remember, it applies to everyone, so use it wisely and particularly. 

And if anyone finally finds out what a woman is, please let Mick Watts know.


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