The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

Satire | Campus Scout | Scout addresses incoming freshmen

Amy Sanchez

To whom it may concern, the Campus Scout has gone missing. 

Coming back from summer is never easy for the diminutive blue surveyor of the University campus and long-time illicit resident of the steam tunnels underneath. Spurring himself from his hibernation this year, however, is proving even more difficult than during the Great Swine Rampage of 1977.

This year, it is not wild enraged hogs that have driven Scout into hiding. If the most popular theory circulating The DI is correct, then he has disappeared out of shame. 

This is likely a new emotion for Scout, who in the past has inadvertently taken part in an underground chinchilla fighting ring and has caused multiple crises of national security. 

This sudden unnatural change for Scout likely began when his latest business venture, Campus Scones, filed for bankruptcy within a month of opening. Perhaps it was unwise, cutting its inaugural ribbon only a week before the University let out for summer. 

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Campus Scout, however, did leave behind one clue as to his whereabouts, in this letter provided below. Left on the threshold of Gregory Hall swaddled in blankets like an unwitting newborn, this letter was sealed in a coffee-stained manila envelope left over from the Cold War. 


To my longing hordes of adoring fans,

It is I, the Campus Scout. I apologize profusely for abandoning you just before we ring in the new school year, but I must take some time for myself. 

People have been relying on me lately more than I’m used to — from providing delicious morning pastries for the good folks of the local Champaign-Urbana area to continuing to pay off the damage caused by my overly enthusiastic “mob” of supporters during the Anti-Mammoth-Statue Protests of 2023.

Whatever the case for my disappearance, it matters to me and myself only. For the time being, I wish to leave advice for the incoming freshmen who have not yet been acquainted with my majesty. 

To be a freshman is to have one’s entire fate in the palm of their hands. Worry not, because no one else here knows what they’re doing anyway. 

Trust no one but yourself — this debauched campus is the Wild West, and you’re the only person who won’t tell you lies or offer you to take care of their chinchillas for a weekend. 

Your dorm room is your sanctuary away from the dangers of the outside world. Just as the steam tunnels are my Fortress of Solitude, your living space defends you from the perils of deceitful strangers soliciting you, using coercion to promote their “Pottery Club” or “Volunteering Opportunity” to satisfy their own selfish means.

In the midst of the uncertainty orbiting the mind of the college newcomer, remember to stick to your guns. Your chosen major is your anchor — your Inception-esque spinning top in times of confusion. Always remind yourself what those 17 credit hours mean: the chance to do exactly what you love from the moment you click your pen on the first day of class. 

For those desiring a lovely picnic spot, there is a beautiful little piece of land sandwiched between the Main and South Quads called the Morrow Plots. Highly recommend.

Classes often require textbooks and other materials that can be purchased from the Illini Union Bookstore. You deserve only the best, so make sure to buy the new copies instead of the musty old used ones. That extra dough spent will be worth it in the long term when you reminisce over those pristine pages in years to come. 

Days can get hot early in the school year. Luckily, the Dairy Queen located across the landing from Scout’s office in Altgeld Hall is open for business as usual and will be welcoming the expected hordes of eager students to indulge in its sweetly refreshing delights. 

Chancellor Jones is a welcoming father figure to the campus, so feel free to stop by his office anytime! He’s especially enthusiastic about tutoring students in his favorite courses, from Paper-Signing 101 to Golf Cart Driving for Beginners to Introduction to Disgruntled Employee Management!

And finally, remember to be yourself. You are a deeply unique individual, and there is no one else similar to you at all on this 44,000-student campus. 

This coming year is your oyster. Bite into it. 



Your Campus Scout


Here concludes Scout’s long meandering self-promotions disguised as cheap advice for incoming freshmen. The Daily Illini does not endorse any of the behavior mentioned by Scout, nor do any of us know when that elusive individual will finally return to campus — likely when the rest of the student population returns so he can slip in, unnoticed. 

For now, we can only enjoy the peace and quiet while it lasts …


*Campus Scout writes opinion-based, satirical stories and uses fictional sourcing.*

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About the Contributors
Campus Scout
Campus Scout is The Daily Illini's satirical columnist and is quite the character. Their identity, as per tradition, is kept a secret. Scout is known to make riveting social commentary and uses only the most reliable (fictitious) sources. Scout has been a part of the University for decades, disappearing briefly but returning as a writer in 2021 to cause a ruckus about the things that matter.
Amy Sanchez
Amy Sanchez, Graphics Editor
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