On Friday, following the University’s decision to switch to online classes in response to the outbreak of COVID-19, Dean of Students Allen Groves sent an email to the University community reiterating the message for students not to return to Grounds after spring break.
“If you can return home, we need you to do so as soon as possible,” Groves’ email read. The request applies to students in both on- and off-Grounds housing.
According to an anonymous source from within the Charlottesville community, Groves was spotted Saturday morning, along with University President Jim Ryan, installing elaborate booby traps à la the 1990 Christmas classic “Home Alone” (dir. Chris Columbus) in locations across Grounds to ensure that students stay away from Charlottesville until the threat of coronavirus is contained. Both men were outfitted in full hazmat suits.
Specifically, Groves was reportedly seen heating all of the door knobs in Old Dorms with a blowtorch and scattering toy cars throughout the halls to make returning students slip and fall. Ryan, on the other hand, was observed perching buckets of paint and bags of feathers over the New Dorms doors and placing jacks inside rooms beneath the windows, presumably in hopes of impaling any students who attempt to sneak in by less conventional means.
The Courtenay, Dunglison and Fitzhugh dorms were left undisturbed, as the men couldn’t imagine anyone wanting to return to them anyway.
Aside from dorm-specific measures, Groves and Ryan were later spotted running tripwire across sections of McCormick Road and Rugby Road, placing cardboard cutouts of police officers in front of Boylan and Trin, and buying up the city’s entire supply of White Claw to deter any would-be revelers.
At this time it is unknown whether Groves and Ryan, alone at the University and free from the watchful eyes of the Board of Visitors, have engaged in any juvenile antics such as eating copious amounts of junk food, watching violent movies, or applying aftershave to their baby faces (much to their own discomfort).
Neither Groves nor Ryan was available for comment at press time. WUVA will report more on this situation as it develops–especially if someone gets hit in the groin with the BB gun Jim Ryan rigged to fire in the OHill dining hall. That would be hilarious.