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Giant maze on campus to promote problem-solving skills

Happy April Fools’ Day! You are reading an article written for our April Fools’ edition of the newspaper, The Deceiver. This is a work of satire.

In the upcoming months, the UMBC campus will be getting a facelift, but this remodeling might surprise many people. Campus funds were allocated, not to spruce up Lecture Hall 1 or to put safe, functioning elevators in the Fine Arts Building, but to instead pursue an ambitious landscaping enterprise.

Officials have challenged landscapers with turning the campus into a ginormous hedge maze. Landscapers will be shipping in truckloads of plant-life via the Commons Loop starting in the next couple of weeks. Traffic will thus be even more congested than normal for commuters looking to park in the Commons Garage. As a way to draft out the maze, landscapers will be laying out large wooden fences all over campus, so make sure to take this all into account when leaving for class.

The maze hedges, standing eleven feet tall, will benefit UMBC wildlife by providing a home for the squirrels. There will only be one correct path that leads to each academic building, and it is predicted that there will be at least 100 dead ends. In case students get lost in the maze for long amounts of time, University Health Services will set up emergency snack stations complete with kale chips, granola bars, fruit snacks and bottled water. If a student gets lost in the maze overnight, sleeping bags can be found on the sides of the hedge maze.  Officials estimate that the new addition of the hedge maze will add at least an extra two hours to students’ class commute.

Because UMBC boasts about having innovative students, referees will be placed throughout the maze to ensure students do not attempt to climb over or go through the hedges. Students will not be allowed to create any sort of maze solving algorithm; computer science professors will be charged with enforcing this.

When asked why campus officials decided to create the hedge maze in the first place, Dr. Freeman Hrabowski stated, “UMBC is a school that actively promotes problem solving, and we believe the hedge maze will allow students to actively practice problem solving skills such as finding their way through a maze and still arriving at class on time. The addition of the maze will only reinforce UMBC values of creative thinking and punctuality.”

As a way to encourage students to be enthusiastic about UMBC’s new look, the administration has teamed up with supporting student organizations such as SEB and the Garden. SEB is planning several treasure hunts throughout the maze, and if a student is lucky, they could just find a lifetime supply of ramen sitting at one of the dead ends. The Garden will sell different types of plants to decorate the hedges in order to create a healthy new habitat for wildlife and will also sponsor nature walks during free hour.

The maze is predicted to be up and running by the start of the 2019 Fall semester. Numerous professors have already stated that they will not accept “I got lost in the maze” as a legitimate excuse for being late to class, so put those thinking caps on and get ready to solve UMBC’s newest problem.