The Cavalier Daily
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U.Va. “Tourapocalypse”

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a family of seven standing in the middle of the Shannon Library lobby!

<p>Despite miffed students, tour statistics show the season is off to a strong start.</p>

Despite miffed students, tour statistics show the season is off to a strong start.

As Grounds warms up and all the trees you forgot about over the winter suddenly start blooming, pollen won’t be the only allergen swarming the Rotunda — it’s time to add crowds of disgruntled high schoolers to the mix. Now that Grounds no longer resembles a Neoclassical version of District 12 from “The Hunger Games,” every academically beaten-down junior in high school is being dragged to the University by their parents. 

Following an influx of both admitted and prospective students, University Guides are on a roll and ready to share some statistics that are sure to shock the other ten-ish public universities the student body considers good enough to actually acknowledge. UCLA and UMich might have their own iconic buildings and traditions — I mean, I personally doubt it — but they’re nothing compared to the ancient tradition of flooding Instagram with pictures of the Rotunda the second the temperature gets one degree above 60. 

University Guides released some of their plans to the public for this spring’s tour season, but characteristically kept many of their strategies under wraps. All except the not-so-well-kept ambition to get future applicants hyper fixated on being a Lawnie, which should be a surprise to absolutely no one. But according to University Guides head tour guide Sue Perunaware, students should expect tour attendees to sprawl far beyond the Academical Village this spring. 

“From Shannon to Brown, U-Guides’ goal is to be everywhere this season. Literally everywhere,” Sue Perunaware said. “We’ve built up our offense by taking groups to Saxbys, which is typically a hit with everyone who forgot just how hot 70 degrees is when you’re walking up and down hills. Although I have gotten quite a few stink eyes from students waiting in an already long line.” 

Spring is a beautiful time for Guides to go on the offensive and really highlight the beauty of Grounds from the pollen-caked sidewalks to the lovely-smelling new mulch. But Guides must also plan for the inevitable cons that no University tour can hide. When asked about defensive plans for the season, Sue kept it simple. 

“We’ve been starting tours in the Newcomb Theater, so making it outside becomes a reward of sorts. Don’t underestimate the power of relativity” 

The Cavalier Daily concurs that Newcomb is an amalgamation of second rate dining establishments, a ballroom with unclear purposes, and about a million hyper-specific offices. This, of course, excludes The Cavalier Daily’s basement dungeon—turned—office. We especially love our big fishbowl windows that parents like to stare into, elbow their kids and say ‘that could be you one day’ for the twentieth time that morning. 

Upperclassmen, however, might feel less excited about the influx of prospective Hoos, proving at least two years of separation from high school is enough to wipe one’s memory of ever going through the admissions process. 

“These kids just walk around the McGregor Room in Shannon Library and stare at us like we’re zoo animals,” fourth-year Commerce student Hope Ingforadiploma said. “I even had someone’s parents take a picture of me. In portrait mode.” 

Underclassmen also noticed the influx of visitors, but felt a little less entitled to complain. At least, not after reporters for The Cavalier Daily informed them they were wearing a sweatshirt repping their former high school sports team. 

“I mean, that was definitely me last year,” Chloe Stoodeecee said. “But since I’m from NOVA, these tours just put me on edge. You really never know if half your high school is gonna be standing awkwardly on the Lawn these days.” 

Despite miffed students, tour statistics show the season is off to a strong start. U-Guides are posting at least nine well-timed verbal segues per tour, and parents are responding with five aggressive head nods per minute. 

“U-Guides actually analyzes Netflix comedy specials from comedians undergoing midlife crises to really get into that Generation X psyche,” Sue Perunaware said. “They eat it up every time.” 

However, younger siblings of attendees have created a potentially fatal distraction by asking “what all those sevens engraved in the ground mean” at least six times per tour — getting dangerously close to accidentally conjuring a Seven Society spirit apt to inform the group that they would be better suited for JMU. 

Although their wandering and endless questions are rarely a welcome interruption — the duck duck goose-esque circle in the Brown lobby will never not be puzzling — University tours are a testament to how beautiful Grounds is. But mostly they just prove that we’re better than everyone else. If that wasn’t obvious. 


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