Lecture halls can contain a great variety of characters. Each room is a melting pot of backgrounds, interests, and personality traits. One thing that everyone has in common, however, regardless of their differences, is that they’re human. Or are they? It was recently revealed that several engineering classes have been using robots disguised as Homo sapien women to make the program seem less male-dominated.
The façade fooled students for a good while. “I noticed that none of them ever responded when I asked them how their day was,” said first-year student Cuomo Rivers, “But most women react that way when I talk to them, so I didn’t think much of it.”
The illusion of a truly co-ed faculty was shattered when a short circuit caused Jane Lovelace’s head to catch fire, coincidentally during a class on electronic circuitry. Multiple students fainted due to shock. Magdelina French, one of the few real women in engineering, was wheeled to the infirmary after the incident. “I thought Jane, I mean, that bot, was my friend,” French said, averting eye contact, “we shared notes and everything. But now that I really think about it, hers were always in binary code… I just thought she was quirky and cool.”
“Look, most of these first-year boys are naïve, and they’re hoping to meet girls in their classes,” explained assistant department chair Nick Teslon, trying to justify the robots’ creation. “If they go into an engineering lecture and see nothing but a sea of guys in Casio calculator watches, they’re gonna lose interest and switch into Art History. By using these robots, we’re keeping that futile hope alive. Once they start their second-year classes – at least the ones who haven’t dropped out yet – they’ll realize that no engineering student could succeed with real women. But by that point, they would have dedicated so much time, energy, and sleepless nights to the program that they’d have no choice but to keep going.”
According to an anonymous university official, Teslon and other faculty administrators aren’t likely to face significant punishment. “I mean, they definitely violated the fire code, but aside from that, they didn’t break any specific rules. The use of robots in place of students isn’t technically banned. No one ever thought any department would be that desperate for good optics.”