Stockholm Syndrome at Carnegie Mellon

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Pictured: Stockholm [top] and Carnegie Mellon [bottom], see the similarity?

January 12th, 2014, a snowy CMU campus shows signs of life under its hardened coat. Students laugh and chatter in the distance, a bright noise that floats down dorm halls and flits playfully from between the UC’s pillars. It is a scene that would have been unheard of just three weeks prior, during Finals Week. In those bleak and (strangely) warmer times, embattled students emerged from their caves only to shotgun coffees and stare across the Cut, dreaming of a day they would touch ragged foot and suitcase wheel to the sidewalk on the other side.

Yet when readme returned to campus on the 11th, it found itself in the midst of a completely different CMU than it had left. As it scoured the walks and libraries for the latest scoop, a strange trend emerged among the natives; people seemed… upbeat. readme’s suspicions were confirmed later that day when the Tartan failed to reject its daily marriage proposal (rolling your eyes is like a soft “maybe”, right?). Even in light of the happy news, something had obviously gone horribly wrong in CMU. It was up to readme to find out exactly what that was and mend the situation if possible. readme turned to head scientist and resident pop psychologist John J.J. Schmidt for answers.

“This is slowly turning into an obvious case of Stockholm Syndrome.” John Schmidt revealed to readme as they settled down in his office for hard boiled eggs. And what exactly did that mean?

“It’s the phenomenon where victims start to feel some sort of empathy for their captors and in some extreme cases even start to side with their captors,” John explained, picking egg shells out of his teeth, “The term was coined in Stockholm, Sweden, when the hostages of a bank robbery spent so much time with their captors that refused help from the police at one point. And you can definitely see the parallels in this situation.”

So what could readme possibly do for CMU students? How could an entire campus possibly be cured of Stockholm Syndrome on such a rampant level?

“What? The students?” John said, “No, CMU students are fine. It’s the post-break second wind. I’m talking about you and the Tartan. You gotta leave the poor woman alone.”

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