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BREAKING: GSR Disputes Will Now Be Settled With Staring Contests


Think of the most revolutionary invention to exist. You guessed it! Group study rooms. Every day, some of Penn’s best and brightest compete to book 30-minute time slots in tiny box-shaped rooms that don’t have windows. Students can only book 4 time slots at a time. Due to an uptick in annoying roommates at Penn, Penn Mobile has seen more traffic than ever before. Booking a study room has become more competitive than most Division 1 sports. Even now, I am scouring the app for a GSR in Biotech Commons next month, but alas, there are none left. America runs on Dunkin, but the University of Pennsylvania seems to run on the competitive nature of booking GSRs.

I, for one, am very familiar with the song and dance of GSR behavior. Does this make me a genius? Probably.

Let’s take a look into one of my recent GSR excursions: It's Tuesday morning. I show the woman at the front desk in Biotech my green pass. She hisses at me. Fair enough. I walk up to room five (that's right, the one that seats eight people) knowing that I would be the only one occupying the room. It’s 11:31, and a group of people is still in the room. How dare they betray the laws of Penn Mobile! They seem to be writing the formula for some sort of a potion on the board, must be chemistry. I stare through the glass door and wave. They give me a look of despair. I watch as they erase hours of work from the numerous whiteboards. They finally exit, but the scent of their desperation and yogurt remains. I sit down anyway and pull out my 2019 Rose Gold MacBook Air. I turn on the lecture that I recently skipped and play 2048 in a separate tab. Oh, how I love being a part of the Ivy League!

I felt rude making those students leave the GSR. They were obviously doing more important work than I was. I totally could have watched the lecture in my room. Oh well.

The issue with GSRs is that the quantity demanded exceeds the quantity supplied, and sometimes this shortage causes issues among students. For example, last week a GSR dispute in Van Pelt ended in a Castle-style brawl. In response to this occurrence and in alignment with Pennsylvania’s anti-bullying laws, Penn has decided that staring contests will now decide who gets to stay in the GSR. That’s right. If I get to a GSR at 8:00 am, all I have to do to protect my territory for the entire day is beat any brave challenger in a staring contest. No more Penn Mobile. First come, first serve. Buffet-style, if you will.

So go stock up on your eye drops and blue light glasses—dry eyes are now a major vulnerability. BLINKING IS FOR THE WEAK.