This anonymous release seems satirical, but all of it is actually true (except for the part about the typists).
ASUCD TO WASTE COLOSSAL AMOUNT OF PAPER FOR NO REASON
800+ page document will be printed, bound, and confined to 348 Memorial Union
NEWS ADVISORY EXCLUSIVE!
For immediate release: March 11, 2004
DAVIS - After closed deliberations, four ASUCD officials have decided to print 800+ pages of computer data for no clear reason. The 800+ pages will be available for public viewing in room 348 of the UC Davis Memorial Union during regular business hours. Admission will be free and open to the public beginning at a time still to be announced.
ASUCD staff members ordered the print job after students requested an electronic version of the data from a recent ASUCD election. The officials opted against using a contemporary digital format and chose instead the more primitive, more costly, and maximally inconvenient format known simply as "paper".
The unusual decision was made by a committee of veteran staff members including ASUCD Student Government Advisor Vicki Swett, ASUCD Business Manager Mark Champagne, ASUCD Creative Media Director Alex Park, and ASUCD Elections Committee Chair Mary Ball. This is not the first time their preference for paper has shown.
According to Ball, the 800+ pages will be "bound and kept in SGAO." This is similar to the manner in which the ASUCD Constitution, Codes and Bylaws are stored. Apparently the document will have no say in the matter, for Ball has stated definitively that "it will not be allowed to leave SGAO." The public security risk of the pages, if any, could not be determined at press time.
Students had simply wanted to tally the data for evaluation purposes, a constitutional right guaranteed by the ASUCD Constitution. But by converting the data from digital into paper format, officials preempted that possibility. Any analysis would now require a Herculean grassroots effort on a scale never before achieved.
The data would first need to be converted painstakingly by hand from paper back into its original machine-readable format. At 30 words per minute on a laptop, students would need to type inside room 348 for approximately two and a half months straight -- provided they are present during all regular business hours.
Volunteer typists with good data-entry experience are actively being sought. It was not clear at press time whether the SGAO will allow typists to use chairs, ergonomic or otherwise.
Says one student, "I have to hand it to them. The committee's decision is a bureaucratic stroke of genius -- a classic stonewall. The waste of paper is equally impressive."
Says another, "It's brilliant. The data was electronic to begin with. So by printing it onto paper they effectively made it impossible to analyze. It's almost as if ASUCD has made things less convenient for students. The customer service is amazing, a tour de force -- a true model of efficient, responsive, and just plain old good government."