During the 11:00–11:10 a.m. passing time last Tuesday, LSA junior and resident prankster Robert Hyland reportedly deployed five stink bombs into the Mason Hall girls’ bathroom, causing an uproar among students and faculty, most notably University president Mark Schlissel.
Schlissel, who was passing by, flipping through a manila folder and generally keeping an eye on things to make sure everyone was keeping in line during passing time, looked up suddenly after hearing a shrill voice yell, “But this is the girls’ bathroom!” Schlissel was reportedly shocked (but not too shocked, he later said) to see Hyland dashing out of the girls’ restroom.
“Stop running!” Schlissel shouted to Hyland. “No running in the halls!”
“Oh no! the Schliss!” Hyland reportedly exclaimed, stopping in his tracks.
“Into my office, young man! Right now!” shouted Schlissel with conviction, pointing in the general direction of the Fleming Administration Building. “Oh God, what’s that smell?”
Ten minutes later, after calling in the janitors, Schlissel sat down at his desk and sighed before remembering to stand up again, open his door and mutter, “Bobby, you can come in now.” Hyland, looking down, came in and sat down in the plastic chair pulled aside from the waiting room.
“So, Bobby, what is your deal today?” Schlissel implored. “What do you think you are, some sort of smartass?” Schlissel let the moment sit so that Hyland would understand he was really upset.
“Bobby, please don’t. Please don’t cry! I apologize for swearing. I’m just really upset with your decision-making today. What made you think this was a good idea, huh?”
According to sources, Hyland looked up at Schlissel through his hands momentarily, but started bawling before being able to speak. Schlissel put his hand on Hyland’s shoulder to try to comfort him.
“I. Just. Want. Katie. To. Think. I’m. Cool,” Hyland said, clipped, between frantic breaths. “I. Want. People. To. Think. I’m. Funny.”
“Now Bobby, you are funny, but you need to consider the consequences of your actions,” Schlissel explained. After lecturing and consoling Hyland for ten minutes, Schlissel asked the LSA junior to promise that he wouldn’t pull any of his pranks anymore.
Later that day, a group of Hyland’s friends who cite him as somewhat of a leader congregated around his table during lunch at the South Quad Dining Hall.
“So what’s the deal, big man, what happened in there?” freshman Wyatt Abner asked while wapping him on the arm.
“Well, let’s just say that me and the Schliss are pretty tight now,” Hyland said confidently, while raising his eyebrows.