Top 5 strange things at Newcastle University in 2020

Because 2021 is somehow already weirder and worse than 2020, The Lampoon is here to remind you of the good old days of last year… decade… century? Who knows anymore? Either way, let’s look back at the some of the “highlights” of our beloved Newcastle University’s recent history.

5. The rebirth of Newfess

Famously, uni students – who hate themselves already – didn’t have enough places on the internet to get into pointless arguments. To fill the gap, Newfess II, or Twofess (it’ll catch on) rose up from the ashes of its marginally better predecessor. Newfess I was a place to confess that you shat yourself on your first ever date (okay, that was just me), or that you have a weird fetish for TAK’s feet (again, that was just me). Twofess (I told you) became a place filled with more hatred than Donald Trump’s Twitter, which is of course much easier in 2021.

4. The homophobic survey

University distributed homophobia was not on our list of expectations for the year, but then as the university continually disappoints, the bar is lower than a PGR’s salary. The survey insinuated that gay people have predatory behaviour, an old-fashioned outdated stereotype propagated by 80s media. Certain students should perhaps refrain from moral panic about fictional sexual harassers and focus on the real ones allowed on campus.

3. The frog poem

The worst thing to involve frogs and solidarity in hard times since Paul McCartney made the Frog Chorus song. After the poem debacle, the University soon got the message that students wanted them to actually do something productive to benefit the wellbeing and the degree outcomes of students. Hint Hint. Chris. Hint Hint.

2. A first year student did not get covid

Barnaby, aged 19, a resident of Castle Leazes, was surprised to note that despite the whole building being riddled with COVID-19, as well as the bubonic plague given the age of that place, he did not present a single symptom. Days after noting this to authorities, he tested negative for the virus. Barnaby has since been transferred to Oxford, to be studied as a medical anomaly.

“Daddy is so proud of me managing to upgrade my university,” Barnaby told a Lampoon journalist.

It has been noted that Barnaby’s flatmates are rather glad to “have gotten rid of the posh twat”.

1. An in-person lecture

Remember the distant memory of January 2020, before the pandemic, before the strike before the pandemic, a second-year lecture took place in person in the Old Library building. Unfortunately, only 15 minutes of the two hour lecture was able to take place due to two interruptions of the fire alarm. The students did not realise that this was the last time they would set foot on campus. If they did, they would likely have shoved the canteen cook’s burnt sausages somewhere that has been redacted for the sake of the reader.

Newfess political posters ‘the new face’ of BBC’s Question Time

The BBC’s flagship political program, Question Time, is rumoured to be hiring the hottest political posters on Newfess II to be permanent panellists. The rumour started following a document leak on Twitter by a BBC staffer, and was later confirmed to be true by Director-General of the BBC Tim Davie who had this to say:

“I’ve been keeping a keen eye on Newfess over the years; from the original Newfess to the glorious period when we had two Newfess II’s jostling for the crown. One thing that was clear throughout its many different iterations is the sharp intelligence of its many political commentators. Who needs Alan Curtis to detail the complexities of the War in Afghanistan when we can have these Newfess posters tell the nation how George Bush was, in fact, ‘based’? It is for this reason that they have been chosen as the new face of British political institution”.

It is still unclear when these changes to the Question Time format will go into effect, however many predict that it will be after this year’s local elections in May.

Opinion: why being a student landlord is the new punk

When you first come to university, it’s only natural to want to reinvent yourself. The only problem is that being an “edgy Communist” is actually pretty common these days, to the point of cliché. To be punk is to be subversive and abnormal. You should make the average person consider crossing the road when you walk down the street. When you tell people at a party about what you do, they should make their excuses and find someone else to talk to.

Therefore, I propose that the new “punk” is being a student landlord.

I mean, think about it. Just the mere thought of a person providing property to a person for profit is going to trigger your average Marxist-Leninist student (and make the Marxist-Leninists with Chinese characteristics murderous). Those bleeding-heart progressives surely won’t want to associate with you, thus making your possession of a property portfolio counterculture.

And so, the rub. How does one become a landlord? Well, according to Newfess #NFII21990, you should just buy a cheap property. There was some waffle in the comments about needing an income to obtain a mortgage and needing a deposit of several thousands of pounds but that’s small stuff, don’t sweat it.

Shock poll suggests students find watching paint dry more interesting than reading Newfess

In a recent poll, students at Newcastle University were asked whether they found the submissions posted on the anonymous Facebook confessions page Newfess more or less engaging than a range of mundane tasks.

Given the ever-growing popularity of the Facebook page, it may come as a surprise that a whopping 86% of respondents claimed they would be more interested in watching paint dry than reading a Newfess post.

“I’m not saying all the posts are boring,” said English student Tom Clark. “Sometimes an edgelord posts some pretty good bait and it all kicks off in the comments, and you get to see the incels arguing with the lefties.

“But most of the time, yeah, I’d rather sit back, relax, and watch a fresh coat of Wickes do its thing.”

Watching paint dry was far from the only popular alternative. Of those polled, 72% said they would prefer doing the washing up; 65% would rather put the bins out; and 53% went so far as to say they would derive more enjoyment from actually working towards their degrees.

“It’s just, like, do the people submitting the confessions know about dating apps?” first-year sociologist Lucy Smith wondered. “I don’t care how long you’ve been single or what your kinks are, keep it in your Tinder bio. And how exactly do you think you’re going to pull someone on an anonymous confessions page anyway?”

An unnamed postgraduate student had a slightly more sympathetic view.

“I’m glad that Newfess exists,” he explained. “Especially for those sharing something personal that they’re not comfortable discussing with friends or family. But what I can’t stand is all the gossip. TM likes this, HW loves that, ER has a foot fetish. What are we, 13 years old? Is this Formspring? Wait, do people even know what Formspring is? Have I just outed myself as a boomer? Oh dear. Can you keep my name out of this?”

These poll results raise an obvious question: if the student consensus is that most of the content on Newfess is dross, what is it that keeps hundreds of people visiting the page every day? Jamie, who will be resitting first-year psychology in the upcoming academic year, was keen to give his take.

“People like crap,” Jamie offered. “That’s the gist of it. We like stuff that’s bad for us. Not just students, but like, as a country. We smoke, we drink, we vote for the Tories. And we spend all day on Newfess. That’s just how it goes.”

However, although browsing Newfess was far from the most popular option listed on the poll, it did rank above a few other activities. The results show that Newcastle students found the idea of endlessly scrolling through Newfess around twice as appealing as attending an NUSU Student Council meeting, and three times as appealing as going to a show produced by the university’s Comedy Society.

“At least with Newfess you’re just reading a load of boring drivel,” third-year medic Jade explains. “You don’t have to sit there and listen to it for two hours.”

University puts updates on Newfess after realising students more likely to read it than their emails

After the recent shutdown of Newcastle University due to the coronavirus, University and Students’ Union administrative staff began to bombard students with important updates. The University, however, was surprised to discover that students were not reading their emails, instead being concerned by more – to use the University’s Vice-Chancellor’s words – “trivial matters”. These included whether their family were okay, and whether they were going to get their degree or not. The University therefore began to look for more novel methods to get their important updates across to students.

They noticed that the University’s confessional Facebook page Newfess was still highly active and filled with questions that had already been answered in the emails. As such, University administrative staff decided to anonymously submit their updates to the website regarding the University’s upcoming 24-hour open book exams. After seeing an immediate reaction with likes flooding in, the University decided that it would start just uploading their updates to the page.

A University spokesperson told The Lampoon: “I think that some of the BNOCs on the page are quite funny. More of them than you think are now under the employment of the University to answer questions asked by students who couldn’t be bothered to read their emails.”

Outrage as Newfess revealed to be Data Mining operation

Popular Facebook group Newfess has come under fire, as it has been discovered that Newcastle University’s anonymous confession page is actually a front for a huge data mining operation.

An independent enquiry, lead by a team of Newcastle’s finest computer nerds were able to track the page’s logs, finding literally dozens of student’s data had been collected and sold off to various companies. This comes only days after the previous admin stood down from their position. The enquiry found that, though the page was initially set up with honest intentions, the new admins have manipulated the page in order to make a sizeable profit. Most shockingly of all, one of the main benefactors of this data leak was Northumbria University, who spent a whopping £57 on information gathered by Newfess.

We approached one of the new admins for comment, but we were met by a sharp team of lawyers who politely told us to “f**k off.”

One regular Newfess user, who wished to remain anonymous (naturally), had this to say. “As long as I get my daily fill of simp posting and bait, I don’t care who has my data!” A less bemused student was far more damning in their statement. “In all my decades of using Newfess, I could have never imagined they would be up to something so heinous, I thought they had integrity, but now I’m questioning whether or not Newfess is actually a good thing.”

Under Newcastle University’s by-law number 78: sub-clause C, any website or organisation associated with the university caught in data leaking activities will be subject to the full force of the University’s disciplinary proceedings. Though, given they allow stalkers to roam around without consequences, the admins needn’t be too worried.