For years at the University of Queensland, students sitting exams have been treated to the dulcet tones of invigilators: the kind retirees who ensure the safety and integrity of the examination process.
A classic warning of these invigilators is colloquially known as the ‘Misconduct Threat,’ whereby actions such as talking during the exam, using impermissible materials, or looking at another’s paper means ‘...you will be reported to your faculty, and may be charged with misconduct.’ Just a normal warning, isn’t it?
Today, that all changed. For those completing the end-semester examination for Contracts A, they were greeted with an overly-keen invigilator who, at the ripe old age of 86, told the room ‘...you may be charged with misconduct - and put to death.’
Drawing some confused looks from some of the students, the invigilator now identified as Marcus Gronson (ex-forensic accountant, lives in West End, seven grandkids) continued.
‘Misconduct has been going on for far too long. This room drips with the stench of misconduct. And the faculties are getting sick of it. I’m getting sick of it. This whole goddamn town is sick of it. So we’re taking new measures, extreme measures, deadly measures - the charge of misconduct will now formally carry the death penalty as its maximum sentence. And you can be damn sure your faculty will be seeking the maximum.’
What was initially mild concern from the students had soon grown to a strong sense of tension. Our reports from the room indicate no-one was freaking out, but it’s not like anyone was relaxed, either. It seems like there was a vague sense of anticipation; certainly accompanied by fear, but not dominated by that fear.
The invigilator was later discovered to have no employment at the University, in any way shape or form. Suspiciously, they have completely denied there even being a ‘Contracts A’ exam, and the charge of misconduct has been removed from the University rules & regulations.