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The Man Behind the Mystery: What is Going on with Dawson’s Escalators?

Aspen Crick & Emmy Rubin

Staff Writer & Co-Copy Editor

What is the true essence of Dawson? The Blues? Campus life? The never-ending slew of bake sales? When most students think of Dawson and what defines it, the first thing that comes to mind is the broken escalator connecting the first-floor atrium with the second floor. Although this phenomenon is so infamous, nobody knows why we are forced to live this cursed life.

Many theories have popped up, ranging from logical to fantastical. Starting with the fantastical theories, Alice Boulianne, visual arts editor, responded with a shocking idea: “I’m starting to think that there might be rats just like being a cult and trying to sabotage this whole system.” Alice, you may be onto something.

Jasper Shah, a second-year General Social Science student, believes “...maybe if this problem has only come recently, then maybe it’s like a student that’s a prankster and messes with the escalators on purpose”. While Liberal Arts Student, Lavinia Profir, provides a more rational theory: “I guess my theory on why escalators don’t work is that sometimes some student may have dropped a small object and it messes up the whole mechanism or engineers just feel like they’re slowing down or something and they want to check if there’s a problem with the mechanism itself.”

“I also wonder why it’s always the bottom one? Very often the one at the bottom that’s broken more often. So what’s going on with that?” asked third-year Interactive Media Arts student Colin Chae. What’s the story behind that, as they ask?

The answer: mission accepted. Besides being a newspaper that employs student writers, it also metamorphoses them into fledgling investigative journalists. After hearing the cries of the Dawson student body, Emmy Rubin made it her ultimate goal to find out what happened to the escalator during the “dark times” (the month the escalator didn’t work).

Not knowing where to start, Emmy started at the beginning. Who would know the escalators and the Dawson mechanical functions best? The janitors! At precisely 1:22 pm on Monday the 21st, Emmy lay in wait in the back of Conrods drinking a medium caramel ice cap. Completely anonymous, she spotted one of Dawson’s trusty custodians emptying the garbage. After a few words of encouragement from her visiting Marionopolis friend, she walked up to the custodian and demanded he tell her who was in charge of the escalator havoc. He asked if she spoke French. She tried and failed. But, swooping in, the friend managed to put Emmy’s garbled French into something that resembled a sentence. The custodian pointed them toward the 2E hallway.

Walking down to the end of 2E, Emmy had no idea where she was going. Luckily, one of Dawson’s reliable security guards was sitting in the security booth! Again, she demanded more directions from the escalator people. He asked if she spoke French. The Marionopolis friend was forced to step in. Again. Once he understood what they were looking for, the security guard gladly pointed the way to the office where they could find answers. Which was right behind them.

Charging into the office with purpose in her eyes, Emmy demanded some sort of - goddamnit - answers for the third and final time! It turns out the person who had all the answers was out. Natalie Trepanier, the Facilities Manager at Dawson, was kind enough to provide her with this source's email address. A very urgent email beseeching the source for some sort of statement, some form of an answer to the frustrating predicament of the escalators, was masterfully sent out. When no reply came for three days, Emmy realized she was being ghosted.

Not giving up just yet, Emmy returned to the office, hoping to find the source. He was out again, but he would be in the next day. The next day, back in the office, ready to end all of this madness, Emmy finally got to speak to the source. And this, dear readers, is the long-awaited explanation, the end to the conspiracies and the theories - this is the story.

Dawson has an elevator fixing company called Otis under its employ. Otis itself employs a person specially trained to fix escalators. While the source was out on vacation in October, “John retired from Otis, and they had to replace him.” Apparently, not only were they missing the most important repairman in Montreal, the man who can fix the Dawson escalators, but they were also missing a crucial part of the escalator that, without it, even with the best repairman on this godforsaken planet, the escalator still wouldn’t work. As the source put it, “The escalators are a specialty […] it was a coincidence of many things. John retired, I was on vacation, John retired […], and they were short-staffed. Our elevator people? They’re very short-staffed. They didn’t replace the escalator guy for a month.” Then, once they finally hired the new escalator-man, they had to wait for the part to come. Which took a very, very long time.

After finding out the cold hard truth of the case, Emmy was still hungry for answers instead of feeling satisfied. So, she ventured to ask the most important question: what about all the other times? To which the all-knowing source answered: “They said it was one of the safety switches on the side of the escalator that got tripped.”



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