Media outlets and students were left puzzled by the hoax Foundation Day announcement that the UNSW Student Representative Council had approved a bid for the Sydney Metro Monorail.
The story was picked up by MX and ABC News Radio’s Sandy Aloisi, even thought the press release was riddled with numerous red-herrings, including references to the non-existent University of New South Wales Student Association and the $4 million funding pledge to that organisation from the University.
Whilst some students realised the announcement was another in a series of Foundation Day pranks, others emailed and tweeted their disagreement to the plan.
About time to fix the transport at UNSW. We’re buying a monorail! http://t.co/jGTdeSQg
— Andrew Boyton (@boyto_) July 26, 2012
So proud of my former uni, UNSW wanting to get the monorail. Can't wait for the escalators that lead to nowhere next.
— Delly the Nutpuncher (@PizzaIsPiquant) July 26, 2012
Wait what? The Frontpage story for MX is about the #UNSW SRC wanting to buy the Sydney monorail! O.o
— Kai Adin Cooper (@KaiAdin) July 26, 2012
UNSW students in a serious bid to buy Sydney's monorail for $1.2 million, because they get tired walking around the campus. True story!
— Fumin Rianto (@fuminrianto) July 26, 2012
UNSW students want a monorail on campus. Clearly they haven't noticed the one in the CBD & how this would be a BAD idea http://t.co/uLZGvkjH
— Jayce (@SoYoureJayce) July 26, 2012
Several students communicated their concerns to the UNSW Chancellery, a step some parts of the media clearly failed to consider. One student told Pro-Vice Chancellor (Students) Wai Fong Chua she was concerned about the safety and aesthetic repercussions.
“I believe this monorail will ruin the beautiful campus we already have, by cluttering it up, making the campus more urban like the city, and negatively affecting the serene atmosphere we have now,” the email read.
Nevertheless Tim Kaliyanda, President of the SRC, was clearly bemused by the reaction. He had been listed as the contact person in the media release, receiving countless calls late into the night on Foundation Day.