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Ashley Jiao / Columbia Daily Spectator

In what can only be referred to as a local tragedy, Columbia student Thomas Mayer camped out in the stacks for 72 hours and no one hooked up with him.

“I always hear about people hooking up in the stacks, so I said, “Okay, great, where do I sign up?’” Mayer replied when asked about his motivation for this brave endeavor. “When I realized there was no sign-up sheet, I simply packed my things and headed over. I was really looking forward to it, honestly.”

Hardship, misfortune, and adversity are just some of the words relevant to describe the fact that during Thomas’s time in the stacks of Butler Library, no one even expressed interest in kissing him on the face.

Grief-stricken Mayer, who has not showered since entering the stacks over 72 hours ago, is racking his brains over what he could have done differently.

“I tried everything. I waited in the dark corners, peeked cheekily through bookshelves, pretended to read, even. Nothing. Finally, I just started saying, ‘You, me, sex?’ That didn’t work either,” he said.

“You know? Like, I’m paying tuition to this school,” said Mayer through tears from within his sleeping bag. “I, I just don’t know what I did to deserve this.”

Mayer explained that he did have one cat-and-mouse-like encounter, one that he believes almost led to a successful mission.

“There was this one girl who I made eye contact with on stacks level eight. She laughed, and then we sort of started going back and forth through the shelves, trying to find one another. It was just like a rom-com. But then I lost her.”

“Yeah, no, I was running from that kid,” said Jessica Pruden, Mayer’s lost love. “I screamed and then I ran away. He looked like he hadn’t showered in days and was living there. I genuinely thought he was going to murder me.”

Mayer has since shared his story on social media, receiving an influx of support and sympathy. “Jessica sounds like a total bitch,” said one supporter on Twitter.

“There’s lots of us out there,” said Mayer. “Dozens, hundreds, even. Maybe thousands. And we deserve to have our voices heard. We won’t be silent any longer.”

Since ending his mission, Mayer has since decided to found a support group for people like him, calling it “Stacked Against Us.”

Venice Ohleyer is a junior at Columbia College majoring in creative writing from Brooklyn, New York. She has spent cumulatively about three minutes in the stacks of Butler Library, during all three of which no one hooked up with her. Venice can be reached at or via Instagram or Twitter.

The Invisible Hand is Spectator’s satire column on life at Columbia. To respond to this piece or submit an op-ed, email

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