Anti-backwards walking law enacted since too many tour guides are getting injured

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Evelyn Pierce / The Bucknellian

Abbey Nay, Contributing Writer

Exciting news came out of BSG this past Wednesday, as Congress voted to pass The Backwards Walking Prevention Act, a law banning the practice of backwards walking on campus. Backwards walking has wreaked havoc on Bucknell’s tour guide population. The Act comes in response to the influx of campus tour guide injuries, many of whom advocated for the law. It’s that time of year when overly-eager parents drag their uninterested children on a college tour, and between the guides answering questions, being distracted by bored faces of high schoolers and showing campus, it’s no wonder Student Health has been inundated with ailing tour guides.

A proponent of The Backwards Walking Prevention Act, tour guide Eiffel Down ’25, was the most recent victim of backwards walking. “My whole life flashed before my eyes,” Down said. She fell coming out of the ELC because she was preoccupied with explaining meal plans, because a parent couldn’t grasp the idea of “unlimited swipes.” Down sprained her ankle, but she was able to finish the tour. “I don’t know what’s more humiliating,” she said, “limping the rest of the tour, or being helped up by some random dad in front of a group of frat guys.” Down’s ankle healed in a week, but she still felt lingering effects, “My ankle’s fine, but now whenever people see me, they yell, ‘Have a nice summer, see you next fall!’ and a crowd of people wait for me to leave the ELC and every time I step off the ledge, they clap. My new nickname is The Walking Dread. Backwards walking not only causes physical injury, but it hurts one’s dignity as well.”

The Backwards Walking Prevention Act also commissioned a new division of Public Safety called the Walking Patrol. Walking Patrol officers will be stationed around campus to make sure all guides and students follow the new guidelines implemented by the Act. Lawmakers in BSG toyed around with the idea of having undercover Walking Marshals in every tour, but they are still working out the kinks, because on a trial run a guide started walking backwards out of habit and the Marshal tackled him.

Despite the early setback, many are still hopeful. Ike Antwok ’24, another tour guide victim of backwards walking, expressed his excitement for the Act. “I’m so glad we have forward thinking people ready to step up and make changes,” Antwok said. He added, “The Act is definitely a step in the right direction.”

Those in the Office of Admissions are hopeful as well. They released a statement saying, “We will keep putting one foot in front of the other alongside the Walking Patrol to ensure that moving forward, we keep our tour guides moving forward.”

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