So, Campus Computer Labs lack staplers. Why not try and put them there yourself? That's the idea behind the Stapler Liberation Front. Contrary to popular belief, the SLF has nothing to do with the Campus Crusade for Chaos and Confusion since that does not officially exist. It was concieved by "Chaos Phoenix", publicized in an email sent to the usual suspects:

Subject: Stapler Liberation Front

All right, gang, it's time to get political. For too long the computer labs
of UCD have lingered in agony without staplers for the students to use. The
Friends Urging Campus Kindness promised in the last election to provide staplers,
but it looks like their noble intentions have become bogged down in the
sticky bureaucracy of the Student fnord Senate. The students of Davis need staplers
NOW, not next year! It's time for some good old-fashioned vigilante justice.

Specifically, we're going to perform a string of reverse robberies. Here's
the ideal result:

Dozens of students are sitting at the computers, and dozens more are waiting
in line. Most are probably grumbling to themselves about the lack of a
stapler. Suddenly, the door bursts open, and a dozen mysterious persons dressed in
black, with capes, top hats, and masks, rush into the room. Many are carrying
staplers. Their leader stands in front of the room, and addresses the crowd: "In
the name of the Stapler Liberation Front, and for the good of the students of
Davis, we present this computer lab with a stapler!" he shouts. The rest of
the strange warriors raise their staplers (or fists) in salute, and all shout
in unison "Free Staples For All! Ka-Chunk!" The masked strangers deposits one
stapler on the front desk, and leave as quickly as they had entered.

*lots of people
*a black outfit for everyone; hopefully (but not necessarily) with mask, top
hat, and cape
*lots of staplers--one for each computer lab, plus one for the Student fnord
Senate--yes, we're going to interrupt the Senate meeting!
*labels for the staplers, saying "brought to you by the Stapler Liberation
Front, which has nothing to do with the Campus Crusade for Chaos and Confusion"

This will be taking place THIS COMING THURSDAY (April 14). We can start at
either 4:40 or 8:10--please reply and let me know which time would work best for
you. We want a lot of people for this.

You MUST wear all black; we need to look uniform. Wear a cape if you have it;
preferably black, but better a non-black cape than no cape at all. Masks
(again, preferably black) are useful if you want to preserve your secret identity.
Hats are good too; top hats are especially sinister, but any black hat will
be fine.

It looks like we'll need staplers for the following labs:
*MU lab
*Olson basement lab 1
*Olson basement lab 2
*Olson basement lab 3
*Hutchison basement lab
*Hart media lab
Those, plus the senate, will need 7 staplers in total. We'd prefer them to be
all identical, but if we can get donated staplers, we can waive that
requirement--they DO all need to be in good working order and look good, though. Let
me know if you've got a stapler you want to donate. If we're short on staplers
we can probably skip one or two of the labs in Olson.

I've only included the open-access computer labs on this list. The
department-specific ones generally aren't as crowded, tend to be more difficult to get
to from the Quad, and often already have staplers of their own anyway.

Let me know if you've got any suggestions. And please let me know if you can
make it (and what time works best); I need an estimate of how many
participants we're going to get.

Free Staples for All!
-=-Chaos Phoenix


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2005-04-18 08:28:53   Yeah...uh...interesting idea...but inherently flawed. Who is going to refill the staplers after the first 100 people use it in the first hour. —GeorgeLewis

  • I actually talked to the Computer Management Lab board about the staplers. They talked about staplers in the years past. Staplers were not stolen (although that is what lab techs say happened). Staplers were broken. The board told me that they did not have electric staplers in the past and suggested we look into choosing to purchase electric staplers if the ASUCD were to buy staplers. Also, the staplers suggested by the boards hold 5000 staples at a time. - RobRoy

2005-04-18 12:51:47   yea... staple upkeep and replacing them when they inevitably break. also you might want to be careful about barging into 'open access' computer labs to make your message. the open access rooms are sometimes used for classes. and just being disruptive in a computer lab in general can land you in a meeting with the SJA. but i guess that's why you wear masks... lets hope you aren't recognized=p —DcLewis

Actually, my research into the activities of the Crusade indicates that they seem to go out of their way to AVOID disrupting classes. This time, they apparently even skipped a computer lab in Olson altogether just because there was a class taking place in it. Regarding staple refills, the leader reportedly told the Student Senate that now that staplers have been donated, "maintenance, security, and refilling are in your hands." —BarnabasTruman

In case you hadn't failed. The staplers were gone immediately following the operation. —GeorgeLewis

I heard that this was because the Campus Lab management took all of the staplers to test them for chemical and biological agents. They are threatening to remove the SLF from the University. The plan didn't work because the campus bureaucracy doesn't want you to be able to staple at computer labs. —BrentLaabs

Clearly the staplers weren't confiscated for testing. They were placed in the lost and found bins were all of the other staplers go that people leave in the labs. —GeorgeLewis

The lost and found bins? Weird. Perhaps the Crusaders should go reclaim their "lost' property so they can give it to the labs once again. —BarnabasTruman

That would be a good idea, however the lost and found bins are emptied at the end of every week, so the items in question are no longer there. They get sent to the UC Davis Police Department

You know, even though the staplers are gone, I'm inclined to think that the Crusaders succeeded. There certainly seems to be a great deal of chaos and confusion about the issue. I mean, confiscating staplers to test them for suspicious substances? SOMEBODY got thrown for a loop here, and it ain't the Crusade. —BarnabasTruman

The rumors are true; I was embedded in the SLF, 1st company, and I saw the operation firsthand. While I cannot comment on the extent of my activities, I must urge the student body to reject any hint of a retreat from the optimism that the SLF has brought to our ailing computer labs and to the students who use them. While the SLF may never win the battle, the fight against the fascist anti-stapler / anti-student policies will not be in vain. The victims of this brutality will not soon forget the compassion of those that dared to do the impossible to alleviate their suffering. A stapler for one is a stapler for all! From the front lines, remember to tend your victory gardens and God bless the SLF! —RobertBaron

2005-04-21 14:07:07   Does the SLF dare enter the maw of Shields computer lab, now that it is designated a 'Stapler-Free Zone', as evidenced by the wallpapering of said informative posted bills? —DanielMedinaCleghorn

Brent, the third picture is from the Hutchinson Lab that a group not affiliated with Campus Crusade for Chaos and Confusion had not entered and had not given a speech nor had they place any stapler in a lab that had nothing to do with computers. —RobertBaron

2005-05-05 05:34:49   The school can't afford staplers ... but we're going to Division 1. Can't afford staplers but they are putting together a health sciences district, 1 new DC, new dorms, new math building, watershed resource center, rennovation on no less then 4 buildings ... staplers are expensive you see. —ChristopherMckenzie

you forgot the new open access lab in the Sci-Lab building —RohiniJasavala

2005-05-05 10:12:37   robert, i know you probably took those pictures with their phone, but man, they're awesome. especially the lighting in the first one. —ArlenAbraham

  • I know, the lighting is fantastic. Did I mention I used to take photographs for Vogue? —RobertBaron

2005-05-05 13:46:03   I have had resounding success with my efforts in Shields. Wallpapering the lab with signs and highlighting the text has worked wonderfully. Since I put them all up, I have not received a single stapler question. Not even the 'so, you don't have a stapler, huh?'. And again - if this is such a big deal to you, take it up with ASUCD. I tried to help Rob, but I have heard zero progress on anything. And I find it very difficult to believe that a CRC would tell someone that a stapler was stolen, especially when there's a communication taped to a CRC desk in Hutchinson explaining exactly why staplers were decommissioned. Go buy your own stapler for $3. School doesn't provide pens and pencils, so what's the difference. Be self sufficient. —DanielMedinaCleghorn

  • I can recognize how annoying it is to be asked over and over about staplers, but you probably get questions so often because it seems like something reasonable the labs could provide. School actually does provide pens in situations where people use pens (e.g. the Post Office). They don't give you a pen, but you wouldn't be giving someone a stapler, either. Also, most students could readily purchase a printer and print from home. The whole purpose of the computer labs is to provide a service to the students.
    • Do professors bring pens to lecture for me? No. Does the library have pens I can use? No. The labs don't provide pens either, the pens in the cups are just ones people leave behind.
      • If one pen could suffice for an entire lecture hall (like how only one stapler per lab is all that's needed) perhaps professors would have a pen for you.
  • It comes down to: what is the point of the computer labs? Is it to help students and provide them a place to work on papers (and staple them) so they can have a place to go on campus? We are paying a shitload in tuition, you'd think a stapler would not be such a big deal to provide. It's not like CRC employees do anything but sit on their ass and chat on AIM through their whole shift.
    • We do a lot more than you think we do. There is so much going on behind the scenes. -Sir George Edison Lewis
      • Actually, whenever I talk to someone who works in the computer labs as a CRC or in Tech Support, they generally think that CRCs don't do that much. Unjamming a stapler takes like two minutes and it would only happen like twice a day. I'm starting to think CRC people are hella lazy. —BrentLaabs
      • hehehe. Regardless of whether CRCs are lazy, there is a lot of stuff that goes on behind the scenes. Once again, the problem isn't that CRCs would have to unjam a stapler or reload them, the problem is students are stupid and they break things. With aggressive use, the head of the stapler, or whatever it is called (the part that actually pushes the staple down) gets damaged and the stapler becomes worthless. -Sir GEL

2005-05-05 21:36:14   I'm guessing that most of what need to be stapled are assignments and papers. Why not turn this around and start a movement to encourage more professors to accept electronic submissions? Surely that is something that R4 Recycling could get on board with, and the various people who support IT in education could help professors with learning how to mark up PDFs instead of paper. —JasonAller

  • That may be a good idea too, but this is about staplers dammit!! Until the day of electronic submission comes into vogue, the stapler demand still exists!-jd
  • Electronic documents are more time consuming to grade. Nothing beats the speed of a red pen.
    • Except for certain documents that happen to be easier to grade electronically, we'd usually print out any electronic submissions for grading purposes. Of course this defeats the whole point of saving paper, but it still removes the need of a stapler for the student (: -Jevan
  • Electronic Grading: When the Tablet is Mightier than the Pen is worth a read. It covers the pros and cons of electronic grading and has a link to the duplex program at Drexel University.

2005-05-09 18:12:24   I like the idea of electronic submission, I think it's something that needs to be taken seriously, despite the fact that profs would rather have a hard copy and that students would probably rather get their papers back and be able to flip through them. The whole idea of the paperless office hasn't really taken off unless you consider PDAs replacing post-it notes and emails replacing memos. As for the CRCs 'sitting on their ass and chatting on AIM', you must not go into the labs in the middle of the day - I assure you nobody is on AIM (it's not even on the computers), and sitting down is less frequent than you'd think, especially in a big lab. Your assumption that it's not a big deal to provide a stapler must be based on ignorance of every argument against putting the staplers in the lab. It obviously was a big enough deal that they had to take them out. Considering the fact that the time the CRCs trying to help people figure out how to print and fix printers and assuage those who can't open docs etc. etc. etc., was being overrun by fixing and refilling staplers, it totally changed the focus of the job. CRCs are supposed to help clients with computer related problems, not poke around inside a stapler trying to unjam it. The money it cost to supply and maintain those staplers was getting out of hand, so they stopped it. No amount of bitching on the wiki pages is going to make money magically appear, and like I said before, I gave Rob info and concerns from CRCs, and nothing's been done. If you want to complain about the lack of staplers, talk to the guy who made it an issue and then dropped it on its ass. He'll blame CLM for not getting back to him, but how many appointments has he made? I find it inconceivable that you can't forgo a beer or a soda or whatever for one day and buy yourself a stapler from the bookstore. School is there to provide you with stuff you may not already have (ARC, computer, printer, etc.), they're not there to hold your hand and tell you when it's naptime. And I fail to see how making a cardboard stapler is sadistic. Sadistic might be putting a stapler out with nothing in it and saying that there are no staplers to use. It's advertisement, designed to catch the eye. Think of it as an informational display. The idea of posting locations of public staplers is a good idea, that's something that deserves to be looked into. Constructive ideas are what's needed to stop a argument, not disparaging comments and uninformed assumptions. If you want to fix this, grab a wrench, don't just bang a hammer for some attention. -DanielMedinaCleghorn

  • Daniel, I am confused on how you are against "disparaging comments and uniformed assumptions." This is especially odd considering your comments are full of them. Let me do you the favor and provide you with some constructive ideas: 1 - The actions of the SLF have brought allowed this issue to gain public attention, 2 - The time and will that it took to make a fake giant stapler could be viewed as sadistic, or maybe it is sign of misplaced energy on behalf of the CRCs. Either way I'll be constructive and not that those actions, while not overtly sadistic, are only a reaction and not a solution. It Cannot be an "advertisement" because there is nothing being sold in the computer lab. Please try to understand the frustration of students and support the right course of action, and please don't try to debunk it with your own "disparaging comments and uniformed assumptions." Thank you. —RobertBaron
    • Robert, while I recognize the SLF has brought the issue to public attention, they weren't very effective in the way they went about it. It generated a few mentions in the Aggie, consequent removal of the staplers, and some posting on the forum. The campaigning senators did a much more effective job of raising awareness of the issue. While I support the idea of independent groups for 'vigilante justice', and personally found the SLF amusing, they really didn't do much in the way of attracting public attention. The stapler was an advertisement: Merriam-Webster states an advertisement is '2 : a public notice; especially : one published in the press or broadcast over the air'. It's a public notice, it got attention, it's no different than a billboard. It's not sadistic - it wasn't designed with malicious intent, only to make very clear the absence of a stapler in the lab. I understand the frustration of the students, and I see your point and understand the principle you're standing behind. I must reiterate my position that it is under the responsibility of ASUCD to remedy this situation. They are elected to represent the student body, and as this is an issue affecting the student body, their duty is to resolve the issue. If you would like to bring it up at an ASUCD meeting, please tell me the time and I will try to be there. Personally, I have nothing against staplers in the labs, but the current situation prevents that. If ASUCD can either provide this service as a courtesy to students, or work with CLM as representatives of the student body, perhaps a solution could be reached. I feel that using the system designed for just this sort of issue is the best way to avoid needless arguments and create an answer to the problem in an effective manner.

2005-05-13 00:58:16   That's a good idea, kudos for doing your research. I don't know how flexible CLM can be with stuff like donations or working out a deal with OfficeMax, my guess would be that they would have to be entirely self sufficient. However, I'm sure CLM would be more than happy to host staplers in the lab if ASUCD wanted to pay for it, or if they could receive some dedicated funding towards it. The most effective thing I can suggest is run it by a senator and have them make a serious proposal to CLM, and do it thoroughly. Whoever can pull it off gets knighted by the student body. —DanielMedinaCleghorn

  • I'm would venture to guess that the more publicity that is generated around the lack of staplers in computer labs, and the increasing perceived level of salience of the issue among students, could compel the ASUCD Senate to appropriate funding to place permanent staplers in the computer labs. After all, they bought a fire truck to launch tube socks, the least they could do is help students print and staple their papers before turning them in. The only argument against this would be the cost of the staplers, but cost is hardly a constraint on that body of governance. —RobertBaron

2005-05-13 11:43:33   You must've gotten this question a thousand times, but I'm going to ask it anyway: Why don't you just buy you're own? They're only a couple of bucks. —JesseSingh

  • Some reasons:
    • Because some students don't have enough money to eat, and should be spending money on food instead of staplers.
    • Because it's an extra thing to carry to campus, and takes up a lot of space.
    • Because people might forget to bring a stapler to campus one day, and still need to turn in a paper.
    • Because it would be environmentally unfriendly to have everyone buy a stapler.
    • Because it would be economically unfriendly to have redundant staplers.

I hope this clears it up for you. —BrentLaabs

2005-05-13 13:30:35   Fair enough —JesseSingh

2005-05-18 15:41:28   I seriously don't see how having a mini stapler will take up oh-so-much space in a student's backpack. Almost 98% of the student population bring cell phones which are bigger than a mini stapler. So they have space for a cell phone but not a stapler? Does not make sense to me. In addition, $2-3 that can be invested for at least one year cannot be compared to a $2-3 investment on food for one meal. Of course, students have to eat, but I highly doubt $2-3 will make that much of a difference. If you can spend that amount on alcohol or going out to party, I'm sure you can use it in a more useful way. Lastly, get a mini stapler and keep it in your backpack. That way, you will NEVER forget it. As for the eco-friendly point, I agree on that. —JennKwan

  • Except a student wouldn't be carrying a cell phone OR a stapler at this point, but both.
  • Staplers can frequently get crushed in backpacks to the point of no longer functioning correctly. At least, this is what always happens to mine.
  • Keeping a stapler in your backpack only means you 'never forget' it if you never use it. Once it comes out you can always forget to put it back in.
  • Why are we still talking about this? The CSIF labs have staplers available for students and it works fine. Why is providing a convenience to students such a huge issue? - TravisGrathwell
    • The CSIF Labs dont get anywhere close to the amount of traffic that CLM labs do. -GEL

2005-05-18 17:48:35   I hear they're raising student fees next year. But let's focus our energy on staplers. —JesseSingh

This staple-less stapler joins your papers by punching a small, neat hole in your documents and folding the remaining flaps together for a secure binding. No paper is torn off of your sheets, and no staples are necessary. 4 or 5 sheets maximum

2005-06-14 00:24:15   Has anyone ever thought about a Staple*less* stapler?? Sure they're cheap plastic, but only $5.95 ea, and I've seen heavier duty metal ones. —DanFisher

2005-06-14 00:54:42   Yeah. Kinda like dog-earing it. It can be done; it's not appreciated. —SS