Chicago Shady Dealer

Economics Lecturer Alan Sanderson falls for the ol’ “PhD Under a Box Propped Up by a Stick” Trick

By Reed Thurston
Nov. 11, 2015

Eyewitness reports confirmed recently that Alan Sanderson, senior Economics lecturer for the University of Chicago, was trapped underneath an upturned carboard box on the northeast corner of the quad for several hours last Wednesday, after climbing underneath it to inspect a small brown-paper parcel with the letters “PhD” inscribed on the outside in magic marker.

Not questioning why the package had been left on the ground by the sidewalk, nor realizing why it was sitting beneath a large box held up by a small oak branch tied to a string leading to a nearby bush, Sanderson was reportedly trapped in place for over three hours after the box fell down around him, leaving him with no direction of escape.

The alleged culprit responsible for the elaborate trap, local student “Sneaky” Gary Rosenberg, was apprehended by UCPD and held in Harper library for over four hours on Thursday before being released due to lack of evidence. Rosenberg was later quoted saying that “To be honest, I didn’t think it would actually work.”

He went on to explain that his plan was to trap Sanderson as a means of extorting him for a higher grade in his economics class, but that his plan failed when he realized Sanderson would have had to leave the box in order to change his grade, and was not likely to fall for the same ploy twice. After trapping Sanderson the first and only time, Rosenberg decided to simply walk back to his dorm room.

Sanderson was found later that evening after Animal Control responded to reports of a loud squirrel trapped inside a box on the quad, instead discovering him curled up asleep on the grass with a torn brown paper bag and a copy of “Doing Honest Work in College.” Sanderson remains unavailable for questioning, as he was admitted to the University of Chicago Hospital soon after the incident to be treated for acorn poisoning.