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President Lachemi spotted on campus minding his own business

By Fatima Raza

Disclaimer: The content in this story is entirely fictional, as shocking as that might seem.

A student at Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) has claimed to have seen President Mohamed Lachemi far too many times on campus in one day.

In what appears to be a glitch in the matrix, first-year fashion student Sleida Hausboots has come forward, saying she’d spotted the “campus celebrity” four times in one day.

Seeing him was the last thing she expected to happen last Tuesday. During her commute to campus, she was far too busy mentally critiquing every stranger’s choice of clothing to even consider the odds of meeting someone important, like the president or Peepeepoopoo man.

When she reached Union Station during peak morning rush hour, her eyes immediately landed on a suited man hovering by the Presto loading machines. Though Hausboots was fashionably late for class, she stood there for a moment observing the man struggle to free his card from his wallet.

“At first, I was like ‘slay,’ we love a classy man who commutes to save the environment,” she said. Little did Hausboots know that she would soon realize the man was none other than TMU’s one and only president.

As the president headed for the escalators behind Hausboots, she could have sworn the world went into slow-motion and the entire Bay Concourse froze in their steps.

As any student does when witnessing something mildly newsworthy, Hausboots snapped a photo, sent it to the school group chat with a witty ‘Should I ask him to pay my tuition lol’ and moved on with her day.

When she arrived on campus, she was surprised to see a huge line outside of Balzac’s. Upon pushing her way through the crowd, she thought everyone was gathered to collectively judge one person’s “hideous pairing” of camouflage and neon.

“Like, where else is he supposed to be?”

“I was gagged,” she said. “Like are you trying to blend in or stand out?”

To her surprise, no one even batted an eye at the human highlighter and instead were whispering rumours that the president was apparently paying for everyone’s orders that day. 

Third-year business student Fai Nanshel-Brough never even fathomed that the president was a real person who existed.

“Dude, this is awesome. I didn’t even know the president was real,” he said, sipping from a caramel iced latte. “I’m definitely going to invest the money I saved today.”

For Putcho Masqon, an alumnus of the public health program, deciding to pass through campus for an almond croissant was the “best decision of his life.”

“I didn’t even know we had a president,” he admitted. “I do love free food, though.” 

When Hausboots made it to the front of the line, she caught a glimpse of Lachemi sipping his coffee while chatting up a group of students. At this point, she was even more fond of him.

“I respect his kindness,” she said, grabbing her matcha latte from the counter. “But it’s weird that I’ve seen him twice today already. Is he following me?” 

Following some intense deliberation and a few sips of her latte, she made the executive decision to skip class. With some time to kill before the next one, she headed over to the Sheldon & Tracy Levy Student Learning Centre (SLC) to lounge with some friends.

After an hour of doing absolutely nothing but yap, Hausboots and her friends headed to the food trucks outside SLC to grab a bite. Then, it happened again.

As she mentally rehearsed her order, she couldn’t shake the temptation to eavesdrop on a conversation in front of her. She recognized one of the voices all too well at this point.

“I was stunned to see the president at the Korean corn dog truck,” she said in disbelief. “I honestly didn’t know our president was chill like that.”

Second-year journalism student Inyo Biznes, who was with Hausboots on the scene, said she thought otherwise.

“I’ve met the president a handful of times so it doesn’t faze me anymore,” said Biznes. “One time I saw him lost in Kerr Hall with a compass open trying to distinguish between east and west—I was like ‘same bro.’”

Biznes added that, based on her journalistic observation, Lachemi is on campus a lot more than people would think, seeing as he runs the place. Many times, she has seen him casually strolling the campus.

“I don’t know why people are surprised,” she said plainly. “Like, where else is he supposed to be?”

By 5 p.m., Hausboots had almost forgotten about the odd bump-ins with the president and was headed to her last class of the day.

While arriving at the bridge connecting the Rogers Communication Centre to Kerr Hall, she audibly complained about having to dig through her bag for her OneCard to open the door.

That’s when a hand reached forward from behind her, scanning a card on the reader.

“Thank god,” she thought to herself, readjusting her tote bag on her shoulder. To her surprise, her saviour was none other than the man, the myth, the legend that she had coincidentally bumped into thrice already that day.

“Oh come on,” she said, shockingly out loud.

“Sorry, what was that?” the president asked with a confused look on his face.

Immediately, her face turned bright red and she began thinking of ways to cover up her outwardly evident disbelief.

“Oh my stars, you’re the president, right? I would love to get a picture with you,” Hausboots said, filling the awkward silence. 

The matrix wasn’t done messing with Hausboots just yet, though.

As she turned on her phone to take the selfie, her screen immediately opened to the photo she had sneakily snapped of the president back at Union Station.

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