After a month-long rescue mission, the team have been successful in saving the Southampton student who found themselves trapped and unable to leave Blackboard Collaborate’s Breakout Room.
What started as a simple bit of seminar teasing turned into something a lot more sinister. Put into groups to discuss and compile their thoughts on Shakespeare’s Henry VI Part I, things were going well for the small group of English students as they sat in deafening silence. That was until the lecturer, who is currently being investigated for relation to the disaster, came into the small group and prompted them with unanswered questions. Several minutes later, a message appeared in the main group, asking for students to return. This was the start of one student’s scarring struggle.
Speaking in a police interview that we have totally hacked, the student, left anonymous for privacy, said:
We were all meant to go back. It was my first time there and I was late to the seminar because I forgot to wake up with enough time to go for a pee. Everyone was heading back to the main room and I had no idea how to do that. I was going to ask, but everyone had left. I couldn’t type a message because I was alone. I tried to close the tab, but when I opened it again, I was still in the breakout room. I clicked everywhere, but it was no use. Next thing I know, it’s been a month of staring blankly at a screen with no resolution. My housemates thought I was just isolating. The only reason they found me was because my mum was concerned that I hadn’t texted her that I wasn’t able to come home for Christmas.
I guess I’ll never know what Elizabethan audiences really thought of Henry VI.
The student is currently undergoing a series of meetings to relieve the pressure of their recent trauma. Their Psychology student housemate is giving them free therapy sessions on the relevance of culture on the experience, and their passive-aggressive Computer Science neighbour is pointing at different icons on screen and saying that the ‘Return’ icon means ‘return’.
While this appears to be a one-off incident, many students have turned around to say they have felt similar experiences. One student, who was coincidentally in that same seminar, came forward to say they ‘just left when we had to go back’ because they ‘didn’t understand what was going on’ and ‘didn’t really care that much about Shakespeare anyway.’ This student actually dropped out of university shortly after, yet the breakout room remains forever ingrained in their open tabs.