SAINT PETER—Ex-Gustie Greeter Christine Johnston finally spoke out about the controversy surrounding her excommunication from the Greeters for forgetting the words to the Gustie Rouser.
“I don’t know what happened,” Johnston says, “I’ve done the [Gustie] Rouser hundreds of times, and with all of the stress from J-term, I don’t know, I just choked.”
Johnston’s gaffe is the first since 1988’s RouserGate, when the entire senior class of Greeters forgot the Rouser as all of the first years were coming up the hill. Researchers contend that due to RouserGate, 1988 had the highest amount of students transfer in Gustavus history.
Greeter Coordinator Mandy Jumble commented, “We need to show the other Greeters that this kind of behavior is unacceptable. Johnston’s actions were distasteful, and frankly, I’m appalled. I’m fucking appalled, and you can write that in your damn article.”
Johnston, who has been granted permanent political asylum in Russia, said about her excommunication, “It was the most terrifying moment of my life. They took me down to the sign where the mascot, Gus, was standing next to a blazing fire. Once we got down there they all circled around me and the fire and started chanting the Rouser. Then they threw my headband into the flames. That’s when I knew I would never be a Greeter again.”
Since fleeing to Russia, Johnston has since enrolled at Novosibirsk State University. She has taken the role of a лидер ориентации (orientation leader). Johnston said, “You don’t always get second chances, so I plan on making the most of this one.”
ADDENDUM, 31 AUGUST 2014: Since this article’s publication on 22 January, Johnston has declared herself leader of the international anti-Greeter syndicate, G.A.G.G. (Group for the Abolition of the Gustavus Greeters). G.A.G.G. has declared itself responsible for the construction which blocked the iconic view of Old Main Hall, as well as the cancellation of hypnotist Chris Jones’ orientation week performance.