LOS ANGELES, CA – As with most medical school classes, unofficial “assigned” seats in lecture halls becomes the norm after a few weeks of classes. UCLA medical school was no different. In typical fashion, medical school ‘gunners‘ flock to the front row of lecture halls to exude their desire to impress their professors. In their mind they are also projecting a higher level of importance and caring to their fellow classmates. Anti-gunner advocate and UCLA medical student, Thomas Canning, decided to throw a wrench at the front row gunner’s routine in his class.
“I decided to organize a front row swap,” said Canning. “We wanted to really throw the front row gunners for a loop.”
Canning pulled 25 of his fellow non-gunner classmates to show up to class 30 minutes early and take up the first 2 rows of seats. “I was so excited. I could barely sleep last night,” says medical student Clara Thompson.
The front rowers started to trickle in and didn’t know what to do. “The look on their face was priceless. They looked like lost puppies,” said Canning. Some went to the fourth row, while others went as far back as the twentieth row.
Unbeknownst to Canning, the local news media appeared to take a picture of the class for an upcoming news article. “It was the icing on the cake,” exclaimed Canning. “The gunners thought we had done the front row sit-in to get in the picture, but it was a complete coincidence.”
The article ran and only the first 2 rows made the picture. “They [gunners] were steaming! We stole their limelight and they never forgave us,” said Canning.
Professor Denton, the medical school dean, was very impressed with the exposé he had the article framed and mounted it in the front of the class. This constant reminder forced the gunners to scatter, never to return to the front row again.