Combat Zone

University attempts to increase abysmal retention numbers

The University of Puget Sound administration has gone to great lengths this last year to update our national image as a prestigious Liberal Arts academy of learning and multicultural awareness. Already, the elimination of that handicapped-accessible ramp behind McIntyre, the proposal to drop the “University of” from our name, and the use of silver iodine to disrupt cloud formations have been prime examples of Puget Sound’s commitment to be taken more seriously by the academic community.
However, one large obstacle still needs to be overcome. The University has begun looking into what has been described as a “catastrophic” dropout rate of first year students. The staggering 80 percent of students who do not continue on to a sophomore year has left officials scrambling to revise policies and left many students feeling alone and confused.
“All my friends dropped out,” Greg, a junior who described his experiences to us, said. “I was the only one left from my freshman hall. I mean, it’s OK. I’ve made a couple other ‘friends,’ I guess. It just feels empty and hollow. All the 400-level classes I’m registering for only have one or two other students. I mean, I’m as excited about a low student-to-teacher ratio as the next fella, but seriously. Three people in a class? It just gets so awkward! Like, really, really, super depressingly, almost spiritually awkward.”
In response to this crisis, Puget Sound administrators have installed several new policies to convince students to please just please stay for one more semester. One new rule already agreed on is a new requirement that students have to stay in the dorms through their sophmore year, in the hope of creating a stronger communal feeling among students.
“This is a big problem we have,” Spike Koala, dean of students, said. “Freshman year, I see all of their shining, smiling faces, and think about how lucky we all are to have each other. Come sophomore year, however, everyone seems to bail and hide themselves in the basements of off-campus houses, drowning their sorrows in Carlo Rossi and Hot Pockets, and we never see them again! It hurts me on a personal level.”
This measure has faced some criticism, especially from the campus stoner advocacy group, Promote the Toke, or P.O.T. Michelle, a P.O.T. spokesperson, agreed to speak with us on condition of anonymity, but forgot and told us her name anyway, because she was super baked and forgot.
“It’s not fair to the stoners, for one,” Michelle said. “Freshman year is a scary time for stoners, who have to balance the risk of smoking weed indoors with the discomfort of going outside and blazing in an alley somewhere. It’s a time of constant anxiety, which is debilitating to academic performance, as well as the general ‘vibe.’ Getting off campus is some of these stoners’ only chance at being able to roast some nuggets in peace. WHAT ABOUT THE STONERS, Koala?! WHAT ABOUT US?”
Puget Sound has proposed several other measures to decrease student dropout rates. Students who complete at least two years will be given a free poster of that Japanese tidal wave thing, popular among college students. The University is also considering letting students drink cocktails during class, provided they are poured into S.U.B. cups and no one talks about it.
Administrators have also thrown around the idea of more Midnight Breakfasts, though Koala condemned this action, saying, “I mean, I’m all for letting our hair down a little bit, but we’re not trying to recreate the 1968 Democratic Convention here, amirite?”