As the school year nears its end, UCR administrators have noticed a considerable decline in student attendance and focus. Students are simply not as motivated to go to class once summer daydreams caress sleepy lecture halls.
However, UCR administrators are not taking this lying down. In an effort to combat this drop in attentive students, the administration has implemented regulations that will divide the student body into two groups. Students caught skipping class will now be labelled “deserters” and students with no missed classes will be labelled “better.” Students guilty of desertion are forced to either own up to their injustices against the university or be hunted by a pack of bounty hunters hired by the school. UCR officials have high hopes that this new system will inspire ambition in both the students and the bounty hunters. These new regulations sound like a blast — like having all the action and fun of the Hunger Games but with 10,000 times the people.
Once a student is labelled a “deserter,” restaurants and stores on campus will charge double, no university housing will lease to them, and their GPA will be cut, permanently, by one point for every class missed; a fair price for such a treasonous act. Students who don’t miss any class need not worry, so long as they keep their attendance spotless.
While splitting the student body into two classifications may seem like a drastic change for most UCR students, it can induce healthy competition on campus; a kind of natural selection for the studious. In our current day and age young adults face little adversity. While the Middle Ages threatened deserters with beheading and the Civil War flogged soldiers who went AWOL, today’s society seems to reward its unruly youth with undeserved distractions from the grim reality of life. Instead of preparing young adults for the kill-or-be-killed, cutthroat atmosphere of the adult working life, our society pushes the cold, hard facts to the back of young minds and presents them with mediocrity in the form “comfort” and “compassion” and “smartphones.”
At a young age, kids believe there is a safety net to catch them when they fall and it isn’t until they’re on their own that they realize that life isn’t made of plush and perfume — it’s dark and brooding, made of sandpaper and fire ants; like a prison, you shouldn’t go in thinking you’re in for a good time, because then you’d most likely be the one to get shived at lunchtime. By threatening desertion, UCR can move away from the boring academia to instead make successful human beings that crush those that stand in their way — not nerds, but warriors.
Although these regulations were just implemented at the start of spring quarter, there are already bands of deserters occupying remote locations, or “refugee camps” on campus. Deserters may as well be outlaws, so for the safety of the student body, “better” students should steer clear from the company of deserters. UCR officials expressed that “better” students shouldn’t mingle with “deserters” at all, as it would threaten the moral fabric of campus. So it is best to either heckle deserters or, better yet, throw tomatoes and stones at them. This type of hierarchy is something that has been missing in contemporary, democratic society. There is too much tolerance and not enough elitism in campus life. College is the time to get wild — not book-wild or party-wild, but jungle wild, half-naked, battle cries in the night, dancing around a fire, boar’s-head-on-a-stick wild.
By cracking down on students that skip class, UCR is shunning the “don’t worry, you’ll get it next time, bud” mentality schools mistakenly teach and taking the first step back into the strict “follow the rules or die” mentality that got our civilization to where it is today. Think of how the U.S. government bravely journeyed westward, trampling over the Native Americans to build life anew, or how the Spanish Inquisitors crushed treasonous citizens and purified the country. These triumphs can happen on our very own campus, UCR can continue this tradition of only the fittest survive and can make history once more. That is what desertion regulations offer UCR students: the opportunity to build our academic prowess upon the skulls of our peers’ vanquished education.
Our new stratified campus will spawn a new breed of student, one who is tempered with remorseless determination. Desertion is merely the beginning to our campus toughening its students, like a breath of harsh smoke in an atmosphere plagued with fresh air. After all, the best students are like soldiers: for them to achieve their true potential, you need to give them a (metaphorical) pile of their enemies’ corpses so they can climb to the top of the educational food chain. All of this may sound pretty villainous to a regular class-skipper, but that is the way of everyday life. You need to be willing to face your mistakes in the form of a sword in the gut rather than a medal for “participation.” It’s for the greater good in the end. Survival of the fittest is a fact of human life that is all but present in our country, and it’s about time we join the rest of the world in its wonderful bliss.