Image by Wesley Ng/Highlander News

A massive panic has erupted recently after the faculty at the University of California, Riverside discovered that students have reached a ten-year low in grade point averages. As fingers begin to be pointed up and down the hierarchy of UCR’s academia, the professors and even the chancellor himself are gearing up to propose a solution.


There have been many arguments over the exact cause of the slowly declining grades ever since UCR lost its spot on the list of the ten most improved schools in the nation just last year. Dr. Robert Blutarsky, a formerly employed professor at Williams College who now wears the Scotty mascot suit suggests, “There is probably a lack of creative freedom present on campus,” although this opinion has been dismissed by most of the faculty.


A large number of professors have instead agreed with UCR’s own Dr. Marjorie O’Connell, who said, “The failure for students to maintain a steady increase in their typically rising GPAs is due to the lack of focus and dedication in the classroom,” reporting that, “students just seemed ‘dazed’ most of the time.”


O’Connell is right that the students lack focus, but this is hardly an issue that has to do with dedication and is actually the fault of the world’s top technology company, Apple. If you don’t believe me, then you probably don’t own Apple’s iChip, a brain chip that allows for users to text, call, and receive news updates purely by thinking about them. Unfortunately, the iChip’s malfunctions are behind the poor performance of students. These problems are detrimental to the education system and require a fix.


The iChip is widespread among students today because of its ubiquity in popular culture and simplicity of use. But a multitude of students and lovers of Apple including President of ASUCR Marko Rubio say they have experienced a decline in the quality of their academic work as a result of the iChip.


In an interview with Rubio, he said, “At first, I wasn’t sure what the problem was. I would just be sitting in class and then—I don’t know—I would just stop thinking. Minutes later the lecture was over and I felt like I had just awoken from a daydream, but with the newest soothing binaural beat from the I-Doser stuck in my head.”


Unfortunately, Rubio is not the only one who has seen a dip in GPA ever since he bought the iChip—a good reason for the new Apple product to not be embraced by more students. A friend of Rubio’s, Charles Crispin, attests to this fact. “I know it was the iChip because the day after I waited in line to install it, I froze during my midterm, causing me to mutter to myself the same noise over and over again. It must have been a glitch, or some sort of malfunction,” he said.


UCR students are not the only ones troubled by a recent decline in grades. Student Martin McGreevey from the nation’s top-ranked Arizona State University said, “My companions have all experienced some problem with the new Apple product.”


Although only recently attributed to failed exams and homework, students have realized these literal brain freezes are due to glitches in the iChip network. If the malfunctions continue, Apple should see larger repercussions, aside from Riverside students protesting the purchase of the product.


In consideration of the comments from students like McGreevey, it is odd that the glitches were not noticed sooner since there have been numerous dilemmas resulting from these anomalies in Apple’s iChip. This is an issue Apple must address, especially given that Microsoft’s competing product, the Stream, has not experienced any major problems. At the very least, the suggestion for students to switch over to the less-popular product should not be dismissed.


But because the iChip has seen problems from students across the board, a more decisive step is required. The future of our education is at risk due to this Apple product, and public action must be taken, especially since a shocking lack of attention has been given to the mounting quandary.


The iChip has not only resulted in problems within the education system, but has caused deadly accidents. The only attempt to garner attention for the issue was due to journalist Sean Flynn of Wired magazine, who published an interview with CEO of Apple Steve Jobs’ clone a few weeks ago. During the meeting, Flynn asked Jobs whether or not his product was related to a recent car crash that tragically led to the loss of the driver’s life and left the passenger in the hospital with minor injuries.


Jobs ensured readers and reporter Flynn that all the bugs have been smoothed over and his company has been working diligently to create the best possible products, saying the iChip could not cause harm because “it’s brought the world a lot closer together, and will continue to do that.” In regards to past glitches, he only commented, “There are downsides to everything; there are unintended consequences to everything.”


However, Jobs seems to be ignoring the issue at hand by saying that minor problems are inevitable. But these problems are hardly menial and the university administrators need to get involved along with the students.


I tried to reach Flynn for comment on this developing issue, but discovered that he has been missing for a week or so now. Flynn’s family said that they have not experienced any negative issues with their iChips and that Jobs has been very helpful during Flynn’s disappearance, bringing cookies and coffee to the house every day.

Jobs’ clone was not available for comment.


Despite Jobs’ denial of his product’s malfunctions, a huge portion of the student body has begun holding meetings every Thursday at 8:00 p.m. in HUB 305 because of the Apple product’s defects—a testament to the reality of the situation. A recent decision has been made to approach the chancellor as soon as possible and maybe even pursue a lawsuit against Apple and Steve Jobs’ clone.


This latest action by students is something that must be done to tackle the long-term risk to academics. The lawsuit should garner attention, especially if students from a plethora of other campuses get involved. Dealing with the iChip’s malfunctions should be a definite priority, and the issue should be hashed out with university chancellors and deans.


The lawsuit should hopefully get education officials involved and ultimately lead to a public protest against Apple. There is no excuse to be feeding popular products to avid Apple fans if there are obvious problems with the technology.


The student body needs to get its focus back and start rising to the top once again, without disturbances from this, or any, popular Apple product.