Enrollment down: Faculty, staff suspect nostalgia

By Elise Emmert
Enrollment is down by 30 percent this year and it has not taken long for faculty to identify the reason.

Enrollment is down by 30 percent this year, and it has not taken long for faculty to identify the reason: a media-supported nostalgia for childhood.

“We haven’t seen numbers this low in over 20 years,” one admissions rep said. “It just wasn’t making sense. But then we started looking at what was going on in pop culture and I think we found our answer there.”

Many adults have been quick to blame the app Pokémon GO for making young adults more interested in gaming than in studies because of the app’s intense media coverage. But the app was released in the United States in mid-July, and student interest in responsibility and growing up had begun decreasing long before then.


“We were starting to see general decreases in student motivation as early as the end of the last school year,” one professor said. “It wasn’t just the typical ‘end of the year blahs,’ either. I believe the problem lies in something I’m calling the ‘childhood reboot.’ Movie remakes of childhood favorites are having just as much of an impact as apps like Pokémon GO.”

The sequel “Finding Dory,” for instance, found as much support from children as from the teens and young adults who grew up on “Finding Nemo,” the original film released in 2003. Disney’s live-action remake of their 1967 movie “The Jungle Book” had a similar reception, with 48 percent of the viewing audience being adults flooding the theaters to relive a part of their childhood, this time with better animation.

“Young adults are being encouraged by the media to hold onto their childhood and avoid growing up and taking on adult responsibilities, like getting jobs and planning for the future,” said another professor who looked into the issue. “That’s why fewer students are signing up for college.”

The nostalgia can take longer to catch up to some young adults than for others, but the effects are almost immediate. For example, one student was found by his Resident Assistant (RA) sitting alone in his room on move-in day because his roommate failed to show up.

“He seemed excited to come,” he said. “But a couple of weeks ago he started posting stuff about Pokémon GO, and I haven’t heard from him since. I think he dropped out or something.”

Another student was overwhelmed when her roommate carted in her complete collection of Disney movies.


“She had, like, 70 DVDs and 40 VHS tapes,” she said. “Who even has VHS tapes anymore?”

In all, a total of 12 freshmen students failed to show up to campus for move-in day. Many more left their parents to unpack their things so they could go outside and see what Pokémon were hiding among the squirrels on campus.

Most professors believe there is no way to undo the effect of the nostalgia wave, and the only thing to do is wait for it to pass.

“Hopefully, people will get tired of playing the Pokémon game and we can get our numbers back up,” said one professor. “But until then, I have to defend my gym. Go Team Mystic!”


Flatline Competition

You’ve seen the flyers, now get ready to choose! You can vote here for your favorite Flatline piece; the winner will be The Pulse’s new Flatline writer for next year!

You can view the final two pieces in the current issue of the Pulse, out now! We’ve also copied them below for your convenience.


Student Actors Needed for Staged Dorm Rooms

In an effort to reduce tour traffic in the residence halls next year, Spring Arbor University (SAU) will be setting up “viewing rooms” for prospective students. But rather than let the rooms be lifeless and empty, SAU is looking for student actors to fill the rooms so prospective students can see a typical room without bothering other students.

Student actors will spend tour days in the staged rooms, doing their homework and acting happy. They will also be required to interact positively with visiting students and parents.

A tour guide said they “hope the new setup will keep the normal students from feeling like animals in a petting zoo during tours.”

“I never know what to do when people come by on tours,” one student said. “Like, I have to stop crying about my schoolwork so I don’t scare people away, and it’s exhausting.”

Other students agree.

“I just want to scroll through Facebook in peace, you know? I feel like I have to be productive when people are looking at me.”

SAU officials are planning on making staged rooms in Alpha 1 and on the 1 West in Gainey and Andrews Hall. Some housing changes may occur as a result, so students are advised to check their emails frequently over the summer.

Auditions for the positions of student actors will be taking place over the next week in the Student Development office. Applicants will be tested on their ability to ignore people snooping through their closets and dresser drawers and on how positively they respond to being interrupted while working on very important papers.

Flatline #2

University to Give Cats to Female Students

A pre-graduation press release from Spring Arbor University (SAU) stated the university would start appreciating female students more in 2016 than ever before.

Although International Women’s Day is March 8, two months before the graduation ceremony, SAU is trying to set an example for the rest of the community.

“It is never an inappropriate time to celebrate women,” a representative of the university said.

Faculty and staff scratched their heads for weeks deciding the perfect gift to celebrate the success of their female graduates. Finding a gift that would celebrate the different types of women represented on this campus was not the easiest task, but the faculty of SAU believes they’ve found it: kittens.

“They need something to love and nurture now that they’re officially adults,” the representative said. “We think cats were the way to go.”

However, there were some stipulations for those to receive cats.

“We realize that there are some women more… blessed than those who need cats,” the representative said. “So, those who are moving in the right direction in their lives, by getting married, can expect to receive a Babies-R-Us gift card.”

The news about the gifts brought new excitement and criticism for the graduation ceremony. Cat lovers were ecstatic about their good luck, while some women are questioning the university’s decision.

“Why are only the women getting gifts?” a particularly offended male said. “Why didn’t the guys get anything?”

Go here to vote for your favorite!

Student uses “reply all” to propose to girlfriend

During a mostly quiet afternoon, the most interesting thing to happen on campus since the silverware incident intruded its way into the lives of students and alumni alike.

Students who don’t check their emails will probably never bother again due to a flaw in the new email system. It is now possible to use “Reply All” on emails sent to the entire campus. Phones buzzing and notification ringtones were heard round the plaza as the entire student and faculty mailing list was set ablaze with tired memes and fabricated “campus news” twitter sources.

From what started as an innocent plea stating,

“This is an advisory email to please avoid hitting “Reply All” to campus-wide emails.”

eventually turned into cries for help including,



“This has veered wildly from ‘moderately amusing’ into ‘STAHP. PLEASE STAHP.’”

The most powerful words spoken in this email onslaught were

“Why am I getting this?”

In a truly unsurprising turn of events, someone took the liberty of using this newfound platform to propose to his girlfriend using. Getting ahead of #RBS (ring by spring) and hoping the wide audience will lower his chances of rejection, the email said

“Ever since I saw you cut the head off that chicken at Cedar Bend, I knew you were the one I want to pursue life with. (Name withheld), will you marry me?”

The email, soon deleted, was both moving and pathetic in the eyes of the SAU campus.

This incident has undoubtedly inspired people working at IT to get off Reddit and see what they can do to fix this, but until then, the epidemic shall continue.


By Nate Bortz