In a move that is sure to be greeted with shock and alcohol-induced inactivity by those students most closely affected, the administration recently announced that they are canceling the second semester for all graduating seniors. The decision comes after a month-long review of past second-semester academic and hospital records revealed a startling trend:
"As much as we'd like to continue with the tradition of second semester for outgoing seniors, our study has shown that absolutely nothing enriching or otherwise productive is accomplished during that time period by those students," explained one anonymous administrator from behind the recently-fortified door of his office. "That's why, effective immediately; graduation will take place over the second weekend in February." Perhaps coincidentally, the registrar's office reports that Take Five application submissions jumped from 72 to almost 1100 in the days following the announcement.
The cancellation marks the end of a collegiate experience that ranks among the most eagerly-anticipated by students. By combining the completion of academic obligations with a crippling fear of impending real-world responsibilities, the second semester of senior year has historically provided outgoing seniors with a safe haven in which they can completely "switch off."
School-sponsored senior nights, a perennial favorite among second-semester enthusiasts, have long been touted as the perfect opportunity to reminisce with old friends and to meet classmates that had gone . . . unmet, all while trying to hook up with as many people as possible. "Around here, students don't start papers until the day they're due. Obviously that procrastination carries over into our love lives. I thought I'd have four months to hook up with all the babes that I've been oogling for the past three and a half years. Now it's more like two weeks," complained tall senior Seth Hauben, who had his massive wingspan wrapped around the shoulders of five striking co-eds.
Though the social elements of the second semester will be most notably missed, a fair share of seniors' complaints regarded the inability to spend their final semester in college taking those classes that, while perhaps purely elective, had fascinated the scholars from the onset of their undergraduate careers. "Do you have any idea how hard it was for me to find four different 100-level courses that don't have attendance policies?" griped frustrated senior Kevin Crawford. "Now I won't be able to not attend those classes."
Likewise, the abridged college tenure may greatly jeopardize the seniors' opportunities to find a satisfactory job before graduation. By removing the final four months of their collegiate experience, students allege, Rochester is effectively forcing seniors to find jobs four months earlier than they would have otherwise begun their search, which was already at least four months earlier than when they actually would've found a job. "I expected to have at least another four months worth of procrastination and excuses," sighed senior Dana Mittelman regarding her job hunt. "What am I supposed to do now? Other than find a job?"
Sharing in Mittelman's frustration has been an unexpected majority. The alumni, who look back on their own senior-year second semesters with a hazy fondness, have voiced the sharpest criticism since the decision was announced. "This wouldn't have happened on my watch," remarked former Speaker of the SA Senate Alex "Voetsch" Voetsch, '04, who has, since graduation, accepted a full-time position on our living room couch. "That Nabozny shmuck really dropped the ball."
Similar sentiments have been expressed in the cascade of correspondence that Rochester has received from other enraged alumni, who are quick to defend the merits of their own second semesters. The majority of the letters focus on the unrealized opportunities available to Rochester students. Second semester, the alumni insist, provides a carefree timeframe during which the seniors can finally take those classes in which they're actually interested, participate in any clubs or organizations for which there previously wasn't time, and attend any of the many museum exhibits or theatrical performances that enliven Rochester. Plus, a handful of letters chimed in, you can drink before, during and after those activities.
Bolstered by the alumni support and driven by the desire to finally get drunk and hook up in the stacks, a number of somewhat-motivated seniors gave a fairly passionate plea to university policy-makers, with limited success. "Hey, I just got here," said recently-installed university president Joel Seligman, who then put his hands in the air and made the "'I don't know' face. "Don't look at me." Dissatisfied, the senior class resorted to non-violent means of protest.
"They want to move graduation up to February to prevent us from partying too much? That's fine. I'll just squeeze four months of drinking and casual sex into the next two weeks," maniacally pledged senior Travis Figueroa, whose last name contains all five vowels.
In light of the alumni efforts and the frightening threats / goals of students, the administration has alluded to the idea of rescinding the decision. "If we re-instate the second semester," Dean of the College William Green said in a recent press conference, "you have to promise to take advantage of some of the valuable opportunities that Rochester has to offer."
Green's words were met with an enthusiastic confirmation from the crowd of seniors, most of who were already drunk.