HARRISONBURG, Va. — Not every James Madison University (JMU) student is in it for the long haul. A 14-month study, conducted by the JMU Office of the Registrar, uncovered that 73 percent of students only attended the university because they were not admitted to the University of Virginia.
JMU officials were alarmed to discover that nearly three quarters of the student body indicated that they planned to transfer at some point during their academic career. “We’ve always taken some good-natured ribbing about how JMU stands for ‘Just Missed UVA,’ but we didn’t know people were serious,” Frank Delante, the University Registrar said.
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“The results of this study left us at a loss for words. We thought our school was full of proud Dukes.”
Comments from the survey showed that most students did not have a negative opinion of their current university, but instead felt it was merely adequate. “I mean, JMU is fine, I guess, for some people, but it’s no Charlottesville,” Carrie Hughes, a sophomore studying biology, said. “I’m just trying to ride it out here until I can transfer. A couple more easy classes and I’ll be partying it up on the lawn at UVA and getting slammed at The Whiskey Jar.”
In a letter to the student body printed in The Breeze, JMU’s student newspaper, Delante plead with undergrads not to transfer. “Please stick with us,” Delante wrote. “We’re practically the same as UVA. We’re by the Blue Ridge Mountains, just like they are. And we have shitty fraternities too, just like UVA.”
Delante’s letter even offered additions to the school campus at the university’s expense.
“Do you want a rotunda? We will build you a rotunda. Want a pristinely mowed lawn surrounded by nostalgic colonial architecture? Done. Please reconsider your transfer contemplations.”
Another approach that is being considered to help reduce the number of transferring students is to severely limit the amount of class credits that will be transferable to other universities. “If we make it almost impossible for someone’s classes to transfer, then maybe they won’t have a choice other than to stay with us,” Delante mused. “We’ve tried contacting some administrators we know at VCU to see how they do it, but they haven’t returned our phone calls.”
One bright spot for JMU is that the percentage of students planning to transfer is holding steady, but the school’s administrators don’t plan to wait for a shift before taking action.
“We’re going to think of something to keep our students at this beloved school, and we’re going to do it now. If everyone continues to transfer, we might as well just call ourselves Radford.”
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