The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The Tator

UWEC enrollment hits record highs because kids are sick of living with their parents
The Tator

This is a satirical article and is not meant to be taken seriously. It does not reflect the opinions of The Spectator or UW-Eau Claire

UW-Eau Claire enrollment has nearly doubled since the 2022-2023 school year, according to Executive Director of Enrollment Management Kirsten Sham. She said staff were confused about the sudden influx of last minute applications.

“We’ve never had such a large number of applicants, especially not right at the end of the summer,” Sham said. “It really caught everyone by surprise, but we did our best to accommodate the acceptance of as many students as possible.”

The cause of the application rush was a mystery to UW-Eau Claire management, according to Sham, until Chancellor Jim Schmidt sent out a survey to all new freshmen.

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“It wasn’t something any of us would’ve expected in 100 years. We were thinking it must’ve been some sort of generational call to action, but it was nothing of the sort,” Sham said. “Probably 95% of the recently accepted freshmen applied because they were sick of living at home.”

Sham said that was the nicest way to phrase the applicants’ reasoning. It was usually something more along the lines of, “I cannot deal with another second around my parents,” or things she said were less polite and declined to repeat.

Third-year molecular biology student Carina Counterfeit said she is annoyed by the arrival of the massive freshman class.

“I’ve never seen this many students on the Eau Claire campus ever, or on any campus for that matter. I know the school is desperate for money, but the acceptance of this many students is downright irresponsible,” Counterfeit said.

The amount of students on campus at any given time makes it impossible to find a place to study on campus, according to Counterfeit.

“My go to study spot is the top floor of the library,” Counterfeit said. “Now, I can barely get to the elevator through the sea of students, and my dead silent top floor is a constant social hour.”

Counterfeit said she is thankful she is done with all her general education credits, since even the biggest lecture halls have students sitting in the aisles because there are no seats left.

“Usually after a week or two, campus settles down a little, when the business majors stop feeling obligated to go to class,” Counterfeit said. “It’s been almost three, and I still can’t find a parking spot anywhere on campus, not even in the lot by Kwik Trip.”

Her off-campus apartment is located on South Barstow Street near Scooter’s, and Counterfeit said she has been taking the over 30 minute walk to campus every day to get to her 8 a.m. lab on time, despite her over $200 parking pass.

Newly accepted freshmen are having similar issues, according to first-year business management student Julio Makebelieve. He said he ended up housed at Murray Hall since everywhere else was filled to max capacity, and he was still one of the luckier freshmen.

“I enrolled so late I got stuck in Murray, but I’d rather brave the Dirty Mur showers than spend another waking moment listening to my dad’s conspiracy theories,” Makebelieve said. “At least I’m not one of the ones that got stuck in the CVTC basement, though. I heard there are rats.”

Makebelieve said he hadn’t intended on attending college, and planned on working full-time at the LEGO store in his hometown until he figured out his plans for the future, but his mother’s cooking changed his mind.

“I’ve seen the Hilltop review pages on Instagram from a couple years ago, but honestly, I’d take a half cooked burger with a screw in it over a home cooked meal from my mother any day,” Makebelieve said. “At least I can tell what the Hilltop food is.”

After a 12 hour shift, Makebelieve said the last thing he wanted to do was be force fed mystery meals by his mother and listen to his father’s Zodiac Killer theories.

Choosing UW-Eau Claire was an easy decision for Makebelieve. He said it was the furthest school from home still in the UW system.

“I knew absolutely nothing about UW-Eau Claire going into this year,” Makebelieve said. “I would’ve gone to Nebraska if I could have afforded it. Nebraska would’ve been perfect since I’m pretty sure my dad doesn’t even believe it exists.”

Sticking it out at UW-Eau Claire is Makebelieve’s best option right now, even though he said he has no idea what he wants to do with his degree.

“I heard business management is a default major for people who don’t actually want to be going to college, so it’s perfect for me,” Makebelieve said. “I’m just going to stick it out until my parents figure out where I am, then maybe I’ll go to Stout or something.”

Price can be reached at [email protected].

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Kyra Price
Kyra Price, Freelance Writer

Kyra is a third-year psychology and public health student. This is her fifth semester on The Spectator. In her free time, she likes to listen to a borderline concerning amount of music (like 40-70 hours a week) and attend any concert she can get her hands on tickets for.


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