Why so few SFU students graduate in four years

SFU’s modelling based on McFogg the Dog illustrates need for large sample size

ILLUSTRATION: Siloam Yeung / The Peak

By: Jacob Mattie, Peak Associate 

Burnaby, BC — In a recent statement of apology, SFU administration admitted to making some inaccurate assumptions when outlining a bachelor’s degree as taking four years. 

“It was a perfectly natural mistake, and it could have happened to anyone,” said one staff member who preferred to remain anonymous. “When deciding on course rosters and the time commitment needed for an undergraduate degree, we used McFogg the Dog as a basis for our modelling. While McFogg is objectively the ideal student, they are also a dog, and so experience time differently. To our eyes, McFogg the Dog took four years to graduate. However, when accounting for dog years, this is closer to 28 years — something more in line with what we’ve come to see in our students’ academic progression.

“We wish we noticed this earlier, but we were frankly overloaded with encouraging students to take heavier courseloads and less breaks. There are nearly 40,000 students enrolled at SFU, and it takes a lot of work to make sure they continue to put academics ahead of their mental well-being and real-world perspective.”

While some have criticized the SFU administration’s poor choice of sample size, others praised what they argue could, in a certain light, be considered a service to students.

“Mental health on campus is pretty dismal,” said seventh-year political science student Ulma Graedes. “But with these policies, I can convince myself that at least SFU is on our side. By rushing us through our degrees, they’re sparing us years we might have otherwise spent in an equally miserable university lifestyle.”

“I’ve certainly supported more tenuous claims in some of my essays,” she added.

However, other students and faculty were shocked to learn that McFogg should no longer be considered the standard, as they have gotten increasingly used to pets attending Zoom classes. One professor believed something was wrong with Canvas when Sir Fluffykins and Macavity the Mystery Cat did not show up on their course roster. (There was something wrong with Canvas, of course, but it wasn’t that.) 

Indeed, the lines dividing human students and canine learners have become increasingly muddled over the past year, as many (human) students have displayed their pets on camera during online classes. Worsening the problem, recent direct-to-DVD release Air Bud™ Does Calculus documents the heartwarming story of one such case of canine success, in which underdog golden retriever Buddy discovers a propensity for integration and aces a calculus exam against all odds.