Operation: Gatekeep Bucknell

Siobhan Nerz, Contributing Writer

This year, the University has received the most applicants in the history of the school. While admissions officers are by no means thrilled by the tall stacks of essays that accompany each high school senior’s application, current students are even more bothered by the prospect of a large class of 2026. Many students who have suffered the moldy halls of Vedder and the off-campus hotel housing live in fear as they anticipate a repeat of this year’s housing crisis that was caused by the record-breaking large class of 2025. Other students view the massive number of applications as an opportunity to lower the University’s admissions rate and increase the school’s place in the rankings of the U.S. News and Princeton Review. Although motivated by either housing fears or hopes to improve the University’s reputation, current students agree that the school should not accept too many applicants from this year’s pool. Thus, as an attempt to dissuade high school seniors from coming to the University, the tour guides have initiated “Operation Gatekeep Bucknell.”

Tour guides have created a system to filter out students who visit campus. First, they put cones on all of the visitor parking spaces. Therefore, when high school seniors arrive on campus, they are forced to find a student parking spot. After failing to locate a parking spot that is both legal and convenient, many prospective students go home before they can even start their tour. If the student passes this trial and finds parking without gaining a ticket from Public Safety, they may start their tour.

The guides then take the prospective students through the first-year dorms. Although the leader of “Operation Gatekeep Bucknell,” Gale Boss ’25, wanted to coordinate fire alarms with the tours, this was unnecessary due to the frequency of burnt bagels and popcorn in first-year halls. Therefore, without much effort from the tour guides, most students, upon hearing the blaring sirens, run as they think the purge is about to start.

Next, if prospective students make it through the tour without retaining permanent ear damage, the tour guides take them to the Caf to experience the University’s exquisite cuisine. After sitting on a sticky chair while feasting on pink grilled chicken and bread that is a suspicious hue of University blue, many prospects disappear into the bathroom, never to be seen again. Only the brave emerge.

Finally, after the prospective students finish the tour, the guides present them with a sweatshirt that is University orange. Thus, after learning that the school colors are incompatible with anything in their closet, most of the students who survived the tour will decline their admissions letters. 

Overall, current students praise the tour guides’ valiant efforts while sympathizing with the prospective students who endure the tours. Many think that due to the harsh nature of the tours the class of 2026 may be the most robust class yet. 

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