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A "four year memory" is a term used to describe the nature of the relationship between students and college administrators. The term refers to a student body's short attention span (4 years, or often less) for on-going, systemic issues.

For example, due to 'four year memory,' a problem may repeat itself on the college campus every few years without any substantive, long-term input from the student body. On issues of conflict between students and administrators, students are often at a distinct disadvantage due to their transitory relationship (on an individual level) with the institution. While there are sometimes attempts to bridge this 'memory gap' by uniting students from multiple graduation classes, these united efforts tend to be less focused and structured than the college administration.

A "four year memory" may also refer to any other institutional client base that has a continual, and renewing, memory gap.

While a "four year memory" refers to the student body's (non) action, a "four year promise" may refer to an administration's actions.
"Our student rep's went to the school administration to talk about a new Latino Studies program. The president seemed receptive - but they'd have to think about it, since it's a new idea."

"Dude, they are counting on your four year memory. Students have been trying to create this program for 20 years!!!"


"Sexual assault is such a big problem this year!"
"WTF?! Do you have a four year memory?"
by bytebrekha April 03, 2009
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