SAN MARCOS -Texas State students face larger classroom sizes as the university reaches a record-high enrollment of 35,568 students.
Grades, football teams, and parties are sometimes the main topics of a university. But although the same might be said for Texas State, increased enrollment has surpassed all three topics. Classroom spacing proved to be a big concern amongst students. Despite being a collective issue, different students often offer different conflicts. Gail Zank, an associate professor in the McCoy College of Business is a prime example of this logic, whose concern targets students in campus organizations.
"….I think we need more space for student organizations to meet on campus,” Zank said. “There are more night classes on campus this year, leaving the student organizations with fewer rooms to meet. There needs to be bigger rooms to accommodate the growing members in student organizations as well."
Class size is also seen as an issue for some, as a number of students feel as if their classroom experience in effected by larger numbers as well. Electronic media major Bianca Gandaria is one of them, whose feels that she’s only just a face and not a student.
“I go to tutoring,” Gandaria said. “My history class is my biggest class. I don’t have a problem with the content I just feel that I’m not getting it all because of the professor. He gets other kids’ opinions rather than what I think…. So I go with SIS, they’ve helped me out a lot…. I’m really outspoken, but in that particular class with so many students I feel like I’m just a number, so I’m just quiet.”
Texas State junior Charles Regaldo seconds that opinion, as he feels virtually invisible.
“I have one class … there’s like 200 people in there, so it’s pretty large,” Regaldo said. “So I don’t think the teacher even notices what I look like, or if I’m not there.”
Teachers only recognizing faces arises another issue, as dual major Ceazar Deleon brings up the importance teachers place on attendance. Putting such an emphasis on such a small issue of the lecture makes him feel that he is not getting all of the attention he needs as a student.
“….The first couple of weeks of class, the teacher is more focused on who is and who isn’t there,” Deleon said. “Taking attendance for 35 people instead of the 20 to 25 students when I was accepted is really hindering my education.”
Even some faculty members are not big fans of these large crowds. Tom Grimes, a professor of mass communications find it less likeable to be faced with such a large crowd.
“The University is a less pleasant place to work because there are too many people for the physical space,” Grimes said. “The campus wasn’t built for that many people. The place is crawling with people, and the town is less pleasant to be in….it’s just too crowded.”
Grimes, who started teaching at Texas State in 2007, was faced with an easier load, as the crowd back then had smaller numbers. The enrollment then was around in the upper 20,000’s.
“….I found myself in a very pleasant environment. The physical plant, meaning the university physically speaking, was able to accommodate these 28,000-27,000 students,” Grimes added. “The town wasn’t just overrun with people, and now that’s changed.”
But not all is negative when discussing such an increase in enrollment, as it gets Texas State’s name in the forefront. Student worker of Honors College Randi Berkovsky feels that this adds to the reputation of Texas State and fuels competition with Texas A&M and The University of Texas, schools that have more recognition.
“If we want to be taken seriously as a university we need to continue to have record growth as far as freshman and transfers,” Berkovsky stated. “ I think people are starting to realize Texas State is improving;…. and that, if we want to be seen on par with A&M and UT and all these other colleges we need to continue to grow and continue strive for excellence."
Although increased enrollment can be seen as a hurdle for some students, it serves as a ladder for others. Despite the conflicting opinions, Texas State University’s yearly enrollment of students continues to be a main topic of conversation, and seems that it will be for years to come.