Thursday, February 27, 2014

Expanding university puts students at a disadvantage

Writing for Mass Media Student

SAN MARCOS— Texas State’s increasing student enrollment has created an over-crowded campus along with parking and transportation issues for current students.

The university reached a record enrollment of 35, 568 for the 2013 fall semester and is expected to continue increasing every year according to a university press release. This rapid growth is significantly affecting the availability of spots on campus.

“When I had a parking permit I would never drive to class because parking is always so unpredictable,” said junior Destiny King. “There are just so many students and not enough parking. Like I wont buy a parking permit anymore because it isn’t worth it.”

Students pay a costly amount of money for parking permits, yet they still struggle to see the benefits of owning one.

“There is never any parking,” said 21-year-old student Tyler Patek. “I hate it. You have to leave so early if you want to try to get a parking spot. I don’t like taking the bus, but it is better than worrying about being extra late to class just because you can’t find a parking spot.”

Other students like sophomore Leah Perez have to arrange their schedules to find a parking spot before class.

“You have to show up about an hour early to find a spot on campus, and even then you aren’t guaranteed a spot,” Perez said. “Most of the time parking lots are full by 9:30 a.m.”

The high cost of parking permits also results in students not purchasing the correct type of permit simply because other color permits are cheaper.

“I live on campus but because the parking pass for commuters is $150, I did that instead of the green pass,” said freshmen Rachel Green. “So I have a purple perimeter pass and there has been times where I’ve had to like park somewhere off campus and when I first got here I got towed. Most of the time I can’t find a spot.”

It is not a requirement for all students to purchase a parking permit, however, the provided bus transportation can sometimes be as unpredictable as the parking lots because of the massive amount of students traveling to and from campus.

“I take the bus loop. The buses are very crowded,” said sophomore Casey Robinson. “There aren’t enough [buses] that go around so I’m late for class almost all the time even if I go out to the bus stop early.”

Texas State is very proud of the growing student rate but the city of San Marcos is struggling to keep up with the constant growth of the university.

“If we are going to grow, we need to expand the size of the campus and get more parking spots,” Patek said.

Students also feel that the town cannot adapt quickly enough to the mass amounts of students that come in every year.

“It’s crowded,” Perez said. “San Marcos has turned into a congested area, and the town isn’t big enough to handle the growing number of students.”

The parking and transportation situations affect students externally but it’s also the increasing classroom sizes that cause students to change their learning habits as well.

“I’m missing out on developing a relationship with my professor that could essentially help me learn better because of the large class size,” Perez said.

Other students like junior Mark Haskins feel they are receiving less individual attention from their professors each semester.

“My class sizes have gotten a little bigger too,” Haskins said. “It bothers me because I’m not getting enough attention.”

Although the over-crowding of the university may put many students at a disadvantage, the increasing student population provides long-term benefits for Texas State as an educational institution.

“This new high in student enrollment demonstrates that Texas State continues to be a leading university in the state, and that students and their families recognize our institution offers both an outstanding educational experience as well as an exceptional value,” said President Denise M. Trauth.

Tyler Patek
Age 21, junior
Full-time student

Destiny King
Age 20, junior
PR major

Casey Robinson
Age 19, sophomore

Leah Perez
Age 20, sophomore
Full-time student

Rachel Green
Age 18, freshmen
Nursing Major

Mark Haskins
Age 21, junior
Full-time student

University News Service press release

Sept. 16, 2013

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