By ELIZABETH LAMBERT
Texas State Student
SAN MARCOS – Texas State University reached a record enrollment of 35,568 students that has affected parking and transportation for students on campus.
The university set a record enrollment for the 16th consecutive year as of fall 2013.
According to a university press release, President of Texas State University Denise Trauth said that the increase in enrollment proves that Texas State is among the top universities in the state.
“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,” Trauth said.
Although the high enrollment has benefitted the university academically, the increase in enrollment has noticeably caused problems within the city, according to students.
Leah Perez, sophomore, said that the increase in the student enrollment has made San Marcos overpopulated.
“It’s crowded. San Marcos has turned into a congested area, and the town isn’t big enough to handle the growing number of students,” Perez said.
She also said that the large student population has affected parking at the university with the amount of time it takes to find a spot to park.
“As for parking, you have to show up about an hour early to find a spot on campus, and even then you aren’t guaranteed a spot,” she said.
Mass communications major Janelle Erikson said that there is not only issues with on-campus parking, but with people parking on her property because of the lack of parking spots on campus.
“Parking is miserable here because there’s not enough spots for everyone. I walk to campus from my house, but because it’s close to campus people use my street to park in front of my house which is irritating,” Erikson said.
Students not only have issues with finding parking that is not guaranteed to them upon buying a parking permit, but also the cost of the parking permits.
Sophomore Casey Robinson said that the university should help the situation by lowering the prices of parking permits.
“The prices of those [parking permits] things are too high for the few spots they have on campus,” Robinson said.
Junior Destiny King previously bought parking permits, but opted not to purchase one this semester because of the unpredictable parking issue on campus and the price of permits.
“…I won't buy a parking permit anymore because it isn't worth it,” King said.
The alternative to driving to campus is to take the campus shuttle.
Many students find that the shuttle service isn’t a reliable source of commuting to campus as well.
“The buses are very crowded. There aren’t enough that go around so I’m late for class almost all the time even if I go out to the bus stop early,” Robinson said.
Although taking the shuttle is not ideal, some students believe it’s better than trying to find parking on campus.
“I don't like taking the bus,” Junior Tyler Patek said. “But it is better than worrying about being extra late to class just because you can't find a parking spot."
King believes that there are ways to relieve the parking and transportation issue.
“I know that some schools don't let freshmen bring cars, I think that's a good idea, too. And I think there could be more bus routes so that students who don't live near one can ride the bus without having to park on campus,” she said
According to the Texas State University’s Master Plan, the university recognizes that the growth in enrollment has caused an issue with parking and campus transportation and that it is working to accommodate the increasing student population.
“One of the priority issues for the campus today is implementing a more responsive and integrated transportation system, with a focus on getting students to class on time.”
University News Service Press Release
Texas State Master Plan Update 2012-2017