Thursday, February 27, 2014

Increased student enrollment affects commuting students

SAN MARCOS — A recent increase in student enrollment has become both a curse and blessing for the Texas State University community.

35,568 students enrolled for the fall 2013 semester according to a university press release on Sept. 16, 2013. It was the 16th consecutive year that Texas State has set a new record for total enrollment.

Texas State University President Denise M. Trauth said that it is gratifying to see that so many incoming students are choosing to attend the university.

“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 Trauth viewed the increasing student population as a positive contribution to the university, many students believe it has had many negative effects, especially those who commute to campus.

Students who commute to campus can either ride the Bobcat Shuttle or drive themselves.

Any time a vehicle is parked on campus, it must display a valid Texas State permit according to Texas State Parking Services. All students are required to register with Parking Services any vehicle they drive and park on campus and purchase the appropriate color parking permit.

However, Parking Services stated on their website that owning a permit does not guarantee a parking space.

Sophomore Greg Arguello said that he rarely finds available parking when he drives to campus.

“There is never a parking spot, ever,” Arguello said. “Every time I am looking for one there is never one to be found. I would like to have a parking spot when I come to campus.”

Junior Destiny King also found parking on campus to be a difficult task when she had a permit.
“It’s always been hit or miss,” King said. “When I had a parking permit I would never drive to class because parking is always so unpredictable. There are just so many students here and not enough parking.”

Nevertheless, King suggested some solutions for how the university can solve the parking issues.

“I think that they need to get rid of the paid parking garages; people should be able to park there with a permit and not pay extra,” King said. “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 too without having to park on campus.”

Students that do not want to drive their own vehicle to commute to campus also have the option of riding the Bobcat Shuttle.

The Bobcat Shuttle system, operated by First Transit, is provided for Texas State students, faculty, staff and visitors. It is designed to alleviate campus parking demand and traffic congestion according to Transportation Services.

However, riding the bus to campus has not always worked out in students’ favor. The increased enrollment has also impacted students that commute via Bobcat Shuttle.

Sophomore Casey Robinson said that buses don’t run frequently enough for the amount of students that take them.

“The buses are very crowded,” Robinson said. “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.”

Senior Cara Jara said that riding the buses to campus have also kept her from arriving to class on time in the past.

“It made me late to class, like really frequently,” Jara said. “A lot of the times it wasn’t even because like I was running late. It’s because like the first bus to come around would be so full, I’d have to wait for like the second bus.”

Transportation services suggested that students arrive to their stop early. They stated that arriving early helps to better spread the capacity of students on each bus.

Buses do fill up on occasion, but according to Transportation Services, students need not worry.

“Every route has several buses on it, which arrive at approximately 10 minute or less intervals,” Transportation Services said.

Additional information about commuting options to the Texas State University campus can be found at http://www.parking.txstate.edu/ and http://www.shuttle.txstate.edu/.













Sources:
1.      Transportation Services (Bobcat Shuttle)

2.      Parking Services

3.      President Denise M. Trauth
512-245-2121 (Office of the President)

4.      University News Service (Press Release)

5.      Greg Arguello

6.      Destiny King

7.      Casey Robinson


8.      Carla Jara

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