Thursday, February 27, 2014

Increasing Texas State University enrollment causes problems for students



By: Anna Konczak
Texas State University Student

SAN MARCOS— For the 16th year in a row, Texas State University has another record-setting enrollment of 35,568 students according to a university press release.
The growing population isn’t going unnoticed by students. Senior and communications design major Grace Svoboda has seen the university getting progressively crowded over the past few years.
"When I got here almost four years ago, I don't remember parking and traffic to be that much of a problem,” Svoboda said.  “Now, I have to plan for it every day when I commute to campus. It's a pain."
The incoming 2013 freshman class was also of record breaking size with 5,181 students. In 2012 the university opened two new residence halls the housed approximately 306 students each. Yet even with the added space, there still weren’t enough spaces for freshman. This forced the university to allow freshman to live at the formerly designated upperclassman-only off campus housing at Bobcat Village.
University officials are now working towards a new housing complex planned to open in August 2016. It will be located in west campus in place of Canyon and San Saba Halls and house around 600 beds according to a university star article published February 2014.
“If everything goes as planned, we will start demolition this summer and (the new hall) will open August 2016,” said Bill Nance, vice president for Finance and Support Services.
It doesn’t take a long walk through the Texas State campus to see that the university is expanding. The seemingly constant stream of construction is a reminder that the university is trying to keep up with the amount of students.
PACE Peer Mentor Isai Ramirez sees the university’s opportunities and funding expanding with the student body.
 “I’m all for it, just because I've seen a lot of awesome opportunities come to Texas State since the growth…we get a lot more funding for programs at Texas State and then with the increase we’ve created the PACE program, so I wouldn't have a job if it wasn't for the increase.”
Although there are benefits to increased enrollment, some students believe the admission standards need to be raised to truly benefit the university. By continually letting more and more students in every year it seems that Texas State could be hurting itself, rather than helping said sophomore Caroline Baxter.
“I don’t know if they should allow more students to come or if they should just become more selective about their choices,” said Baxter. “We’re growing so large that we have the opportunity to become a more successful, a more elite school by letting fewer students in, and I think they should take advantage of that instead of more construction, more growth, and letting the same standard of student in.” 
The topic that seems to come to student’s minds when they think of the increase enrollment is parking, or lack thereof. With the university issuing more permits than there are spaces students have trouble finding any open spots.
The biggest affect of the growth on sophomore Leah Perez is the unavailability of parking on campus. It has lead to her being continually late for classes and added stress during her commute.
“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,” Perez said. “Most of the time parking lots are full by 9:30 a.m.”
Texas State sophomore Casey Robinson feels that due to the increased enrollment, the university should accommodate students by increasing the amount of buses that are running and the amount of parking on campus.

 “There should be more buses going around, or cheaper parking permits. The prices of those things are too high for the few spots they have on campus,” Robinson said. “Building more parking garages would be helpful too.”

More information on Texas State University expansion can be found at txstate.edu


“New residence hall to open fall 2016” –Maggie Montes, University Star
Press release by the University News Service, Sept. 2013




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