By Learda Shkurti
SAN MARCOS-This fall semester Texas State University set a new record for total enrollment for the 16th consecutive year.
A total enrollment of 35,568 students, in comparison to 34,225 for the 2012 fall semester, shows the continuous growth of the University. According to a University Press release, Texas State University has announced the current student body as “the most diverse student body in the school's history”.
President Denise M. Trauth said, “We take our role in preparing the next-generation work force in Texas very seriously, so it is gratifying to see that so many incoming students are choosing to attend Texas 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,” she said.
Many students and San Marcos residents believe the growing number of enrollments is a good thing for the University.
Isai Ramirez, 20 year-old PACE Peer Mentor, said “…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.”
Along with an increase in overall students, Texas State has seen an increase in diversity as well.
According to a University Press Release, minorities represent 42 percent of the student population. Preliminary numbers indicate Hispanic enrollment increased 12 percent. African-American enrollment increased 14 percent.
Edward D. Hernandez, LBJ Staff Member, said in response to the increase in university growth, “it’s not big enough, it should continue to grow." “You have more students from different parts of the state where they can bring in their influence and different backgrounds,” he said.
Ramirez believes San Marcos should continue to grow. “…but it just needs to grow at a slower rate. It really depends on the city. The city should assimilate to the university’s growing population,” he said.
Some students believe that the increase in population is negatively affecting San Marcos, because of the city’s inability to keep up with the fast growing number of people.
Caroline Baxter, Photography/Fine Arts Sophomore, said “It’s not just the university that’s growing, they’re forcing San Marcos to grow with them and I think eventually it’s going to start to have negative effects. Not just in traffic but in the rivers, we live in this really amazing ecosystem, one of the really rare ecosystems and that’s taken for granted a lot, I think. Especially in construction,” she said.
Among traffic, pollution, and construction, finding parking is also becoming more difficult as more students enroll at Texas State.
Emily Kellar, Communications Design Senior said, “When I got here almost four years ago, I don't remember parking and traffic to be that much of a problem. Now, I have to plan for it every day when I commute to campus. It's a pain."
Emily, among other students, feel San Marcos is changing because of this growth. "I liked the small-town feel of San Marcos; the feeling is still there, but I can tell it's starting to fade as the city grows,” she said.
Leah Perez, 20 year-old student from San Angelo, TX sad “San Marcos has turned into a congested area, and the town isn’t big enough to handle the growing number of students.” “I’m missing out on developing a relationship with my professor that could essentially help me learn better because of the large class size,” she said.
Although the population increase is beneficial for the University, opinions vary on the lastingly effects it will bring to San Marcos.
University Press Release:
Isai Ramirez: firstname.lastname@example.org
Edward D. Hernandez: email@example.com
Caroline Baxter: firstname.lastname@example.org
Leah Perez: email@example.com
Emily Kellar: (no email listed)