Thursday, February 27, 2014

Tensions Rise as Texas State University Continues to Reach Record Enrollment

By Josue Plaza
Texas State Student

SAN MARCOS – As Texas State reaches their 16th consecutive year of record enrollment numbers, many students are demanding for better transportation.

According to University News Service, on September 16th, 2013, Texas State University announced a total of 35,568 students for the fall 2013 semester, an increase of four percent 6from the fall semester of 2012. 

Many students see the expansion as a rising headache that continues to subside. Commuting in San Marcos is a nightmare.

“The traffic is awful… Sewell Park has gotten so much worse,” said photography major Caroline Baxter. “The construction too. As more students come, the more construction there is.”

They are currently 23 construction projects listed on the Texas State’s Planning, Space Management, and Real Estate website, although only a handful are currently in development. Most projects are still reported to be in the early planning stages, with estimated completion dates for 2016 and beyond.

However, some San Marcos residents are that seeing the positive aspects to a growing city.

“The growth was inevitable. San Marcos is a beautiful city and we have a really nice campus,” said Dakota Colby, a Baker at Dos Gatos Kolaches. “I would say that we are receiving the benefits more than the negative effects."

Dos Gatos Kolaches has received a large increase in sales numbers, due to the high amount of foot traffic to campus between Sessom and North LBJ Street, arguably one of the busiest intersections in the city. Many students walk through the intersection to get to campus, with an added benefit of not having to deal with driving.

Traffic sucks obviously. I think we all can agree… This is the fastest growing area in the country,” said Rebecca Swaim, barista for Mochas and Javas, which is also located on North LBJ Street. “Regardless of the school growing, there is going to be traffic and the construction is making it worse. It is going to be a mess for like ten years. They’re just playing catch-up right now.”

Texas State Transportation Services provides an alternative for any student who prefers to stay away from the wheel when commuting to campus. They offer shuttle buses that pick up and drop off students around the community.

To gain access on the shuttle bus services, also known as the Bobcat Tram buses, student must either obtain a perimeter parking pass or live in an apartment that is located on or near a Bobcat Tram bus stop.

Many students claim that some bus routes are more preferable to others.

“I live on Ranch Road, so that is one of the smaller bus routes. It is not as bad,” said junior student Isai Ramirez. “Last year I lived on Aquarena [Springs] … I had the very last stop, so I would have to wait for like four, five, even six buses sometimes just to get to class.”

“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,” said sophomore student Casey Robinson. “I’m one of the last bus stops at the Heights II.”

Despite the complaints, other students remain enthusiastic about the record enrollment numbers due to the possibility of bigger and better opportunities.

I don’t see anything wrong with [Texas State University] growing. I’d like to see it grow,” said Danielle James, a sales executive for Apartment Pros.

We questioned sophomore student Leah Perez whether or not Texas State University should continue to grow.

“Of course, but it just needs to grow at a slower rate. The city should assimilate to the university’s growing population,” Perez said.

Texas State Planning, Space Management, and Real Estate

Texas State Transportation Services

University News Service

Caroline Baxter, photographer major,
Dakota Colby, baker,
Rebecca Swaim, barista,
Isai Ramirez, junior,
Casey Robinson, sophomore,
Danielle James, sophomore,
Leah Perez, sophomore,

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