Thursday, February 27, 2014

Texas State University grows, parking shrinks

By: Nicole Weber

SAN MARCOS-Texas State University continues to fill its classrooms more than ever before, while the parking lots are filled to capacity.

The university reached a record enrollment of 35,568 students for the fall semester, making this the 16th consecutive record-setting year, according to a university press release.

“I liked the small-town feel of San Marcos,” said senior Grace Svoboda. “The feeling is still there, but I can tell it’s starting to fade.”

With the increase in campus size, the university offers some accommodations such as opening the dorms Gaillardia and Chautauqua in the fall of 2012, but parking remains an issue for many students.

“They’re making more dorms everywhere,” said sophomore Greg Arguello. “Why not make more parking spots?”

In order to park on campus, students must purchase a parking permit from the university.

Students may purchase parking permits for green lots located primarily around central campus, but these are intended for freshman living in residential halls and cost more than $300.

All students have the purple permit option, which cost $77, according to the Texas State parking services website. This permit is intended for commuters, with lots located around the perimeters of campus. These lots are an estimated 20 to 30 minute walk to central campus, where most classes are located.

“I have a (purple) parking permit, but it’s hard to find a parking space on campus,” said Sophomore Larron Black, “that’s why I commute on the bus.”

Sophomore Leah Perez said it is very time consuming to try and find a spot to park on campus.

“Most of the time parking lots are full by 9:30 a.m.” Perez said.

In order to find a parking spot, students must either arrive early to campus or rely on luck.

Though many students consider parking to be a negative aspect of the growing university, students have also found positive aspects.  

“I’ve seen a lot of awesome opportunities come to Texas State since the growth,” said junior and Personalized Academic and Career Exploration (PACE) Peer Mentor Isai Ramirez.

University programs have received a lot more funding as a result of the growth, according to Ramirez.

The record-breaking 5,181 freshman class that enrolled in the fall encouraged the university to expand its academic programs, such as PACE created to accommodate freshman, according to the university press release. The transition to college can be challenging for some, so students like Ramirez help take off some of the pressure.

 “…I wouldn't have a job if it wasn't for the increase,” Ramirez said. 

Whether students find the growth to be beneficial or burdensome, the university is likely to continue to break enrollment records.

“I think it’s inevitable,” said senior Carla Jara, “The school’s going to grow….”

Grace Svoboda, senior, (no email listed)
Larron Black, sophomore, 19,  
Leah Perez, sophomore, 20,
Greg Arguello, sophomore,
Isai Ramirez, junior, 20,
Carla Jara, senior, 22,

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