Thursday, February 27, 2014

University growth affects parking on campus

By: Jordan McFeders
Writer for Mass Media

SAN MARCOS- Texas State University had a record enrollment of 35,568 people for the fall 2013 semester and many students think that this increase has contributed to the lack of available parking spots on campus.

There is never any parking,” said Junior Tyler Patek.”  I HATE it. You always have to leave so early if you want to try to get a parking spot. I don't like taking the bus, but it is better than worrying about being extra late to class just because you can't find a parking spot.”

The lack of parking spaces for such a large campus came to an unexpected surprise to students like Public Relations Sophomore Greg Arguello.

"…..because it [the university] seems so big, 35,000 people, so I figured they would have enough spots.” Arguello said.

Arguello said that a solution to the problem would be as simple as just the creation of more parking spots.

"Make more parking spots,” Arguello said. “They're making more dorms everywhere, why not make more parking spots?"

Even commuter students with parking permits opt to taking the bus when going to school because of the absence of parking.

I have a parking permit, but it’s hard to find a parking space on campus; that’s why I commute on the bus,” said Physical Therapy Major Sophomore Larron Black.

But 19-year-old Sophomore Casey Robinson says that her experience on the bus reflects substantial enrollment at the University and affects her timeliness.

“I take the bus loop,” Robinson said. “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.”

Junior Mark Haskins said that it’s not only parking but traffic and class size that have been affected with the school’s recently new record of enrollment.

“The traffic’s bad,” Haskins said. “I think it’s gotten worse since I’ve been here. I can’t deal with the parking here. My class sizes have gotten a little bigger too. It bothers me because I’m not getting enough attention.”

Communication Design major Grace Svoboda has been attending Texas State University since before the expansion and said that the small town environment of San Marcos had the most influence on her decision to go to the University. However, with the enormous population growth, her opinion has begun to change.

"Honestly, the year that I applied for Texas State, I was one of the few in my senior class who did,” Grace Svoboda said. “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."

When asked if the University’s growth should be allowed to continue, many students said that it should be halted.

Junior Education Major Jenae Rhoades said that there has already been a vast amount of expansion, and that the city of San Marcos can’t quite keep up.

“Probably not, because there are a lot of people that live here and they already have expanded so much, they have expanded apartments and dorms but they haven’t expanded buildings,” Rhoades said. “It is really crowded and San Marcos can only grow so much.”

Population growth doesn’t seem too bad for everyone on campus though. LBJ Building Operations Staff Member Edward D. Hernandez said that the population growth has actually made his job more enjoyable rather than harder. Hernandez said he enjoys the school’s diversity.

"It would make it more enjoyable because you get to meet more different students from different parts of the state," Hernandez said.

The 2013 fall semester was the “most diverse student body in the school’s history,” according to a university press release.

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