Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Enrollment increase strains university resources

By Imani McGarrell

SAN MARCOS, TX- The steady increase in enrollment at Texas State every year has led to a strain on university resources for housing.

According to a Sept. university press release, the university had a record-setting enrollment of approximately 36,700 students for the fall 2014 semester. The 3.5 percent increase from last year pushed the university up to being the fourth largest university in Texas.

“My classes have been bigger, even the upper level ones,” senior Megan McCann said. “I’ve lived off campus the past three years (and) every year I’ve moved closer and closer to campus (and) you lose like a good hour trying to get to school.”

Students, staff and faculty alike are feeling the strain of resources on campus. This year, 21 freshmen were forced to live off campus after residence halls filled up. University housing complexes filled up on Aug. 4 and the remaining students without off-campus living exemptions were left without a place to stay, according to a Sept. 3 University Star article.

“They definitely should keep growing, but they need to accommodate more people with housing,” said Brianna Jenkins, consumer affairs junior. “They should tear down and rebuild the older dorms and make them bigger and better, and they just need more dorms in general.”

Texas State officials have taken steps to address the growing need for more housing options on campus. According to a Sept. 3 University Star article, officials have implemented a 10-year plan to renovate existing halls and possible replace older ones, including a two-year plan for creation of new residence halls.

New residence halls will be constructed in empty spaces on campus including a portion of the Speck Street Garage. The lot and garage combined previously held approximately 450 parking spots. The halls being built in the space the garage previously occupied will house 598 beds, according to a Sept. 9 University Star article.

The university does not currently have a cap on either undergraduate or graduate enrollment. Senior Chris Murray feels that the school should start to reduce the amount of people let but expresses doubt that the University will take action.

“I think it should start to taper off but I’m pretty sure they’re going to keep increasing the number of students,” Murray said.

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