Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Increased enrollment causes housing issues (Tim Hennessy)

Increased enrollment causes housing issues

SAN MARCOS - The increased enrollment of students at Texas State University has caused several issues regarding student housing on and off campus.

According to a university news press release, Texas state is not only at its most diverse time period, it’s also hit a record setting enrollment with 35,568; an increase of around 1300 students from the previous year. 

Students on campus have taken note of the increased enrollment.  As the enrollment numbers increase: the more the university will be in the national spotlight, according to junior Kelly Phan. 
Kelly Phan photo by Chris
Jennings

“…but I think the community should have time to adjust,” Phan said.

Time may not be something the city of San Marcos has a lot of. 

The city is already grappling with the issues of the explosion in population, and providing adequate student housing is one of the biggest issues the city now faces.

Increased enrollment, while good for the university, has created overpopulated living situations both on and off campus.  Students must scramble to find housing in order to be comfortable for the year ahead.  Freshman student Esperanza Estrada spoke of how the increased student population has affected her dorm situation.

“The dorm I’m living in right now is supposed to be a room for two, but they put three of us in there, so it’s crowded,” Estrada said.
Esperanza Estrada photo by
Dean Garcia

The dorms on campus of the university are diverse in their own right.  Older dorms have been staples on the campus for years, but are old and not fit to accommodate the increase of students.

Junior Consumer Affairs major Brianna Jennings suggested that the university tear down the older dorms or at least re-modify them in order to provide more adequate living arrangements.  Making these dorms more modern and spacious will allow students to be more comfortable and in turn provide more room for students in other dorms on campus.

In addition to modernizing dorm housing, San Marcos developers have been promptly providing off campus housing, but not without its own conflicts.

Condo-style cottages have been one of the primary choices for students living off campus.  Comprised of multiple cottages within an area of land, these cottages provide their own unique neighborhood setting.

Brianna Jennings photo by
Shay Fleming
The property once named the Buie Trac is now home to one of these cottage-based neighborhoods, Capstone Cottages.  Capstone lies in an important territory of the Edwards Aquifer, which provides the drinking water for San Marcos.  According to San Marcos activists Jay Heibert and Melissa Derrick, the area is vital to the stabilization of the Edwards Aquifer.

“The Buie Tract is (or once was) home to endangered golden-cheeked warblers, as well as caves and karst features that allow rain to recharge the Edwards Aquifer,” Heibert said.

Despite the environmental concerns, the plans for development were upheld and the Capstone Cottages stand in the area today. 

Despite the environmental concerns, students seemed optimistic that the housing issues will work themselves out.  There are many potential construction sites in other areas of the city, and according to junior business major Aaron Whalon, there are plenty of places to construct housing out towards N. LBJ.
Aaron Whalon photo by Hillary
Barr

As the enrollment at Texas State continues to rise so will the need to provide adequate housing.  The struggle to provide that housing looks like an issue that will continue in the foreseeable future.

















References

E. Estrada [Personal interview]. (2014, 9).

Heinrich, H., & Heibert, J. (2013, August 12). Growing pains in America’s fastest

          growing city. Retrieved fromhttp://stateimpact.npr.org/texas/2013/08/12/growing-           
         
          pains-in-americas-fastest-growing-city-of-san-marcos/

B. Jennings [Personal interview]. (2014, 9).

K. Phan [Personal interview]. (2014, 9).

Texas State University News Service, Jayme Blaschke. (September 16 2013). Texas State

            sets enrollment record for the 16th consecutive year.  Retrieved from

            http://www.txstate.edu/news/news_releases/news_archive/2013/September-

            2013/Enrollment091613.html

A. Whalon [Personal interview]. (2014, 9).






















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