By: Melanie Chalupa
SAN MARCOS- The increase in university enrollment has caused mixed emotions among students and faculty alike.
The student population reached an all time high of 36,700 students as of the 2014-2015 academic year, according to a university press release. In previous years, increased enrollment was a positive thing. Today, the Texas State campus and San Marcos are struggling with the large influx of people in a short time.
The primary concerns throughout the area fall into transportation and crowding. Between traffic and lack of room on the bus, students are expected to leave their homes at least 45 minutes early in order to make it to class on time.
“There is nowhere to park, ever. Even in the off hours parking gets really bad,” said sophomore, Cedrick Cradle.
“The worst part is the traffic. I have a parking pass, but it does not guarantee I will get a parking spot,” said anthropology major, Noelle Dy-Tuzaon. University patrons pay up to $550 for a parking pass, according to the university parking services; this heavy price for a sticker that does not even assure you a spot.
Danielle Hewitt, anthropology major, expressed her concern with campus transportation. Hewitt shared her experience with having to wait for a second bus because the first one was too overcrowded.
“First year bus drivers struggle. The first year is incredibly stressful for bus drivers,” said second year bus driver, Charles Geay.
Not only is transportation an issue, but also registering for classes proves to be more and more of an issue with each semester. When so many people are trying to register at a certain time, it can be hard to get into necessary classes.
In addition to difficulty registering, students report increase in class size has been distracting.
“I had a math class that I felt was poorly taught because it was one professor and hundreds of students,” said freshman, Chabria Hines.
“It’s tough to get the classes that you want,” said senior, Trent Richter.
Senior, Erica Gauthier, feels that the increase of students is affecting the San Marcos community as a whole; she shared her concern about crowding throughout the city, not only on campus.
The student population has reached a 3.5% increase in only a year, according to a university press release from President Trauth. The university seems to be underprepared for this sudden growth.
This year marks the 17th consecutive year that Texas State’s enrollment has surpassed the previous year, according to the university news service.
“As long as they raise the standards of enrollment,” said Ian Vernon when asked his opinion whether or not the university should grow. Some believe that the population increase is beneficial in that it gives Texas State more recognition and diversity.
Junior, Malaika Hall, pointed out that there is no longer space for growth. San Marcos is a small town, and the university can only expand so much.
There is a clear consensus throughout the campus community that the university needs to be stricter when it comes to applicants, and from there slow growth will be beneficial.