Quotes Collected by: Karina Saucedo
Source # 1: Ramces Luna
Identifying information about the source: Ramces Luna, age: 21, Senior, from Houston, Communication Studies Major, President of USAC
Q1: The university had a record enrollment of 38,006 students last year and is expected to have a record or near-record again this year. How has this increased enrollment affected you?
“Its tougher to get around campus just because of crowds, standing around everywhere. I’ve have been able to meet new people but I don’t feel like its done a lot of change to me.”
Q2: Should the university continue to grow?
“Yes, but I am concerned about the San Marcos community just because we have such a large number of students coming in, there is not enough amount of time to build apartments or dorms for residents to stay, and going on top of that the community of San Marcos has been pushed to the back burner while the college students are at the front”
Q3: Did the size of the university influence your decision to come here? Why?
“No, this was my back up school.”
Q4: How has the campus changed from your freshman year to your senior year?
“It’s definitely become less able bodied. They do check more for people who are disabled, have to use wheelchair. There is a lot of construction; there has been construction since I got here. It’s been like ‘when are y’all going to finish, it feels like I’m living in Houston or Austin.”
Q5: How about in terms of population, or diversity?
“Freshman year, I saw more white students, and less diversification even though they said there was a big diverse group of students here. Senior year, there is definitely diversification. I definitely see more students out in the quad that are people of color”
Q6: What do you feel are some positives of having such a large population on campus?
“One, sample surveys are awesome to do on campus just because we have such a diverse group of students. With more students, you get to have more interactions with them, with student orgs, with council forms. Most of them branch out into different networks.”
Q7: What are some negatives of having such a large campus?
“The environment! I feel that we are not really protecting the environment as much as we could. We could definitely do a lot more but because such a large number of students are coming in, from different areas, they are not environmentally conscious of like the damage they are having on the river, on the community, and on top of that, a lot of students are in “party mode” and so because of that they are just having fun and are hurting people that are not in college. “
Quotes collected by: Karina Saucedo
Source # 2: Jesse Silva
Identifying information about the source: Jesse Silva, age: 32, from Houston Texas, Assistant Director for the Office of Student Diversity and Inclusion. Undergrad from 2001-2005. Graduate school from 2006-2011. Works on campus since 2007.
Q1: The university had a record enrollment of 38,006 students last year and is expected to have a record or near-record again this year. Do you feel the increased enrollment affected you, and in what ways? Maybe something with parking or in terms of diversity?
“Parking, I don’t think we’ll ever reach a place where parking is a happy subject. There is always going to be more and more space needed. Every university struggles with it.”
“I’ve been here since 2007 and since then I have noticed the increase in terms of just numbers. The numbers are just tremendous. As the student body grows, our programs also grow. Because of the growth we’ve had, it means it offers a new challenge to how we handle conversations of diversity and inclusion. We can’t just have conversations based on very salient identities like just on race or gender. We have to start speaking to all the intersections of identities that students are bringing with themselves whether they be from urban or rural backgrounds. Whether they are citizens or non-citizens. Whether they are someone who is a believer in a faith based religious organization or non. Whether that person is able bodied or not, or having some kind of disability. Speaking to issues that relate to gender expression or sexual orientation. Speaking to those who are of different race or ethnicity. With that growth we have to be mindful of the richness in diversity… I think overall the growth has been great. It’s presented the challenge of how do you change with the moving demographic. “
Q2: Should the university continue to grow?
“Absolutely! We have to grow, at least by 1% every year, that’s a required thing. Part of the reason is state funding. You have to show that there is growth. In order for us to meet the demand of the growing number of folks in the state of Texas who are coming into an institution we have to meet that expectation. How to do it while retaining your identity is the question. If we don’t grow we are essentially saying that the door is only this here big, and only those who can fit through that door matter.”
Q3: Did the size of the university influence your decision to work here? Why?
“No, and not that I was operating with visors or operating blindly, I just think that being at this size is a unique opportunity.”
Q4: I understand we are a HIS. Do you feel like there are any negatives to being a Hispanic serving institution? Does it leave other students unrepresented?
“I think one of the things we have to do when we talk about HSI is the benefit that comes to all students. Any kind of money that comes from federal grants that are specific to HSI status do not just necessarily benefit Latinos it also benefits everyone else. A part of that comes from our psyche and our socialization that if we highlight one group, then it’s ignoring other groups.