Thursday, March 3, 2016

Diverse Sources Story

Enrollment making an impact on the city and students  


SAN MARCOS-Texas State’s increased enrollment has had substantial effects on the city’s infrastructure.

The university’s consistent growth has caused the city to expand tremendously, and with the rate it’s going it doesn’t look like it’s slowing down anytime soon. Current students are left with no choice but to decide whether or not they want it to continue to grow. While some students welcome the idea of economic growth, others can’t see past the traffic and constant construction.

Fall 2015 marked the 18th consecutive year that Texas State has reached record settings for enrollment, an increase from the 36,764 students from Fall 2014, according to Texas State University press release. With each year setting a new record, the city of San Marcos is constantly adding new construction projects in order to accommodate future students, causing frustration in some of the current students.

Sophomore Ronald Reyna, 20, from Houston, says he is upset with the city’s lack of planning.  

“It feels like the city is always three steps behind when it comes to the amount of construction going on and any public works being taken care of,” said Reyna, “it’s a slow process that can’t currently keep up with how fast the population is growing.”

The 2015 freshman class was the largest in the university’s history, said Texas State Provost Eugene Bourgeois. With undergraduate enrollment setting a new record of 33,504, an increase of 1,289 students, according to Texas State University press release.

Robert Poland, business major, from Kilgore, says the traffic has been so bad that as a result he refuses to drive anywhere during 5 p.m. or when classes are switching.   

“Traffic has really been an issue,” said Poland, “it is inevitable wherever you go, especially near campus.”

Adding to the traffic jams, one side of Aquarena is now closed in order for the city to construct it’s latest project, Loop 82, a $20.7 million overpass that will extend across Aquarena in order for commuters to get to campus faster. The project is not expected to be finished until late 2017. In the meantime, the City of San Marcos urges commuters to use Hopkins Street to C.M. Allen Parkway.

“The lane closures will lead to significant delays to residents who travel through the area,” said Laurie Moyer, Director of Engineering and Capital Improvements.

Junior Callie Ballard, 20, from Houston, says the new road will add a lot of stress to her ride to work.

“I just got a new job,” said Ballard, “I park at the stadium because it’s close to my class and closer to my job. Now with one side of Aquarena being closed it’s way more stressful getting there. I don’t think the city cares about what we have going on.” 

Not everyone is complaining about the growth though.

Kyle Cavnar, psychology major, from Houston, is excited about what the increase can do for the city.

“More people means more building for housing, more restaurants and more entertainment outlets. With so many people, the economy can only thrive with so many students spending money in this area,” said Cavnar.

Megan Osborn, 20, from Houston, says she likes the idea of San Marcos being a bigger university.

“More people just makes for a more diverse environment,” said Osborn, “you get to learn alongside a lot of different people. It just enriches the experience.” 

Texas State recently announced that it has the most diverse student body in the school’s history, 38,0006 students for the 2015 fall semester, according to Texas State University press release.

President Denise Trauth says the growth means positive things for the university’s reputation.

“These are exciting times,” said Trauth, “not only does the university have more students that ever before, we have more students taking hours. That reflects strongly on our students’ success.”

Texas State continues to grow at a tremendous rate. It’s hard to tell if the growth will ever come to a halt. As for now, students can only try to keep up with the infrastructure and see what the city will do next.

For more information on the city’s construction projects, visit: 

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