By: Thomas Murphy
SAN MARCOS - Texas State University’s student population has exploded over the past 18 years and students are feeling the effects.
Enrollment for the 2015 fall semester set a new record of 38,006, making it the 18th consecutive year of growth. The incoming freshman class also set a record with an enrollment of 5,720, making it the largest in Texas State history.
“These are exciting times at Texas State,” said Texas State President Denise Trauth.
Exciting times have also created inconveniences for students. The increase in population means more cars on campus and in the city of San Marcos. The outcome equates to increased traffic and congestion throughout the area.
“Even if you drive here, the traffic during class time is so heavy it almost feels impossible just to get in and out of the campus,” said Kyle Cavnar, a transfer student from Houston.
Jessica Tavera, 21, of Luling believes more people on campus have led to increases in traffic and wait times for buses.
“Usually it takes me two or three times to get on the bus during certain hours,” Tavera said.
Traffic tends to be at its peak during the school day, causing frustration for many students. When classes are switching, the bus system becomes a real hassle for students, causing many to be late for their classes.
Nursing major Kylie Edmunds said the buses are her main concern with the increase in students.
“Every time I try to get on the bus to go to school, I end up having to wait for the next one or always end up standing up in the middle of the crowd,” Edmunds said. “I have to leave 20 minutes early just to make sure I’m not late because the light by my house gets so backed up.”
According to Maddy Brooker, sophomore from Burleson, the growing population has caused more problems than just traffic and bus wait times. Parking on campus has also become a burden.
“Even though I do love going to a big school, parking here is absolutely terrible,” Brooker said. “I have to leave 45 minutes early just to ensure that I can find a parking space and get to wherever I need to go on time.”
International studies major Gabriella Barbosa believes the parking situation is awful and the university needs to expand upwards.
“If you’re having extra students come in, you can’t just leave that parking garage as if it was the same three years ago; adding a few extra floors could help,” Barbosa said. “The university needs to acknowledge we are growing.”
Time will tell whether the benefits of Texas State University’s increased enrollment outweigh the inconveniences.
For more information on the increases of enrollment at Texas State, visit: http://www.txstate.edu/news/news_releases/news_archive/2015/September-2015/Enrollment091015.html.