Thursday, March 3, 2016

Increased enrollment brings challenges to student commuters

By Clayton Kelley
News Reporter

Texas State University held a recording breaking status on increased enrollment for the year 2015-2016 and this continues to present challenges to both the environment and student commuters.
According to a University press release, Texas State has grown exponentially over the past 18 years alone. The amount of student freshman in 2014 was 36,764 while 2015 reached a record breaking 38,006.
“These are exciting times at Texas State,” said President Denise Trauth. “Not only does the University have more students than ever before, we have more students taking more hours. That reflects strongly on our students’ success and our students earning their degrees in a timely manner.”
Gabriella Barbosa, international studies junior, said she has a very difficult time as a student commuter and she believes the higher intake of students does not mitigate this issue.
“I actually commute from Austin and I still feel that everything is so clustered,” Barbosa said. “There are many commuters here on campus and the University needs to accommodate more for them than just freshman residents.”
She said it would be a good idea for Texas State to focus on the needs of the students that are already here than boosting in efforts to bring in more students. She said an example of this would be to bring back methods of transportation that would bring students to areas outside of Texas State.
“They stopped the buses going from San Marcos to Austin, and what are they going to do in place of that,” she said.
She said the traffic on the Interstate 35 corridor seems to be increasing as well. Some students believe this doesn’t only extend to areas outside of San Marcos.
“Every year, more and more students are living off campus so the congestion is just getting worse and worse,” said Kyle Cavnar, psychology junior. “Even if you drive here, the traffic during class time is so heavy, it almost feels impossible just to get in and out of campus.”
Cavnar said the bus system for those who live off campus is not helping either.
“Getting to class if you live off campus is a major struggle,” Cavnar said. “Sometimes, you’d have to wait over 20 minutes for (a) bus, just to find out it’s still too packed for you to get on, so you’d have to wait another 20 minutes.”
Barbosa said all of this traffic and influx of people can have a detrimental impact on the environment.
“It has not been a good impact on the environment-especially the river,” Barbosa said. “It opens the door for more littering and abuse in the river.”

She said it is great that businesses on Main Street are booming more so now than ever before, but that still doesn’t eliminate the fact that pollution is arising. She said it is important for students to be more mindful in how they recycle.

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