Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Record Enrollment at Texas State

Texas State University's enrollment has surpassed last year's figures with 35,568 students, continuing a streak of 16 consecutive years in growth for the campus.

Denise M. Trauth, president of Texas State seemed pleased with the outcome.

"This new high in student enrollment demonstrates that Texas State continues to be a leading university in the state, and that students and their families recognize our institution offers both an outstanding educational experience as well as an exceptional value," she said in a statement.

However, not everyone on campus sees the surge in enrollment as an entirely positive thing. A number of Texas State students were interviewed at random regarding their own experiences with the larger student population, and concerns were raised.

Victoria Herrera, a freshman at Texas State who is part of the record breaking enrollment, said the university should continue to grow.

"The only downside is that it would make the classes larger and give students less of a chance for a one-on-one with their professor," she said.

This perspective is one that is shared by many students. With 1,574 new undergrads to wade through, the University becomes cramped. Ideally, the campus would expand to accommodate the increased demand for space, but construction takes time to complete, displacing entire classes for semesters at a time.

"If we keep increasing professors and classes it has to be proportional. We have to focus on quality," said Chelsea Marshall, constructional technology major.

"The university is pushing its maximum limit until it grows and adds more facilities like dining halls and dorms," said Mayson Hornsby, a dance major. "San Marcos as an entire community needs to grow and improve before it can accommodate more students. We have enough troubles as is, waiting for buses or trying to get places because some places are only one lane."

Mason Randolph, an environmental studies major, went so far as to suggest a cap be put into place.

"They should set a goal of 3,500 students and then try to accommodate those many students, like making more parking spots and stuff rather than just building more dorms," he said.

The reality of a proposition like this is even more construction. The running theme throughout these interviews is that construction is a massive issue on campus, as well as around San Marcos. Sydney Afflitto, an early education major, feels that this is ultimately a necessary evil.

"I mean, it's a pain, especially with driving and stuff, but I think that parking is definitely an issue," she said. "In order to create more parking, there has to be construction. So, in the long run it will be okay."

Although the record enrollment has obviously created some space issues, it has generated a great deal of diversity for the campus. 42 percent of the student body is now made up by minority groups. Texas State Provost Eugene Bourgeois was especially pleased with this outcome.

"As the demographics of Texas continue to shift, it is important that our institutions of higher learning adequately reflect the growing diversity of this state, so we are most pleased that our efforts to recruit students from all backgrounds has led to a truly diverse population at Texas State," he said.

Shanna Bradford, a transfer student, was excited to hear this statistic brought up.

"I think it's awesome! I think it's really cool. People should be getting to know everyone else," she said.

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