Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Bigger at Texas State by Brittany Green

They say everything's bigger in Texas and things are only getting bigger at Texas State University.

In 2013, the school accepted its largest and most diverse group yet. In the fall, 35,568 students enrolled in Texas State University. This was a 1,343-student increase from the previous year. In addition to this, there was also an increase in diversity. Minorities now make up 42 percent of the student body. Hispanic enrollment has increased 12 percent and African-American enrollment increased by 14 percent.

The views on these changes and the affects that they have vary among the students and officials. 

President Denise M. Trauth said it is gratifying to see the increase in incoming students considering Texas State takes the preparation of the next-generation work force so seriously.

"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.

Another school official pointed out that these changes at the university are a reflection of the state it inhabits.

"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,” Texas State Provost Eugene Bourgeois said in a statement.

Some of the students at Texas State have a bit of a different viewpoint.

Student and physical therapy major, Christina Drifka, said she has noticed it's become more difficult to register for certain classes due to the high demand.

In addition to more competitive registration, many students cite that the growth has caused more congestion on the campus and less available parking, a frustration for many commuters.

James Ottman, a third semester graduate student at Texas State, said the fall 2013 semester presented him with the worst in his parking experiences.

"I hate getting around campus," said senior commuter, Efrain Balderrama. "This is my first semester with a parking pass, but I can never find a spot."

Even with the problems it presents, the enrollment will likely continue to increase as it has for 16 consecutive years. Opinions over if it should, however, differ.

"...let it grow," said Balderrama. "I want Texas State to be one of the biggest and best."

Stephen Torres, a junior at Texas State, agrees.

"I think it should because it would be good for the school to grow, but they definitely need to make accommodations for the amount of students they have enrolled," he said.

Drifka, however, takes a different view.

"The university should focus on finishing construction on campus and also allow the construction of the city to be complete before the university continues to grow," she said.

Regardless of the varying beliefs and opinions, one thing is for sure: Texas State University is growing.

The school continues to be one of the most popular in Texas and it doesn't look like that'll change any time soon.

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