Editorial: Enrollment increase changes univeristy


Students walk in and out of Curtiss Hall using the front steps during the first day of classes of the 2013 fall semester.

Editorial Board

In recent years, enrollment at Iowa State has increased dramatically. This year doesn’t look like it is going to be any different.

In the last five years we have had record enrollment. This looks great for the university, but there are smaller issues that will be affected by the increased student population that tend to go unnoticed.

Classroom structure may have to be redone. For example, lecture halls were often packed with 300 to 400 students in the 2011-12 school year. Three years later, the classes are even bigger. Iowa State simply does not have large enough lecture halls to offer lectures to 500 to 600 students at a time. Iowa State also does not have enough teachers to add new sections. We are going to have to do some more building or hiring, and more professors and advisers are going to have to take on a heavier schedule.

Just walking to class with the disarray of students can become frustrating. At the beginning of the semester, nearly all of the students enrolled in classes are walking to class. This number usually dwindles out as the school year progresses, but for the first couple of weeks, just simply being able to walk on your own side of the sidewalk can be difficult. But if you think the sidewalks are going to be bad, CyRide will not be much better.

CyRide has riders all year, but in the first few weeks of school when the weather is still really hot and then again when the temperatures drop to below freezing in the winter, the number tends to be higher. In some cases, multiple buses will have to pass a certain stop without letting anyone on the bus simply because there is not enough room for the excess amount of students.

Housing is always a struggle for students, but it is even harder when the housing options are filling up so quickly. Because dorm rooms are so full, the university is now putting students in temporary housing. Many of these students live in the dens of the dorm floors for a semester before they can find a dorm room opening.

Since the residence halls are filling up with freshmen, the number of upperclassmen staying in dorms is smaller. Last year, the university even offered non-freshmen up to $1,000 to switch from dorms to university apartments to make room for the large freshman class that wanted to stay in dorms.

Another place that has been overlooked for housing is the greek community. Many of the houses that were having trouble meeting house capacity before are near capacity or have reached it. Houses are filling up faster than in previous years and it’s a great accomplishment for the greek community, but it also is another representation of the large numbers of students on campus.

We are proud of our university and its increasing popularity. It is exciting to see that the university is taking actions to counteract this growing demand as well. With the addition of new classrooms from the Biorenewable Research Laboratory, the university expects to cope with the increasing demand for additional sections.

Although enrollment has become an issue, there are still many valuable solutions. Perhaps having more lectures will help with having smaller lectures. In the case of housing, the university plans to have more housing options for students by building new places or renting new buildings to house students.

The Department of Residence has been floating ideas to build a new dormitory next to Buchanan Hall to accommodate the needs of incoming freshmen. Also, ISU Dining has been taking actions and is currently renovating Union Drive Marketplace to expand the dining options available for the students.

Even though CyRide has been operating at its maximum capacity with additional services during peak hours, the university has been working with the Government of Student Body on BikeShare programs and skateboard racks to ease the situation.

CyRide has purchased bigger buses to help with the issue, but because of the expense it may be a little while before it can purchase more.

Don’t lose motivation in the first few weeks of school. The boost in enrollment may take some getting used to, but it should be something we embrace and are proud of. We just have to be patient while the university is solving the issue.