For the past three years, NC State has had an increasing number of enrolled first-years. On a surface level, this seems great as it allows more people the opportunity to receive a higher education. However, the increasing number of freshmen has presented a number of problems.
NC State simply does not have enough resources to accommodate all the new students. One notable example is the university housing crisis, where upperclassmen are having trouble reserving dorms for upcoming academic years. To preserve the quality of education, NC State should take action in order to make sure there are enough resources for students to be academically successful.
Since NC State mandates that all first-year students live on campus, the school reserved over 4,700 spots just for them. This, in addition to underclassmen having priority in the housing-selection process, means upperclassmen struggle to reserve a dorm for the next academic year.
It is unfair to deny upperclassmen the benefits of living on campus that could help them obtain a quality education. If the increase in freshmen continues, this situation will get worse over time. If NC State still wants upperclassmen to take advantage of living on campus, they need to regulate the number of students so juniors and seniors can reserve dorm rooms.
In addition to housing being overcrowded, NC State also has very limited parking. Students living on campus may need their cars for many reasons, including having off-campus jobs or internships. For students living off campus, they need to safely commute on their way to school. However, a transcript from the Student Senate meeting on Feb. 20, 2019 revealed that around 100 Residential East spots were removed, with no plans to replace them.
While there are public transportation options, they can be unreliable, and some students live far enough to where it is not feasible in the first place. Unless NC State expands parking or extends Wolfline to more off-campus locations, it will be very difficult for students to take advantage of educational opportunities both on and off campus.
Another problem concerning students is the increasing number of students in classes. Some classes offered are not able to accommodate an increasing student body.
Take for example our health classes. In order to graduate, most students need to take two health courses; one 200-level course and one 100-level course. However, many students are aware how difficult it is to enroll in these courses, as they fill up quickly.
In my own experience, I found it near impossible to enroll in a 100-level Health and Exercise Studies course. While there are 14 course options to choose from, many of them have small class sizes, making it difficult for students to enroll in them. This poses a serious problem when students need to take a 100-level HESF course to graduate.
However, this issue does not just apply to our GEPs, but could apply to other majors as well. With an increasing student body, many undergraduates could have trouble enrolling in prerequisite classes, which can hinder them from receiving their degrees.
Although it is rather unfortunate, NC State cannot continue to let more freshmen enroll at NC State without sacrificing its quality of education. It is very noble for NC State to try admit more students each year, but the school needs a plan to accommodate both incoming freshmen and upperclassmen before that can become a reality.
If NC States wants to continue increasing the number of first-years enrolled each year, it needs a plan to increase housing, allow easier access to and from campus, and offer more classes. I’m glad more people are coming to NC State, but it is a huge disservice to students if they can’t take advantage of the many education opportunities provided because of overpopulation and lack of resources.