Editorial: Over-enrollment of students great for UConn, bad for dining hall lines
Published: Monday, September 2, 2013
Updated: Monday, September 2, 2013 23:09
With reports of UConn’s over-enrollment of freshman students coming in, it is not difficult to be even grumpier while waiting in line for a slice of pizza in McMahon dining hall. While students are elated that UConn’s prestige has continued to increase, the UConn administration has mishandled the over-acceptance of students. As the school continues to expand, UConn’s Undergraduate Admissions needs policies that reflect that. As a state school, an acceptance rate of 47.3 percent seems reasonable, but the university must become more selective, in line with the more elite image the University has been in pursuit of since the UConn 2000 project began in 1995.
Since then, average SAT scores of the incoming freshman class have increased from 1028 to 1233, percentage of minority groups from 18 percent to 27 percent and number of Valedictorians and Salutatorians from 40 to 149. This last figure is probably due in part to the scholarships that Valedictorians and Salutatorians can receive, which cover a large portion of their tuition. This information is exciting for UConn and its image, but the over-enrollment of approximately three to four hundred students has given the school an inflated enrollment size of approximately 3,750.
This past summer, many current students were asked by UConn Housing to give up their housing, as they struggled to accommodate the extra students. To resolve the issue, many have been placed in the Nathan Hale Inn or in empty rooms in Busby. Many enjoy the experience of a freshman floor where a fair amount of new students find their new college friends. By putting freshman into mixed dorms, are many missing out on these experiences, even if some are getting maid service in the bargain?
Many who have attempted to use common facilities like dining halls, the gym, or the UConn Co-op during the first week of classes have found it difficult and crowded. With reports of increasing the freshmen class by 500 in the coming year, it appears dubious that UConn can handle these numbers. The university needs to address these concerns and expand Residential Life facilities in a satisfactory manner before more students can be considered. A new gym is in development, but where are the dorms to house these students? Nathan Hale also needs to be used as a hotel, not just for overflow of freshmen students. Once these concerns are met, UConn students will be more comfortable with increasing the freshman enrollment size.