[media-credit name=”Erin Kane” align=”alignnone” width=”500″][/media-credit]
Lunch and post office lines are longer than ever before, entry level class sizes are increasing, new parking protocols have been implemented and sophomores are living on the York Hill campus.
Quinnipiac has a goal to reach 7,000 undergraduate students within the next two years, according to Vice President for Admissions and Financial Aid, Joan Isaac Mohr. According to the Quinnipiac website, there are 6,703 undergraduate students currently enrolled.
In 2014, the freshman class size was originally supposed to be 1,800 students. Admissions enrolled 1,650 students for the current junior class and that small class size resulted in budget problems, according to Mohr. Over the last two years, admissions has been accepting more students, trying to make up for that small junior class.
“The goal over the next two years is to achieve 7,000 and then at that point there is no additional growth planned,” Mohr said. “In terms of the residence halls, if we spread them out appropriately as well as classrooms, I think we can support 7,000.”
Sophomore Shannon Livingston said more students could be really beneficial for the university.
“With more students coming in, QU will have more money to spend on academics and new professors,” Livingston said. “There has also been talk that in a couple years main campus will be all freshmen, and North Haven campus will house all health science majors. That really divides QU, we wouldn’t be as unified.”
The current freshman and sophomore classes are about 1,900 students each, according to Mohr. She said the university plans to keep that number consistent for a couple years until the goal has been reached.
“We accepted 100 more students this year than last, there will be a little bump when that junior class graduates,” she said. “Growth is always one way to increase your budget and availability, if the institution can handle it.”
Nicholas Camacho, a junior Biology major, does not think the university will be able to accommodate 7,000 students.
“It is already crowded enough, we have sophomores living on York, you can’t get food in between classes, it takes so long,” Camacho said. “It’s bad enough getting to campus on the shuttle, but parking is a nightmare. People do not know where to park and they put their cars where they aren’t supposed to.”
The university is accepting more students in hopes to align class sizes within schools and majors, according to Mohr.
“In terms of what we can serve our student population, part of it is balancing all of our different schools and majors,” said Mohr. “We recently started a School of Engineering and that first class was about 27 and now the most recent class is closer to 100 students.”
As the University grows, more students are becoming interested in the unique opportunities Quinnipiac has to offer, according to Mohr.
“Some of the things we are hoping for next year is more food options, places for people to go in terms of lunch,” Mohr said. “If sophomores have the option to live on York from the beginning, I think they’d find that attractive, and if we continue to put in the request for an expand on housing by a couple hundred beds, that would really help.”
It is too soon for admissions to tell if the school plans on continuing the upward trend, even after reaching its 7,000 student goal. But there are plans to utilize the three campuses and have more students reside on the York Hill and even North Haven campuses, according to Mohr.
“We have on the drawing board an additional three hundred beds for York Hill that was denied by the town last year,” Mohr said. “Students next year will hopefully have the option to live in the flats on North Haven if that’s where their classes are.”
Although Melissa Frank, a junior Occupational Therapy major, thinks moving health science majors onto the North Haven campus would be convenient, she does not think that she would get her ideal college experience on a separate campus.
“The North Haven campus has a very professional feel to it which is great for classes and labs, but not for living,” Frank said. “Students need that casual homey place to escape to. Also the majority of students on North Haven like the idea of living in a house or apartment instead of a dorm. It would isolate the health science students even more than they already are by being on a completely different campus.”
Changing the university curriculum by eliminating QU201 and QU301 has freed up classrooms for other courses, according to Mohr.
“I think that [the campus flow] can depend on what major you’re in, what class you’re in, they’ve broadened the options for students,” Mohr said. “In the courses where it is appropriate to have labs or very small classes, such as the engineering labs, health science labs and biology labs, those are very small. I think going from to 24 to 26 students per class will not be a big problem.”
Camacho has experienced lack of seating in classrooms.
“I’m in an orgo class and there aren’t enough chairs for students, we have to sit in individual chairs with no desks,” he said.
Mohr has confidence and a positive outlook for the continual growth of the university.
“We’ve handled the growth very well and we are always looking for more ways to try and be more efficient in terms of assigning classroom space as well as faculty based on the needs to the program,” Mohr said.