Students decide if campus is crowded


Editorial Board

SDSU is growing. It’s the largest university in the state, and the flow of students onto campus doesn’t look like it’s going to end anytime soon.

This week, in an article on the front page we posed the question to university officials and students, “Are we overcrowded?”

Students like Michelle Westerbur, a junior park management major from Pipestone, Minn., are worried about basic issues like parking and dorms.

University Police Department Chief Tim Heaton said he doesn’t believe parking is anymore of problem this year than in years before.

As for the housing situation, Bailey Hall was opened to sophomores this year and Dean of Student Affairs Marysz Rames said the number of people living in day rooms has gone down.

In addition, the university is expanding the student union and building a new dorm.

Whenever enrollment figures are released and the University of South Dakota either declines or its increases are less than SDSU, USD President Jim Abbot gives a familiar mantra about his university’s high ACT scores. Even if SDSU ends up with lower overall ACT scores, at least our doors are open to everbody.

There’s a lot of circumstantial evidence that we’ve gotten bigger. There are more students on the sidewalks. It’s more difficult to get on campus with a car, especially during the peak class time hours.

“We think we have a good number of students now,” said SDSU President Peggy Gordon Miller. “There is no magic number as to how many is too few or how many is too many. We watch the enrollments in the various majors to see if there is still space in good programs.”

And Student Association President Amanda Mattingly calls the campus “cozy” not crowded.

But who determines capacity when university officials are quick to say that there’s no problem at all?

Ultimately, you, the students, have to decide. If your classrooms are so full that you’re not getting a good education or if finding a place to park is such a problem that you don’t make it to class, you need to speak up.

You can use the Collegian to voice your concerns, you can go straight to the administrators or you can talk to one of your Student Association senators.