Enrollment figures expected to set record

Justin R. Lessman

Justin R. Lessman

Though official SDSU enrollment figures for fall 2002 will not be released for at least another week, evidence abounds that there may be a record number of students on campus.

While the university has a fairly good idea of the numbers, only the SDSU Board of Regents can release official figures, Marysz P. Rames, dean of Student Affairs, said.

“The Board of Regents are the authorized ones, so to speak,” Rames said. “We just have to wait until after the numbers have been reviewed by them.”

She said the numbers are withheld by the BOR because they will fluctuate for awhile.

“The first few weeks, students are still withdrawing, dropping and adding,” she said.

“The official report will be a number that is what is called the ‘enrollment freeze point’ where we know almost for sure and have the set number which is the reported enrollment.”

Technically, the BOR can release the enrollment information anytime after the first 10 days of the semester, but they usually do not, she said.

“The usual date to release is on September 27,” she said. “So, we’ll have that ‘frozen’ enrollment number then.”

While the SDSU community waits for the release of the official enrollment numbers, many departments on campus already have a fairly good idea of the degree of the hike in student numbers.

In the University Bookstore, sales have been anything but usual, according to Cheryl J. Havrevold, textbook manager.

“Sales of freshmen textbooks have been strong,” she said.

A textbook that most freshmen are required to purchase for composition class, the St. Martin’s Handbook, has been flying off the shelves, she said.

“Last fall the number of handbooks sold was 706,” Havrevold said last Thursday. “So far this year, we have sold 971 of them.”

The sale of on-campus meal plans has also reflected an increase in enrollment.

John Sterbois, director of dining services, said that while he was unable to give a specific number, more meal plans have been sold this year than in previous ones.

“The number of meal plans sold is certainly going to follow residential life numbers,” he said.

Sterbois also said he was unable to give a specific number because of the fluctuation expected at the beginning of the school year.

Greek Advisor Shonda Reed said the increased number of housing releases issued by the department of Residential Life showed that there was indeed an enrollment increase.

Housing releases are forms that release to a recognized fraternity underclassmen in good standing from their binding, two-year contracts with the residence halls.

Reed said that a formula developed years ago by Greek Council and the department of Residential Life determines the number of release forms issued annually.

The number cannot fall below 19.

“For the past few years, we have been sitting right at 19,” Reed said. “This year we got a few more.”

Reed said the original formula used to determine release numbers allowed one person to live at a fraternity per 210 people in residence halls.

“The formula was revised to one for every 200 spaces this year,” she said.

“There is a clause in there too that says if residence halls have overflow, more shall be released. There was an overflow, what with dayrooms being converted into six-person rooms, so we got some more.”

Reed said that after July 1, the department of Residential Life instructed her to offer as many housing releases as she could to those males who qualified.

Female fraternity houses were already full.

“We were initially given five spots and we then offered four releases,” she said. “One was turned down, so three were actually released.”

Reed said this release clause was implemented to alleviate stress on residence halls.

“The halls are filled. It’s easy to see that the incoming class this year is larger than in past years,” she said.