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Feeling the squeeze

University of La Verne students returning for the spring semester have been met with more than 120 fewer parking stalls and overfilled classes. The combination of new dorm construction removing parking lots and a sharp increase in spring 2011 new enrollments has compounded our growing pains, straining advisers and leaving some newbies feeling lost.

This spring ULV opened its doors to 106 new students, up from 72 who started in spring semester 2010. Those who began this spring, and current students who registered late, found themselves shut out of classes.

Beginning a class with professors announcing they have reached capacity and cannot add any more students is not a great thing to hear for those students that were enrolled late and cannot get any classes they want.

Jerome Garcia, associate professor of biology, has 50 or more students in each of two classes, well over the original limit, according to the course catalog. However many professors were not as willing to allow extra students in to their courses.

The first impression of ULV for these late-enrolled students is that we are another overfilled university that cannot accommodate for any increase.

ULV has a fantastic reputation for the faculty-to-student ratio, which is currently 12-to-1, and the small class sizes.

However if the university is purely concentrating on getting new students, the current students suffer. Between fall 2009 and fall 2010, enrollment has increased by 26 percent and is anticipated to increase by another 100 students this fall.

A new academic building is in the Master Plan to help this adjustment but will not begin construction for at least three years, according to Homa Shabahang, vice provost of enrollment management.

Additionally the ratio of classes taught by adjuncts vs. full time faculty has reached roughly 50 percent.

If the administration would concentrate on the academia instead of building new dormitories and parking lots and getting enrollment up, the student body would be happier. The current student body is what fuels the future of ULV, so it would be in the University’s best interest for us to be content with our education system.

We need more academic buildings to be big enough for the anticipated enrollment increases of the near future. We need more full-time faculty on campus so students have more resources on campus instead of adding adjunct professors. Granted some adjunct professors are amazing and teach students a lot using their industry experience. But there are also those that make a semester miserable.

“It is a major priority to guarantee that students will graduate from the university within four years,” Shabahang said. “However the students cannot always have a convenient schedule to do so.”

This university attracted most, if not all, of its students for the intimate classroom environment and the faculty and student interaction, where we are not seen as just another student.

If we wanted 500 people in a class, no relations with professors or insane parking, we would have gone to a Cal State.

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