Campus must grow to match incoming classes
While the news that Rice gained 169 more students than anticipated reflects positively on our campus' popularity, the spike in enrollment undermines the university's assurances that the class sizes would top out at roughly 950 students (see story, page 1). Although we have no problem with growth in general, the university must dedicate the resources to growing its facilities and opportunities at a rate proportional with that of class sizes.
One of the biggest selling points of Rice in previous years has been the student-to-faculty ratio of 6-to-1. The university needs to increase the number of faculty positions, particularly for professors of large introductory courses, to keep class sizes low. Furthermore, LPAPs have been the bane of many students' existences, with many second- and third-year students unable to register for these courses even before Rice began to grow in size.
Housing also proved somewhat troublesome this year, with many students being asked to triple up in rooms. Despite this tripling up of students, Rice still lacked housing for a number of transfer students. Rice's culture revolves around the residential college system, and the college system is dependent on students being able to live on campus. While the issue of students being forced off-campus isn't a huge problem at the moment, it is certainly something that needs to be considered for the future if this unbrideled growth continues at Rice.
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