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EDITORIAL: More Students, More Problems

by Avery Nixon

We are a part of Montclair State University’s largest student body ever in our school’s 114-year history. It’s exciting to break the record for the largest student body this university has ever seen, but at what cost?

In 2022, Montclair State welcomed 4,065 students as the Class of 2026. This increased our total number of students to a whopping 21,671, making it the biggest body of students this school has ever seen, “a feat accomplished for the second consecutive year under President Jonathan Koppell.”

But what does that mean for us?

Naturally, one would assume it means more money for the university. And more money means more renovations and new experiences for us.

However, the large number of students being accepted into the freshman class also creates more problems for every student currently enrolled here.

Around 75% of Montclair State students are commuters. With the ever-growing number of freshmen being admitted, there doesn’t seem to be a growing number of parking spots on campus.

Finding a parking spot is hard enough already, but since the school continues admitting a high number of students. it’s nearly impossible to find a spot.

Not to mention, the traffic for students leaving campus can be a nightmare when there’s only one exit to drive off from school.

Montclair State’s website reads, “With 16 different parking locations, including an eight-story parking deck, commuters have a multitude of parking options when arriving to campus!”

The university claims to possess “a multitude of parking options,” but somehow students are constantly circling campus looking for a space to park before their classes and throughout the day.

Furthermore, the more crowded it is, the more difficult it is to find places to study, do homework or just relax. With the growing student population, there aren’t new study rooms or places to just sit and take the load off.

To top it off, dining places are also experiencing high wait times for food because of the quantity of orders they’re experiencing at once.

Arguably, one of the most controversial issues we as students face is dorming.

Each year, Montclair State admits more students than we can handle, and therefore a dorming crisis ensues.

Too many students are in need of dorming and there’s simply not enough dorms to accommodate the high demand.

Montclair State’s website states that “Montclair State University is home to 22 residence halls, capable of housing 5,200 individuals.”

This may seem like enough since our school is mostly commuters. However, many people had a terrible housing selection experience last semester.

Students had a hard time getting apartments in Hawks Crossing and The Village with their preferred suitemates, only finding apartments with one or two beds. Some students had a hard time finding housing in general.

Now that the university is accepting more students than ever, more problems like this will arise and prevail in the future.

Overall, there are only so many resources available, reserved for a certain amount of students. Once we go over that limit, our institution becomes no longer sustainable. This can cause a threat to all students, freshmen or not.

That’s not to say the possibility of accepting more students doesn’t have its benefits, but should it be at the cost of the existing students’ livelihood?

At what point does the administration take a step back and realize they bit off more than they can chew?

It’s an irrefutable fact that we love our new Red Hawks like family, but the administration is clearly at fault of letting in more freshmen than they can handle.

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