Resident hall changes, larger classes and more sections added are all accommodations that have been made by the provost’s office as a growing number of undergraduates and graduates flock to Wesleyan.
Sharon Manson, director of residence life, has been working on making adjustments to all the residence halls since the summer.
Manson said she opened Otho C. Armstrong Hall, which was primarily used for office space and storage over the last few years, to be used as dorms again for incoming students.
Manson said when they put full-size beds in Elizabeth, they had enough beds from the turnover to fill the need in O.C. Hall, but she had to hire another resident assistant as well.
“With more students, we can do more things,” Manson said. “R.A.s are excited about having full floors and excited people.”
Manson also said the rising cost of gas and the influx of international students led to more than 400 students living on campus.
“It is a good and vibrant life,” Manson said. “Because we have students involved in things, and they are coming out to stuff.”
Not only has residence life had to make changes, some professors have had to do so as well. Bruce McDonald, associate professor of religion and philosophy, has made a few accommodations for his international students.
“If they struggle with the homework, I sit down with them,” McDonald said. “I work with them until they understand it.”
McDonald said the content of the class has remained the same, but the portion he normally has set up for students to write an essay on a test, he has placed more multiple choice and matching questions. As far as the homework… they still have to do it.
“I took more personal time with each student that needs it,” McDonald said. “I make that accommodation, but that does not bother me.”
McDonald normally teaches four classes, but this semester he is currently teaching seven, 106 students in all.
This semester he teaches one Old Testament class with 30 students, two world religion classes, 20 students in one and 27 in the other, and one conference class, Pauline epistles with five students. He also teaches one independent study, New Testament Greek, with two students, one Christian beliefs class, with 11 students and one introduction to philosophy class with 11 students.
“To me, any student who is struggling deserves help,” McDonald said.
This fall is the third highest enrollment Wesleyan has ever had in its history.
Pati Alexander, vice president of enrollment and student services, likes having so many students on campus.
“It is really exciting. I love seeing all the new students on campus,” Alexander said. “But, I love seeing the diversity too, I think it is great.”
Alexander said there are 282 freshmen and 310 transfer undergraduate students whom now call Wesleyan home. In those numbers 114 of them are international students and 592 of them are either transfer or new undergraduate students.
“In my opinion, the more students the merrier,” Alexander said. “Because it impacts campus life.”
Alexander said this is the first time housing has been full in the 28 years she has been here.
“That is so exciting to see this many students,” Alexander said. “What I am hearing is that there is a lot of students coming to the athletic events.”
Alexander said the other day when she was sitting outside on a bench she noticed more activity on campus as well.
“It is just great to have that much activity, going on in the student body,” Alexander said. “This campus was dead in the afternoons. Now there are people walking everywhere.”
Rachel Peel, firstname.lastname@example.org