Dakota State University proudly hosts a record number of enrolled students for the second year in a row. This year there are 3,102 students currently enrolled in programs at DSU, 1,746 of which are full-time enrolled students, a 2.23 percent increase in full-time students since last fall. This is more of an accomplishment considering the South Dakota Public University system as a whole saw a decline in the total percent of students enrolled in its universities. This is in large part thanks to the admissions department, which is continuing to work on recruiting programs, including a new advertising campaign. Upper class students on the other hand are also learning to deal with the large numbers of new students on campus. I took time this week to find out how each group is dealing with DSU’s amazing enrollment numbers.
To find out more information about the new advertising campaign, I sat down with Ms. Erica Clements. Ms. Clements works in both the admissions and public relations office in Heston Hall, and has been doing so for the last several years. When asked about the new advertising campaign, in order to help keep it as a surprise, Ms. Clements stated that she could only reveal a few details about the ad itself. What she could tell me is that through the public relations department, the university is working with an advertising company based out Sioux Falls named Fresh Produce. Furthermore, she told me that the ad is going to be geared towards students of all subjects, not merely tech students. Giving a hint at what to look for in the ad, she said, “There will be a lot of gaming references.” Although she could not give me a lot of information as to what the ad would look like, I did leave her office with a great sense of anticipation for what the ad would look like.
While admissions is looking to keep raising enrollment numbers, students are learning to deal with larger numbers of students on campus. I went around campus interviewing students to see if they had noticed any differences on campus due to higher numbers of students on campus, and seeing what effects these freshmen were having on upper-classmen. Kevin Carda, a senior who works in the mailroom, told me that he has noticed that the TC has been much busier than it has been in previous years, which he stated was a very good thing. The new students are also having a positive impact on various activities around campus. Beau Dicus, a junior, has enjoyed their participation in Humans vs. Zombies (HVZ). He stated that the number of new students willing to participate and learn the new rules has greatly improved the HVZ game play.
However, the large influx of students has not had completely positive results. With larger numbers than ever before, dormitories are becoming very crowded and students have to deal with more students than before. I spoke with sophomore Daryl Bunker about this issue, and he told me how it is affecting the Richardson housing life. He said that students in corner rooms, due to the lack of room on campus, were living three to a corner room, instead of the usual two to a room. Nevertheless, he stated that this issue has been resolved and the corner rooms now have two people instead of the three that they had.
Dakota State University continues to grow and adapt to the new students that are entering the school. Whether they are seeking a technical, business or liberal arts degree, students know that DSU willing to welcome them with open arms.