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Editorial

Concerns grow with student population

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September 18, 2008

It’s good to see that UW-River Falls’ goal of going green is shared by the new food service provider, Sodexo. Their focus on using green materials, such as their cups made from corn, and their removal of trays fits well with the Universities goal of sustainability. But, now that one of the University’s goals is finally being realized, it is time to focus on more dire problems facing the campus.

Overcrowding has been an ongoing problem at UWRF. In each of the past two years there has been an influx of about 1,200 incoming freshmen per year. The South Fork Suites were built just three years ago, but the residence halls on campus are jammed and students are forced to deal with overflow each year. Talks have already begun regarding the construction of South Fork II.

Yet, even being faced with overcrowding, the University is not doing what is needed to accommodate the number of students it currently has.

Certain classes that utilize the Adobe Software Suite are facing the problem of the university not having enough licenses to cover the number of students enrolled in the class.  Students are forced to share computers because the licenses needed for the class are shared, across campus and being used by other students outside of class.

The loss of faculty members is another problem facing the campus community. Small class sizes and personal contact with professors are advantages to attending UWRF, yet professors and administrators are moving on or retiring. It seems like a growing number of faculty members have an ‘Interim’ or ‘Adjunct’ before their title.

The problem of decreasing faculty is already being felt by the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Science. The department is on the verge of having to cut their food science program due to lack of qualified faculty members to teach courses. The food science program also has lost its accreditation due to the decline in faculty members.  It is ridiculous that the University is unable to find replacement professors for one of its flagship programs.

We know that progress has been made with going green and changing food service providers, but it is time to focus on these broader issues facing the campus community.