California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

Cal Lutheran’s freshmen class is the largest to date

California Lutheran University announced the Class of 2019 as the largest and most diverse class in school history.

Cal Lutheran research specialist, Andrea Cruz said, “There is an 8 percent increase for first-time freshman enrollment this year in comparison to the previous year.  And almost half of the new students belong to an ethnic group.”

So what are the reasons for the large increase in enrollment numbers this year?

According to a study published by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce titled “The Millenial Generation Research Review” there are several possible answers to this question. The most common answer is the millennial generation demographic being the largest generation in United States history.  This year’s freshmen are some of the last of this populous generation. Millennials, or Generation Y, place a higher value on education more than any other generation, and more seek to obtain a college degree.  The millennials’ parents are partly responsible for stressing the importance of academia on top of the dwindling economy forcing more into the classroom instead of into the workforce.         

The Council of Economic Advisers for the White House explain in further detail in their October 2014 report entitled “15 Economic Facts About Millennials.”  Last year’s report claimed, “Millennials’ commitment to higher education is therefore a rational response to a labor market that confers large rewards on more educated workers. Moreover, during recessions, young people tend to enroll in school in greater numbers and also tend to stay in school longer.”

The abundance of new students at college institutions, including Cal Lutheran, could pose a few problems, however.     

While Cal Lutheran certainly celebrates its larger incoming class, the university could potentially face issues regarding crowded quarters, particularly, in the lower-class dorms.  As a result of the rise in the freshman population, naturally, the residential community grows as well.  In some cases, five students occupy a room as opposed to four, and many residant assistants now share their space instead of living alone.

“If we get consecutive incoming residential classes of 600 or more we may, at that time, have to relax the policy, but by no means change it altogether.  The belief that a valuable liberal arts education includes the residential experience is important to us and we want to make sure we stick to our values.  Additionally, if we see similar numbers in the years to come, that will prompt the discussion of building a new residential hall,” Associate Director of Housing Nathan Fall said.

Cal Lutheran’s population on campus rapidly expanded this fall, but the staff, as well as the students, remain optimistic and hold the potentially negative situation in a positive light. 

“I honestly think it is better for the school,” said Joey Chiurazzi, a resident sophomore at Cal Lutheran.  “Having a wider variety of people living on campus allows students to meet and interact with more people.  Even our sports teams are doing better.  We have a men’s volleyball program now, and I think the increase in students this year made that happen.  Overall, it’s a better situation.”

Going to college and obtaining a college education reaches farther than learning different academic subjects.  It is also about the experiences outside of the classroom as well.  Meeting new people and participating in campus activities with fellow peers allows students to grow and to learn how to handle situations outside of their comfort zone.       

Freshman living with the tight circumstances this semester, take advantage of the opportunity.        

Fall acknowledged the staff and the new students for their part in this unique academic year. 

“We are very grateful to our admissions staff for doing such a great job at bringing in new students, and thankful that those students see the value in a residential experience,” Fall said.

Tate Rutland
Staff Writer
Published September 16th, 2015

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