When Wilson College first went co-ed in the academic year of 2013-14, there were less than one thousand students on campus. Now, as the academic year 2018-19 begins, the campus has a record shattering number of 1,499 students on campus, the most the college has ever had since it first opened in 1869.
With more students on a smaller campus like Wilson College, comes a lot of higher expectations from those who are freshman and those who are upperclassmen, like the juniors and seniors who have seen a small student body on campus and now a large body on campus. Things like more dining hall hours, more cars driving around, bigger classroom sizes, and more dorm rooms being filled, are all different aspects of the college that have changed and are having a significant impact on just about everyone on campus.
“The guy to girl ratio is the best it has ever been so there are a lot more people to talk to,” Amber Allen ’21 said, “Along with that, there are a lot more people in the dining hall during the week, especially during lunch.”
The dining hall has been a big impact on the enrollment. With more students and continuous dining hours 7a.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Friday, students can walk into the dining hall to grab a meal, or even just a snack if that is all that is needed.
Living in the dorms has also been impacted.
“Rooming in the dorms is at maximum capacity so there are not many floors that are very quiet anymore,” Bethany Comp ’21 mentioned. “It is not rare to see a new face on campus every day but last year it was rare because everyone knew each other.”
Another impact of the enrollment growth that is particularly noticeable are the class sizes. According to usnews.com, updated in 2018, there are 81 percent of class sizes with fewer than 20 students and only 18 percent of students with a class size ranging from 20-49. That number is starting to slowly change with more people enrolling at Wilson.
“I do not have many classes with freshman but one of my Chemistry classes is big with nearly 50 students,” Allen added.
Having smaller class sizes has benefited a lot of the current students who are upperclassmen that have seen what the campus used to look like versus how it is now. There are many pros and cons to having smaller and bigger classes, but many students here enjoy the smaller class sizes.
“I prefer small classes and the bigger class sizes have taken away from the one on one teaching,” Comp ’21 later added. “It is more about learning on your own because there are more students.”
Wilson College is continuing to grow in all aspects and the campus life is being changed with it. Students coming to campus in the upcoming years will most likely see the college differently than how current students see it because of how fast and quickly it is growing, and how word is getting out about the college.