From the university president’s office to classrooms, there is a lot of discourse about the future of the UConn Stamford campus. However, there is little to no discourse about the present state of the campus. This is unfortunate in a time when UConn Stamford students are facing issues such as limited course options, limited classroom space and poor course scheduling. If the future of the campus is to remain bright, there must be a conversation about the need for more course options, more space and better course scheduling.
The expansion of UConn Stamford began in 2017 when dormitories were added to the campus. During the following academic year, there was a 23 percent increase in applications. These trends are noticeable on campus through the increase in student enrollment, new student organizations and events. However, the expansion of the campus has been largely limited to housing units and student population. The number of courses offered and classrooms available has not necessarily expanded along with the rest of the campus. In fact, classroom facilities have not been expanded since 1998, when the current campus site was built.
It seems as if the expansion of UConn Stamford is concerned with bringing more students in than with creating more opportunities for students already on campus. The former is more profitable for the university, while the latter is more profitable for students. Fortunately, the university does not need to choose one or the other, but rather find a balance between campus needs and expansion. The first step to find such a balance starts with the university acknowledging that there are deficiencies on campus such as few course options in most departments, limited classroom space and poor course scheduling.
Many students on campus have already expressed their grievances to campus director Terrence Cheng, university president Susan Herbst, and incoming university president Thomas C. Katsouleas. However, the administrative response has been deliberate since there have been almost no course or classroom additions. As a result, students constantly have to choose one course over another and wait an additional semester to enroll in a required course. It does not help that most courses are offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays around the same times. These issues are similar yet different from issues in Storrs, highlighting the need for administration officials to pay more attention to the specific needs of the Stamford campus.
Responsible expansion of UConn Stamford will should into account how course options, classroom space and scheduling have created issues for current students before attracting new students. This will ensure that those issues are not exacerbated by a larger student population. Moreover, addressing those issues will create a richer academic experience for all students at UConn Stamford.
Michael Hernandez is a contributor for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.