Laurier needs plan for overcrowding

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It seems that lately no matter where you go on Laurier’s campus there are dozens of others going in the same direction.

This is a common experience for the beginning of September as campus usually feels crowded with the eager new crop of first years hanging out in hallways and utilizing their freedom to the best of their ability.

This year, however, feels far worse than ever before and that feeling is entirely justified. Wilfrid Laurier University’s Waterloo campus has increased its first-year enrollment significantly since last year.

But a three per cent rise in first-year admissions seems like nothing compared to the way the student population has nearly doubled in the past ten years.

For any other school with land to spare, this would be good news and indeed it is to the university administration who relies on student enrollment to keep the university functioning. Laurier, unfortunately, is not like most post-secondary institutions. Trapped in a one-block radius, our space is precious.

What’s frustrating about the university’s decision to continuously increase its enrollment is the utter lack of anticipation and preparation for handling a rapidly growing number of students.

The Global Innovation Exchange (GIE) building will surely add much needed office and lecture space to the campus, but as an untouched construction site, it does little to house the needs of students.

While it was a commendable decision to knock down St. Michael’s campus, it was not done with the intention to begin construction right away but rather, to secure the GIE’s funding.

This building will surely remedy the spatial limitations on campus, but with no intention to have this completed until 2015 or later, the crowds at WLU will only get more intense.

The angry reactions to the newly-renovated dining hall which eliminated valuable study space just proves how claustrophobic the school is beginning to feel. There is virtually no where students can go to study or do group work, not to mention the time it takes to get anywhere.

It is becoming necessary to devote an entire afternoon to standing in line for the Bookstore, Hub and what little food options are left for senior students.

The location of Laurier is obviously not ideal for students or university officials. However, the university should have anticipated this massive crowding. If they plan to keep letting in more and more students they need to make a better plan for the future.

–The Cord Editorial Board

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