Are we suited for increased enrollment?

Are+we+suited+for+increased+enrollment%3F

North Wind Staff

Between renovations and new programs—like Social Media Design Management and Medicinal Plant Chemistry—NMU has stepped up their game in comparison to surrounding universities, so it makes sense one could conclude that these million-dollar upgrades take credit for a 3% increase in enrollment between winter 2019 and now.

When deciding what institution fits them best, a student pays close attention to the location, cost of tuition and what programs are offered to fit their career choice. But the environment and asthetic of universities do play a big factor in consideration as well, especially up here in a place where there’s more light from a beaming LED reflecting off a snow mound than the sun in the sky.

What students look for in a university is no secret to Northern, since students would prefer living in a room in The Woods than signing a waiver to live under asbesto-ridden tiles. This institution operates like a business, so on a serious matter, an increase in enrollment is important. But what mustn’t be overlooked is the problem that may occur from an exponential increase in enrollment years down the road. Sure, we’re at a 3% increase at the moment, but at this rate, are we expanding in the right places? Are we getting a little carried away and renovation-happy?

We aren’t just talking about building space and where to hold future classes, we’re talking about parking spots, professors to teach more courses and even housing. The new dorms are great, up to date and attractive. It’s no wonder incoming freshmen could see a future home here. But what happens when that space runs out? We already ran into an increase in demand for living space when there were plans to shut down Spalding Hall, but obviously, this couldn’t be done.

What happens to Gries Hall and the forgotten West Hall that now has vines climbing up the bricks? Are they on the backburner? Perhaps these areas should be dealt with before being overlooked onto the next.

Northern has a lot to show for on the outside, but there’s a lot of work that needs to be done on the inside that has yet to be taken care of and goes unseen. An increase in enrollment is positive change, but as the years go by, and numbers shoot up, are we ready?