Concerns with Cal Poly Humboldt increasing enrollment

Graphic by Ione Dellos

With millions of dollars worth of funding, Cal Poly Humboldt (CPH) should have focused first on investing their money and resources on their small population of currently-enrolled students before trying to increase their enrollment numbers.

The funding allows the institution to “increase enrollment by 50% in three years,” as stated in its Polytechnic Prospectus. With this in mind, the school expects the amount of total enrolled students to grow to 8,024 in fall 2024. While there are plans to address housing and parking concerns in the future, the earliest the campus will see these solutions is fall 2025.

Enrolling more students without addressing the issues in our current size (around 5,800 students) is only going to create more problems. I have seen no data to address the full year of dealing with current parking and housing concerns with around 2,200 more students. If you thought looking for parking now was bad, just wait until you’re circling around for more than an hour trying to find a single spot against potentially hundreds of more people.

Only when all the currently-enrolled students are accommodated should the school start focusing on bringing in more students. One major thing to remember about CPH is that this campus is not big. AT ALL.

One of the main things about Humboldt that appealed to me was the fact that there weren’t a lot of students attending. It’s a tighter community. It’s less hectic. This is great for socially-anxious students such as myself and I feel like I actually get attention in my classes. It makes being here feel more exclusive and
honestly, there’s not really a lot of room for the school to expand in size.

Arcata, itself, is not a big city. There is already a limited number of housing units available off-campus. Events already get so packed to the point where students don’t want to wait in line. A perfect example would be the end-of-the-year “Breakfast for Dinner” event at the end of Fall 2022, when the lines went all the way down the J building.

It’s very cool that CPH has big, exciting plans for the future and I know future students will be grateful for these changes. It just makes me sad to think about the school losing its original charm, which was that it was a small campus.

In addition, I know the current students would have really liked to see this money be used to help them before inviting more people in. The increase in funding should have been used to first address and provide solutions for issues we are already dealing with, specifically housing and food insecurities, and issues with reports of mold in the dorm rooms. It could have been put into providing more instruments for students of the music department to check out.

There is already so many issues to be acknowledged and there is not a lot of students in attendance right now. I worry about what will happen when this school grows.

Even with the new housing and parking units, I can’t help but to think about how letting more people in won’t get rid of this school’s problems; it’ll just bring more.

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