Our campus is growing, but at what cost?

By Amanda Finnegan
May 4, 2006

We all have big dreams in life. Dreams of successful careers, dreams of stardom or endless riches. But sometimes, as hard as we try, some dreams are inevitably unreachable.

Even little Cabrini has big dreams. With a new marketing team managing Cabrini’s career, the administration’s new quest is to become a big-time university, even if it means leaving the little people behind.

From banners on the beach to billboards on the Wildwood boardwalk to Cabrini sponsoring the “Philly Fanatic Dance,” students saw Cabrini’s new logo and marketing campaign in full effect.

But, as hard as Cabrini tries, we are no Villanova, Penn State or Penn, despite the similar coat of arms we pawned off them.

Last fall, Cabrini welcomed 531 freshmen, previously its largest freshmen class in the history of the college. This year, Cabrini accepted 2,095 freshmen, double the population of residents on campus. Out of those 2,095 acceptees, 539 new Cavaliers enrolled. Four-hundred and seventy are residents, forcing many of our upperclassmen to move off campus. Valley Forge is now home to our spill-over of upperclassman.

Although Cabrini’s campus population continues to physically grow, diversity is at a standstill. According to the CollegeBoard.com, 89 percent of Cabrini’s students are Caucasian.

Most students who came to Cabrini came for the feel of a small school and tight-knit community. We love the feeling of professors knowing our names and the crowd of familiar faces in the cafeteria. But the familiar faces are becoming a little hazier as an overwhelming flood of new students drowns the campus.

There are other institutions students could have chosen if they just wanted to be a number. Cabrini has always been an institution where students can receive personal attention. Students choose Cabrini to stand out from the crowd, not blend into one.

It’s no longer just about losing parking spots. It’s about losing everything that students came to Cabrini for. As Cabrini, accepts more students, the student-to-professor ratio rises, forcing Cabrini to increase class sizes or hire more part-time faculty members. As the college continues to grow with facilities to house students, the campus will loose its natural beauty that makes it so unique.

We understand Cabrini is ultimately a tuition-driven institution, with tuition at an all time high of $25,120. We understand that each new student allows the college to improve facilities.

Nevertheless, it seems as if Cabrini’s administration is more concerned with accepting new students than valuing their current students. Only 72 percent of students return for their sophomore year, according to the CollegeBoard.com. Losing nearly 30 percent of freshmen makes the college work twice as hard to replace and orient that number.

Growing isn’t a bad thing but stifling our current students is. Expensive logos and an overcrowded campus are not anyone’s idea of growth. The college places more emphasis on their goal of growth in numbers instead of creating a campus where students are able to grow.

Being a respected university is first priority, not an overpriced, overpopulated one. Bigger doesn’t always equal better.

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Amanda Finnegan

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