Record freshman class brings changes

 

Eastern Michigan University’s incoming freshman class for fall 2012 has 2,563 registered students as of Aug. 24, an increase that has caused changes throughout campus.

Interim Director of Admissions Chris LaRusso said that by this time last year, 2,079 freshmen were registered for classes.

“That is an increase of 23 percent,” LaRusso said.
The increase in freshman registration has caused several changes, starting with the 2012 orientation.

“In order to assist our freshman class in a successful transition to EMU, we are making adjustments to our program planning to make sure we are able to accommodate a record number of students,” Melissa Ginotti, director of Campus Life, said.

She also said that the number of new student orientation assistants has been increased this year to 168, compared to last year’s 141, to accommodate the large freshman class.

“Our programming spaces are maxed out, due to a larger new class, but we are excited to be having to deal with this ‘problem,’” Ginotti said.

She said the increase in freshmen required more recruiting, interviewing and training than has been done in the past.

Campus Life has also been working with Dining Services to ensure that enough space and food will be available for the new freshmen during opening week, Ginotti said.

The changes being made extend beyond orientation. More students are living on campus this year than EMU has had for the past eight years; not only are there more freshmen living on campus, but more returning and transfer students as well, according to Assistant Director of Residence Life Colleen Tompkins.

“We are up 17 percent in new incoming freshmen, which is about 272 more than last year,” she said.

Tompkins said Best Hall was to be closed for renovations originally, but needed to be kept open and is filled with new incoming freshmen and Hoyt Hall has been reopened. Half of Hoyt has been turned into double room space to accommodate more students, while the other half remains single room space.

Tompkins said multiple factors were the cause for the increase in students, including more freshmen applying and being admitted, as well as marketing campaigns aimed at new and returning students to spike interest in on-campus living.

She said the slogan “Live the Full Experience” was used in presentations to students and in materials they received.

“Our Fast Track presentations directed to new incoming freshmen and their parents were updated and refreshed and emphasized the convenience of on-campus living, our Living/Learning and Theme Communities, employment options and the opportunity to be involved in the many programs and activities offered in the halls,” Tompkins said.

She said showrooms were created in each living environment so that all areas could be explored, as opposed to the past when only the First Year Center featured a showroom.


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