Sunday, October 2, 2022

New ‘Normal’ Leads to Record Enrollment, New Challenges at UM

By Chandler Tucker

IMC Student

The University of Mississippi welcomed a record-breaking freshman class for fall 2022, and this enrollment, combined with a new group of transfer students, is leading to adjustments for both the students and the faculty. 

With COVID-19 finally dying down, there has been a new sense of normalcy. This normalcy has caused kids to want to have the real college experience that so many others missed. This is what I believe went through the minds of the 4,000-plus students who applied for Ole Miss this year. 

For several years now, Oxford has experienced a growth explosion. The community is continuing to “explode” not just because of families moving to town but also because of the rapidly expanding student population at Ole Miss. 

On the first day of class this year, I decided to get to the Gertrude Ford Center commuter parking lot 30 minutes early. Little did I know that in order to get a spot, I would have had to find one at least an hour earlier. When I finally got to class, I noticed that several other students also walked in late because of the parking situation. 

Later that day, my friends and I went to the Student Union to grab a bite to eat. When we arrived, every single food line was wrapped around the building. We stood in line for around 45 minutes, and by the time we got our food, we had only five minutes to eat before rushing to our next class across campus. 

This 22% increase in registration over the last year raises a lot of questions for the future of the University of Mississippi, as well as its enrollment rate. 

If the University allows this percentage to keep going up, then the administration will have to find the funding to expand parking lots, dormitories and other facilities. If the University decides to lower this percentage, it will have to up the competition.

While the future may seem up in the air about Ole Miss enrollment, it is important to focus on what we can do now in order to help others adjust and keep the “exploding” situation from intensifying. 

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