No more options, vote for enrollment cap today

Western has reached a fork in the road. Ransdell and the administration have to pick which path to take and do it now. We don’t have a choice anymore.

Since 1997, Western has grown by more than 5,000 students. It has done so with no new academic buildings and no new dorms. Some faculty and staff feel overwhelmed.

If we follow our current path, we risk losing the quality of our education. Or we can slow our growth, cap our enrollment and increase our standards.

We prefer the latter.

We commend the Student Government Association for taking initiative on this issue. It will vote on legislation tonight that, if passed, will recommend the university cap enrollment. It’s legislation SGA shouldn’t take lightly or forget about as they as the members leave their chambers.

For years Western has been bringing in more students than it can handle, but it’s not necessarily the university’s fault. The state pushed Western and all other state schools to increase enrollment. In exchange, Western was supposed to receive a large chunk of money.

Western has shown the most rapid growth in state, but so far no money has come our way. And because of the state’s grim economic situation, it may not come soon.

So something has to be done immediately.

While having an enrollment cap is not ideal, it’s something that can help us in the short-term future. We don’t want a permanent enrollment cap, just something to get us by until the state comes through in the next few years.

Sure, it would be nice if Western could continue its rapid growth rate and become the second largest university in the state. But it’s no good if our teachers are overworked and there’s no space for new students.

SGA’s legislation could be an important, maybe even crucial, step for the university. If students take to this idea, it may push the university to make a decision.

SGA needs to take this vote seriously. This can’t be a vote made and then tossed to the side.

Our recommendation is to try lobbying the University Senate for its support. There are some powerful people in the senate who can get things done. Together, the two groups represent the largest number of people on campus. Together, you can push this to the Board of Regents for a vote.

And if it reaches that point, start calling your regents. All of them, not just the ones who work on campus. Call them at work, call them at home. Make them realize just how important this legislation is.

We’ve let the state push us around enough. They made a promise they haven’t been able to keep.

It’s time we take the issue into our own hands.

Good luck SGA. You’re part of solving this problem.

This editorial represents the majority opinion of the Herald’s 10-member board of student editors.