Walking to class can sometimes seem like a long, arduous journey because of the amount of people everywhere. Good luck finding a seat and an electrical outlet in Ayala Science Library or Langson Library. Make sure you have enough time to wait in line before you decide to go to the Starbucks on campus.
In this particular year, too many of the approximately 31,000 students, who received acceptance letters from UC Irvine, decided to attend. This caused the summer debacle in which 499 incoming students had their acceptances rescinded. For the freshman population especially, the effects of campus crowding are evident.
One of the most significant problems of campus crowding is class enrollment. Many classes are immediately full once enrollment windows begin opening. This is problematic for classes that are only offered once a year or that serve as prerequisites for multiple classes. Students should not have to struggle with getting the classes that they need or want to take.
The inability to enroll in a particular class can force students to take the class during the summer break or to graduate in five years rather than four. It is especially difficult for students who want to take required classes to change their major, only to find that those classes are either full or have major restrictions that take weeks to be lifted.
It is great that UCI was named the no. 1 college “doing the most for the American dream” by The New York Times. However, there is still much room for improvement in terms of providing students with better access to classes. It is difficult to understand where exactly you stand in achieving your American Dream when you do not even know if you will get off the class waitlist or not. Classes that are required prerequisites should be offered more often during the school year or allow more space for students to enroll.
Campus crowding is also a prominent cause of of UCI’s parking problem. It is difficult to arrive to class on time when there is nowhere to park, even if you arrive early. Because UCI is primarily a commuter school, there should be a better parking alternative, especially with the expanding student population. Similarly, the crowded campus also means frequently overcrowded buses, which is inopportune for students who use them daily. It is crucial for UCI to address these overcrowding problems by providing greater access to parking and transportation.
The more students that UCI wants to serve in the future, the more issues that the administration needs to address now.
Amy Huynh is a first-year aerospace engineering major. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.