First-year overload: Class of ’18 brings record enrollment

Due to this year’s large first-year class, many on campus organizations and resources have needed to make changes in order to in accommodate the growing student population.

When it comes to the social aspect of St. Kate’s, the various organizations are near and dear to students’ hearts. An example of an on campus organization that has changed due to expanding enrollment is Campus Ministry.

“It’s been awesome for us. With the high numbers, more students show up and are engaged,” said Laurie Svatek, Director of Campus Ministry.

This engagement from the students has influenced the Campus Ministry as they witness a greater population of students attending mass and larger participation in programs such as Prayer Partners. Substantial participation in this program has led Campus Ministry to search for more sisters to pair with students.

“Our focuses are shaped by the students. They have the energy and they get us excited,” said Svatek, speaking on this change.

In this way, many clubs and organizations are optimistic about the growing enrollment as they are now able to expand resources with their members.

Besides on campus organizations, other resources on campus have similarly been affected by the large first-year class. Dining Services has similarly seen more use with the large first-year class.

“It has been a little bit busier as freshmen utilize the space. The Pulse in particular has been very popular,” said Ryan Sinn, the Director of Food Service.

As most freshmen live on campus, this often affects spaces such as the dining hall, and more obvious spaces such as the residence halls.

With the increase in enrollment, residence halls Stanton, Crandall, and St. Mary’s have been completely filled. First-years unable to find spots in those residence halls have been placed in previously upperclassman dorms. In Rauenhorst Residence Hall, an entire floor has been dedicated to the first-years that did not fit into the standard freshman dorms.

“I think it would have been easier to make friends in the freshman dorms, but I wouldn’t have it any other way,” Natalie Barclay ’18, resident of Rauenhorst, said.

“I wouldn’t have minded living in the freshman dorms. Everyone seems close there, and the doors are all open. It’s easier to get my work done here, though” another resident in Rauenhorst, Bryana Waage ’18, said.

In fact, most residence halls previously designated as upper classmen dorms, such as Rauenhorst, have expanded to include first-years. Other first-years seem optimistic about the large freshman class as it allows them to connect with people in their major.

“It’s nice because a lot of people are going into my major since it is a larger incoming class,” Kristen Kasel ’18, an Occupational Therapy major, said.

With the developing student body, one thing seems to stay the same: More Katies bring more positivity.

Erin can be reached at

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