Opinion: Let’s Keep Things Small

getPhoto.jspSomeone once said that good things come in small packages, and I believe that’s true when it comes to the student size of Southwestern Adventist University. Ken Shaw, president of Southwestern Adventist University, brought up the idea of expanding our school size during assembly last Thursday. Even though I believe increasing our school size would enhance the notoriety and success of our school, I don’t think it’s the best option.

As of now, SWAU’s student enrollment is about 800 students. Shaw presented the idea of each current student bringing another future student in the upcoming years, which would expand our campus size to about 1,600 students.

In my opinion, the small size of our student enrollment is what makes our university so unique and vibrant compared to other bigger universities.

If we double our student enrollment, that would mean that we would have to expand our campus size as well. The new influx of students would result in constructing new buildings and hiring more teachers. Not only would the school need a bigger budget, but also who knows how long it would take to make it a reality.

Our current student size makes it ideal for students to have a personal relationship with our teachers, as our student-to-teacher ratio is 12:1. Also, our current student enrollment makes it optimal for students to be involved in many activities and clubs throughout our University. If we double our student size, that would mean that fewer students would be involved in activities around campus, as there would be more competition.

As of now, students are able to make personal friendships with other students and develop lasting relationships and memories due to our small enrollment. I think it would be harder for students to make friendships and develop close bonds with others if we doubled our student size. Our current student enrollment also allows students to feel valued and important. Students are able to get personal tutoring and mentorship from other students and teachers, something that I think would be more difficult to do if our student size were to increase. Our small student size allows our students to support each other in sports activities, club competitions, and music events, as everyone has an understanding of which students participate in which activities.

Being a small university is one of the many traits and aspects that makes Southwestern Adventist University unique. If we want to keep its closeness and togetherness, then keeping our student enrollment small is our best option. Of course, a bigger University would likely result in greater opportunities for Southwestern. However, what makes Southwestern Adventist University colorful and vibrant is its students. So in order for students to feel valued and important, they have to fit in. And what better way for students to fit in at Southwestern that by keeping it a small university, like it has always been.

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1 Comment

  1. Steve
    April 28, 23:28 Reply
    Intentionally keeping the student body small is not a winning strategy. There are basic costs to running g a university and with only 6 to 800 students that cost is greater per student. SWAU could easily have over 1000 students without having to add much more staff. That would make the school more efficient, cost effective and expand the mission reach of the University. SWAU doesn't need to become like Andrews or Southern but there's still al ot of room to grow without over filling campus or making it unfriendly.

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