Category Archives: News

Student Enrollment Continues to Decline

Rebecca Munday, Staff Writer

A new report shows 2019 enrollment is down 1.3 percent from 2018. 

“Enrollment is, and will continue to be, our No. 1 priority,” said President Dr. Kyle Marrero in the official press release on the subject.
“I’m pleased with the work we have done in the last six months to mediate any decline, and I’m more excited than ever about our future.” 

Dual Enrollment and Graduate Studies gained students but every class of undergraduate students got smaller. This resulted in a net loss of 354 students.

“It’s a shame,” Mihir Patel said. 

Students have a variety of different feelings about this enrollment decline. Some students attributed the cause to optics behind the merger. 

“Maybe it’s because of the merger. It’s probably just going to get better after it’s more solidified,” Delaia Reyes said.

 “Right now, everyone is trying to get some clarity,” Sampson Allotey said. 

“We don’t have the appeal compared to the main campus,” Max Huber said.

 

“I’m not surprised. Students and families are having to pay for a larger percentage of their tuition and they just can’t afford it.” -Kaitlin Fleming

 

While enrollment is down in both Savannah and Statesboro, Savannah has taken a harder hit with a 5.9 percent decrease compared to Statesboro’s 1 percent decrease. Some  students feel the university shares some of the blame.

“After the book burning, I don’t know what they expected,” Regan Gayadeen said.

“It’s upsetting we’re not advertising the way we should to obtain students,” Brea Yates said. 

Fall 2019 Enrollment By Campus Graphs-page-001
A chart of the enrollment numbers.

Others feel that money has something to do with the decline. “I’m not surprised. Students and families are having to pay for a larger percentage of their tuition and they just can’t afford it,” Kaitlin Fleming said.

“That’s good…less people in debt,” said Matt Gentile said, when he heard enrollment was down. 

Director of Communications, Jennifer Wise has a different take on the decline in enrollment.

This result actually reverses the trend coming out of consolidation where last year’s decline was greater. University staff and faculty did a wonderful job in the last year to mediate the decline, and we are doing even more this year to get back into positive territory in Spring, Summer and for next Fall,” Wise said. 

According to Wise, they are continuing to work on a plan to reverse the enrollment trend. “The efforts to reverse the enrollment decline are very comprehensive and span across the university.  We have made changes to our recruitment approach such that we have re-doubled our efforts to heavily recruit all populations of students–instead of just focusing on direct from high school freshmen.  We are working on a 5-year Strategic Enrollment Plan which includes upgrades in technology and a new marketing and branding effort. We are also in the process of introducing new academic programs and enhancements to our retention and progression efforts through academic advising and college-based services.  We are increasing our relationships within the region with the Regional Academic Plan and efforts to develop articulation agreements with institutions around the state,” Wise said. 

 

“This result actually reverses the trend coming out of consolidation where last year’s decline was greater.” -Jennifer Wise

 

Part of this plan also includes rethinking on-campus student life, how classes are offered and what populations of students Georgia Southern advertises to.

We are diversifying the populations we serve because population trends suggest that the number of high school graduates will be declining. Such diversification requires Georgia Southern to rethink the way we offer classes, how we activate student life on campus, and the populations of students we seek to attract.  Graduate students, military-connected students, transfer students, out of state students, international students, and dual enrollment students will be crucial to our enrollment success, and we must earnestly implement strategies, programs, and services to support those populations to a greater extent if we are to attract and retain them,” Wise said. 

The next public release of enrollment statistics will be available in fall 2020.

 

SVA Celebrates Veterans with Lunch

Rachel Hammond, Staff Writer

In celebration of Veteran’s Week, the Student Veterans of America (Armstrong Chapter) (SVA) provided a complimentary lunch for those who served our country.

Nov. 13, student veterans gathered to enjoy a Chick-Fil-A lunch and good company.

According to GSU 2018 Fast Facts, approximately eight percent of all students enrolled at Georgia Southern are military-affiliated.

Austin Eskew
Austin Eskew. Photo by Stanton Dobson.

“I think that people miss the point of it being Armistice Day; the end of World War 1. In England, it’s a much bigger deal. Everyone stops what they’re doing on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. I feel like in America we should do a little more to honor armistice day to celebrate the freedom of the world and not just America,”  said Austin Eskew, former Marines motor transport operator, regarding Veteran’s Day.

Eskew said that while each military branch makes fun of the others, they all need each other to succeed. Dustin Scott said that while he doesn’t miss his service, he wouldn’t change a thing.

Marissa Bryant
Marissa Bryant. Photo by Stanton Dobson.

Marissa Bryant, an Army Veteran likes that both veterans and those in active duty can come together to celebrate the day.

“It’s good to have a day where veterans are recognized for the sacrifices we make for this country… even though most of us probably celebrate year-round, ” she said.

The Military Resource Center (MRC) is located in the Pirate Athletic Center (PAC). Military-affiliated students can find resources and support in the form of financial advisement, counseling, legal aid and more.

The MRC also has a military-affiliated student lounge where students can study and relax on campus.

Dustin Scott
Dustin Scott. Photo by Stanton Dobson.

Movember Is For Mustaches

Javanna Rogers, Staff Writer

SAE hosted a Movember Volleyball Tournament to raise funds for the Movember Foundation on Nov. 15 at the Sports Center.

“We raised money for the Movember foundation. During the month of November, our [frat] brothers grew out our mustaches to raise awareness to men’s health issues, such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer and men’s suicide. This year we hosted a volleyball tournament and sold grilled cheese sandwiches out in front of the student union,” said SAE Philanthropy chair Justyn Ferguson.

All photos by Javanna Rogers.

 

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Justyn Ferguson, Trey Anderson, Spencer Demink, Tarah Yarred, Nolan Swain, Madison Hill, Kasey Lee, Dominic Chancey, Sam Floyd, Sarah Kistner, Allie Day,and Heather Pitman compete in the Movember Volleyball Tournament.

 

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Justyn Ferguson

 

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Southern Express Rolls Onto Armstrong and Statesboro

Kee’Ara Smith, Staff Writer

A new campus transit system called Southern Express is offering the Armstrong campus free and convenient transportation to the Statesboro campus to continue to unite the University Community.

The bus picks up students from the Armstrong campus and makes stops throughout the Statesboro campus. Although the bus does not run on campus holidays or when classes are not in session, it does run on football game days, commencement, regular class days and during final exams.

bus

“I really like the route times; they are really convenient. The bus comes as early as 8:15 a.m. and as late as 6 p.m., giving me enough time to finish my latest classes on the Statesboro campus,” said Rori Brown, a photography major on the Armstrong campus.

The bus begins transit at 7 a.m. on weekdays. The number of buses will be reduced after 4 p.m. but routes will continue up until 9 p.m. Monday-Thursday. The last shuttle on the Friday bus schedule drops off at 6 p.m.

The bus provides services for Statesboro students, as well those who have classes on the Armstrong campus. Statesboro offers free parking on non-game days at the Russell Athletic Park, Paulson Stadium and Soccer/Track field facility. Although you do not need a parking permit, you are not allowed to park along the fence.

The shuttle comes with many amenities such as Wi-Fi, disability compartments/wheelchair accessibilities and heating/air.

“This is probably one of the best things the university could have done. It helps me stay connected between campuses. Whether it’s for games or my friends, I really enjoy it. It also had Wi-Fi which is great with finishing homework but the thing is, it doesn’t always work,” said Trinity Clark, a Psychology major.

As of this semester, there are three different routes with different pick-up and drop-off times. The Blue Route, Gold Route and Sweetheart shuttle Route. The university plans to add more in the upcoming years.

The full shuttle schedule is:

Statesboro — 6:45 a.m.

Armstrong — 8:15 a.m.

Statesboro — 9:45 a.m.

Armstrong — 11:15 a.m.

Statesboro — 1:30 p.m.

Armstrong — 3:00 p.m.

Statesboro — 4:30 p.m.

Armstrong — 6:00 p.m.

You can find more information on these routes on the Georgia Southern website under Parking and Transportation services.

 

Fundraiser for Movember

Sigma Alpha Epsilon held a fundraiser for Movember to promote the awareness of men’s health on November 19 in front of the Student Union. They were offering a $1 item menu with treats and goodies like grilled cheese, tomato soup and bagged chips as well as donations.

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From left to right: Justyn Ferguson (junior), Trey Anderson (junior), Tyler D’Alto (senior), Hunter Buckley (sophomore)