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Campus Life Changes to Accommodate New Arrivals
There is no doubt that Mississippi College (MC) has experienced a noticeable increase of students compared to the last few years. Students’ day-to-day tasks, like parking and going to the Caf, look different because of this change. Whether they were ready or not, returning students have had to make adjustments to accommodate MC’s many new arrivals.
Parking is among the biggest complaints from the student body. More people means more cars. Many students have had to park farther away from their dorms and the center of campus. Students are demanding additional parking or permission to use the Healthplex parking lot, but public safety is reluctant.
“The fact is, if we added more parking on campus, it would be even further away from where people wanted to go and really wouldn't accomplish anything other than spend money,” said Mike Warren, Director of Public Safety on MC’s campus.
Despite the increase of students living on campus, MC has not reached full capacity. Ratliff Hall, the residential building located to the south of Chrestman Hall, remains fully vacant. In addition, two on-campus parking lots are consistently near-empty (though this may soon change in the years to come).
Some nearby areas with reliable access to parking include the parking lot behind the parking garage next to the baseball fields and the parking lot behind First Baptist Church of Clinton next to Lion’s Club Park.
In the Classroom
Another area of Mississippi College that has been affected by the sudden influx of students is the classroom.
Penny McNair, assistant professor in the Department of Kinesiology, estimates that her class size has increased by five to ten students per class. McNair believes that the biggest challenge will be advising all the new students, but she says that she is very excited to see them filling the campus.
Despite the challenges of the recent influx, student-led ministries, such as the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, remain confident in spreading the Gospel as the campus nears maximum capacity. FCA’s mission is to “spread the Gospel through inspiring student-led devotions, worship, and personal testimonies,” said Gracelyn Noss, FCA intern.
Noss expects FCA to thrive amidst increasing numbers, emphasizing their unwavering ministerial priority.
“[FCA is] to be a place where students can come and know Jesus,” said Noss, “and that will be a priority with any number of students we have now or in the future.”
Many changes have been made to campus dining this semester. Chick-fil-A has debuted two new menu items, the frosted and iced coffee. Additionally, campus dining has implemented minor design changes in the Caf to accommodate the increased population of students.
Hanging the TVs over the Caf’s food stations and regularly opening up both swipe lines have optimized students’ dining experiences. Along with design changes, Steve Smith, Director of Campus Dining, wants to bridge the gap between students and campus dining, creating a direct line of communication between the two.
“We do listen to feedback, good and bad,” said Smith, “We'd like to add more of the good stuff and eliminate the bad. [The campus dining staff] is very approachable.”
This open line of communication invites students with food allergies to share what foods best fit their dietary needs. Smith and his team are working diligently to change the negative stigma of the Caf that arose in the past.
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