The Impaction Impact

The difficulties of impaction are starting to settle in at CSUMB.

Angelo Patti

California State University Monterey Bay has become more and more popular over the past couple of years and that popularity has created of interest for incoming students. Because of this there have been of problems coming in that not only do students have to face, but the whole school board and professors as well. The complication of impaction has generated many problems that students are having to face and students who have been here for a while are starting to see all of the difficulties that it is bringing. Impaction has caused problems with parking, registering for classes, and especially class sizes.

The story that will be presented is about a student who has been at CSUMB for a while and who is now struggling to be able to graduate on time because they cannot get into a class since there are so many students and not enough classes. Her experience is the case with a lot of other students as well.

Impaction has been occurring slowly but even more so now. Currently, impaction has been worse and worse every year, this last year being the worst. The impaction of classes and the university housing is occurring because there are too many students applying. This last year being the worst. There is not enough housing and there are too little professors to bring so many students in at once. Students who have been here even as recently as 2014 are starting to experience the pain of no where to park, quickly filled classes, and the struggle of finding a place to live.

Not only can a university become impacted, but a major can as well. In relation to CSUMB though, I will be focusing on the impaction of the university as a whole more than individually impacted majors. Although, the human communication major has become one of the more impacted majors since it is popular at CSUMB. A campus becomes impacted once there are more applicants that the university can house and enroll in classes. CSUMB has become impacted in a number of ways, but most specifically in relation to housing and classes. CSUMB opened in 1994 and is still an up and coming school because of how recently it opened. It has not really become a popular university until recently because it has become a top destination for transfer students in the area as well as incoming freshmen who are looking for new and fresh school that is conveniently near the ocean.

Students and faculty at CSUMB are all suffering from the impaction of the university. I spoke with one student named Bryce who is currently a third year living in North Quad housing. I asked him how he felt about the school impaction and how that has affected him getting housing. He told me that he is currently trying to get into East Campus housing and has been on a waitlist for a while now. Students who are about to go into their fourth year should not be put on any waitlist for housing. This is what is upsetting him the most.

Professor Wang knows a lot about the university since he has been here since the opening of the university. He has done a lot of research on the school and more recently its impaction. I asked him if he knew how many students applied for this current year and how many got accepted. Professor Wang stated that, “CSUMB first became impacted in 2014, but officially declared impaction this last year.” It is amazing knowing that we had already been impacted, but waited to officially state it. He also explained that this school year starting in Fall 2016 that “about 14,000 students applied to CSUMB, but only 7,500 were accepted. As of right now CSUMB has a 42% freshmen admission rate.” When I heard these numbers I was surprised. It is crazy to think that so many students are applying to CSUMB, because when I first came to the school there wasn’t even 6,000 students here.

Not only that, but I ended up going to the admissions office and spoke with a number of people who worked there. Admissions counselor Matthew Daines stated, “as of now we are about the 5th hardest CSU to get into and we currently have about 7,000 students attending CSUMB.” Those numbers will only seemingly get larger as the future of CSUMB looks bright. Although the future looks bright, the brightness seems to be a little more dim for some. As students keep applying, the need for more housing, classrooms, professors, and much more will be required. CSUMB can’t keep up right now and some students are feeling the harsh effects of a crowded university.

Student Alyssa Clifford is going to be a senior and has done a lot of good work during her career at CSUMB. She is coming on to her last year at CSUMB and needs some specific classes to fulfill certain criteria to graduate. Going into her fourth year she has ran into a lot of problems with getting into certain classes but with the impaction of CSUMB getting worse, the classes have been closing up a lot faster. There is no reason that a student who is about to be a fourth year is still struggling to get into classes. Alyssa needed an HCOM class and unfortunately will not be able to get into it because it has closed and they do not teach it very often. This has put her in a situation where it can possibly hold her back from graduating. What will be her next move? Who should she talk to? Should she take it to the school board or to faculty in higher positions? What are some actions that can be taken that may lessen the impact of impaction?

In our previous article we talked about the impaction at CSUMB and how students and professors both feel about the situation. I also brought a story to attention about a student at CSUMB who is struggling with getting into a class that is required for graduating. I asked other students what they thought about this situation and they believe that she should take it to the school board since it is a really big problem. The school has become so impacted that seniors can barely get into classes they need for graduation. I also talked to some professors through email and in person and most of them said that it is just the struggle of being a student at CSUMB, it kind of just comes with the territory since we are an up and coming school. Other professors also suggested that it would be a good idea to take it to someone higher who may be able to help the situation since impaction is mostly inevitable. Some people that she could go to include someone more experienced in the board of education.I also messaged other students that I know and they suggested that the best way may to just sit in on an already closed class and see if the professor would be willing to make an exception, especially for a student who really needs this class to graduate on time.

Alyssa was able to get into the class she needed in the end and explained that “sometimes the best thing to do is to sit and talk with a professor seriously about your situation and most of them are happy and willing to accommodate by letting in a couple extra students over the limit.” It seems that a lot of students may have to start to learn how to communicate to professors in this way, because the direction that CSUMB is headed in will only lead to a lot more clutter. Speaking with admissions also helped me find out that more buildings are planning on being built for classes and the school will spread out more as well. The mass expansion of the school and plenty more additions to recreation, classes, and housing will surely help ease the struggles that impaction invites. It is only a matter of time before CSUMB becomes a well known university that a lot of students will be trying to attend.

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