North Texas Daily

UNT-Dallas students speak out on expanding campus

UNT-Dallas students speak out on expanding campus

September 02
23:02 2009

By Dominique Beck / Staff Writer –

The UNT Dallas campus is rapidly expanding. Students are elated to be a part of the new growth and eager to make suggestions about changes they would like to see made during the process.

Kiki Lakes-Robinson, a sociology senior, said she thinks the Dallas campus is more suited for commuters and non-traditional students.

“Most of the people in my classes are a little bit older and have children,” she said.

As a parent and commuter from Pleasant Grove herself, she said she would like the Dallas campus to look into possibly providing a child care service center for students with children.

“I know how difficult it can be trying to find a sitter for your child or driving out of the way to take them to a daycare facility,” Lakes-Robinson said. “It would be a nice convenience to be able to have a daycare center here on campus.”

Lakes-Robinson’s hope for a more traditional student-friendly campus will soon become a reality.

UNT Dallas will accept its first freshman class in the fall of 2010, said Gregory Tomlin, director of marketing news and information.

“The university’s goal will be to train citizens to be productive and lead in a global environment and to promote the values of virtue, civility and accountability,” Tomlin said.

Lacrecshia Franklin, a sociology junior, said she would like to be able to have easier access to an adviser.

“Coming from a community college where we were able to just walk in and talk to an adviser at anytime, where as here everything is more on a scheduled basis,” Franklin said. “There’s a lot of waiting and trying to schedule a time you know your adviser will be available and you don’t have classes at that time.”

Both Lakes-Robinson and Franklin agree that they would like to see the campus bookstore expand.

“Buying books is a bit of a hassle because if the store doesn’t have your book, they have to call it into the Denton campus which means more waiting for us,” Lakes-Robinson said.

Having a book rental program would be a huge help to the student body, Franklin said.

“We don’t have a real library and classes are already expensive, so having a place where students can rent books for the semester would be very beneficial,” she said.

Franklin also said she would like to have more food options around the campus.

“Our campus is hidden deep in the boonies, so we don’t really have a lot of food places around us,” she said. “We do have a snack shop, but more options are always better and I think it would attract more students as well.”

Lakes-Robinson said she understands the expansion is a process and will take time and doesn’t mind waiting because having a smaller campus has its advantages.

“We don’t have to pay for parking and there is always a place to park,” Lakes-Robinson said. “I don’t have to spend a year trying to find a space and worry about getting to my classes on time.”

Although the campus has plenty of parking spaces, campus space is always a challenge, Tomlin said.

“We are below the current recommended space allocation formula provided by the Texas Higher Education Board,” Tomlin said.

He said even with the campuses second building built, it will be below that figure.

“We need a third and fourth building to keep pace with the growth date, an annual average of 14 percent.”

Franklin said enjoys the smaller classes and interacting with the professors, she said.

“You get more one-on-one time with the professors here and they are very passionate in what they do,” she said. “We are spoiled in a sense, and I like it.”

Tomlin said it isn’t often that you get to create a university from the ground up.

“This year our students are seeing construction underway on second building, a $41.8 million project and they have met the new faculty who are also excited about the growth of Dallas’ first public university,” he said.

Tomlin said students are beginning to talk about the new institution and suggesting changes to augment the school’s expansion.

The staff is positive about the direction in which UNT Dallas is headed, Tomlinhe said.

“We are building a truly great institution, but that takes time,” Tomlin said.

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