The student body at Castleton has been increasing noticeably over the past few years, and the signs of a school that is admitting too many students each year are showing. The quads in Ellis Hall last year were a warning, and the 37 students who were living at the Ramada earlier in the year reinforced that. The Castleton administration is taking action to make sure this doesn’t happen again, at least not after 2012.
Project 2012 contains plans for a new 150-student dorm, intended to prevent overflow. In theory, this is exactly what the college needs, however, plans such as this don’t always go according to theory.
Castleton clearly accepted more students than its capacity allowed and some students paid for it by being in four-person rooms or needing to operate around the Rutland bus schedule. Admissions pushed the outer limit and may have cut it a little bit too close.
We at The Spartan see no issue with building new dorms to counter this growth of the student body. However, we do see an issue with a continuing growth of the student body resulting from the new dorms. But we can still be a small, community-based campus, even with these new dorms.
The new dorms should be built for current students, and the admissions cap should be adjusted just enough that the college will be operating at its optimal capacity, not its absolute acceptable maximum like it was this year.
It’s true that a lot of the students at Castleton chose the school partly on the grounds of its smaller size compared to schools like UVM. Some are worried that new dorms like these will take away from the small school feel, but we don’t see that to be the case. We can still be a smaller, “community-oriented” college, even with ambitious undertakings like Project 2012 on the horizon.
The only problem would come from a scenario such as this: The new dorms are ready, and as a result, the college accepts 150 additional students for the incoming class of 2012. This would just cause a repeat of this year, which is exactly what needs to be avoided. College President Dave Wolk has assured the college community that the cap or about 2,000 students will hold, and we have no reason to believe otherwise. And we believe the big-hearted little school will be just fine with a new a dorm.