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PERKUP Cars, phones and country club memberships – they come with the territory for some university faculty and staff members. READ pg. 2-0 4 Matt Gallagher and others lead the MSU basketball team to 2 wins. READ pg. 9 wichitan ht e Wednesday November 9, 2011 your campus/your news Regents discuss housing, investments CHRIS COLLINS FOR THE WICHITAN Drawn-back housing, Internet portal technology and university investments were the focus of the Board of Regents meeting last week. Administrators also apprised the Board of plans to raise funds through a continued hiring freeze and by offering more courses in nursing and radiology. HOUSING Administrators revealed that a 4 percent drop in enrollment this fall may stall additional housing plans. The floundering enrollment may push back a plan to build a new residence hall on campus slated for 2014. “Our housing occupancy is very healthy right now, but it is a little below where it was last year at this time,” said Dr. Keith Lamb, vice president for student affairs and enrollment management. Last year, MSU housing occupancy was 99 percent. This year, it’s at 95. “I think we need to let our enrollment stabilize a little bit before we go out there with additional housing,” Lamb said. “We need to take a little more conservative an approach with this.” Administrators have not yet submitted any requests for qualifications for architects or contractors on the project. Regent Charles Engelman asked Lamb if he thought raised admission standards at MSU were the culprits behind the enrollment drop. Lamb said he didn’t think so, and if they were, they only contributed to it. “It could be a number of things,” Lamb said. “There are so many variables,” President Dr. Jesse Rogers said. Those variables could be the stunted U.S. economy, the new admissions standards or competition from other institutions, to name a few. INTERRACIAL DATING: skin color isn’t important to these three MSU couples by Elascha Davila-Hicks 33 students pocket $1,000 from MSU after graduation MARY CUBA FOR THE WICHITAN According to the U.S. Department of Education, one-third of American college students today graudate in four years. That is only 31 percent. MSU gave 33 students $1,000 just for graduating last year. There was only one catch: the rules. A statewide rebate program started in fall 1997. To collect, students must graduate within four years and not exceed three hours over the amount required for one’s major. Since the program began, MSU’s firsttime, full-time graduation rates within four years have increased. In the fall of 1997, only 7.5 percent of MSU students graduated with a degree in four years. About 16 percent of students graduated in fours years in the fall of 2006. The purpose of the program is to give students a finanical incentive to complete a bachelor’s degree with as few courses outside the degree plan as possible. Despite the hefty reward, only four percent of students qualify annually. Many exceed the credit hour limit. “A bachelor’s degree that requires 120 hours to graduate causes a student to take no more than total, 123 hours,” said Bar- bara Lunce, assistant to the registrar. Students often withdraw from classes, take developmental courses for credit and repeat courses which count toward the amount of hours attempted. However, the first nine credit hours via examinations, such as CLEP exams or high SAT/ACT scores, do not count against the student, said Lunce. College classes taken in high school no longer count either, giving students a little more time to decide a career plan. A student must be a Texas resident working toward a degree at all times and receive a bachelor’s degree within the four consecutive years as stated with the Texas-B-On-Time financial aid program. The goal for this $1,000 rebate is to not only minimize the number of courses a student takes but also save the student time and money. The college itself is responsible for providing the money for the rebate through local funds. This, in turn, saves the state from having to handle the payouts. For students who have study abroad, all courses must transfer back successfuly to MSU with each course fulfilling a requirement in a degree program. Students can register for this rebate through Lunce. She can be contacted on the school website under the registrar tab. PORTAL TECHNOLOGY MSU, along with other Texas universities, is making a move to utilize Internet “portal” technology. The university has been courting the idea for several months and now plans to invest $150,000 of technology fee reserves in the project. At least $60,000 of that money would pay for a full-time employee to implement and operate the new technology. Juan Sandoval, vice president for business affairs and finance, intimated that it may cost more. “We need to change the way MSU communicates with the world,” said Dr. Robert Clark, vice president for admin- istration and institutional effectiveness. “We need to change the way we connect with students.” An Internet portal system is a single point of access for students and administrators to share information. Its purpose is to streamline the communication process between the two. Portal systems are part of a rising trend in higher education, said Clark. In 2001, Merrill Lynch reported that the total corporate market for Internet portal systems was $4.5 billion. “I don’t think this is a nice-to-have,” Regent Dr. Lynnwood Givens said. “It’s a must-have.” What’s the color of love? In the U.S., about 33 percent of people 18 or younger belong to racial minorities. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, about 20 percent of public school students are immigrants or children of immigrants. An environment of racial diversity in the nation has, understandably, led to an elevated rate of interrracial dating. In fact, studies show that approval ratings among of mixed race dating among Americans is higher than ever. The Midwestern community is no differerent. MSU consists of a multicultural student body: • Hispanics - 9.2 percent • Black or African-American - 12.7 percent • Nonresident aliens - 7.4 percent • American Indian - 1 percent • Asian - 3.2 percent • Two or more races - 1.4 percent • Race or ethnicity unknown - 1.6 percent • White, non-Hispanic - 63.3 percent Three MSU couples shared their perspectives on interracial dating as it becomes more commonplace in today’s society. Freshmen Victoria Marshall and Jorge Espitia have been dating since they met at age 6, said Espitia. REGENTS pg. 4 COLOR pg. 3 Though the metroplex has historically been a goldmine for MSU recruiting efforts, enrollment numbers from the area have been waning. Read the story on page 5. 2001 - 2010 enrollment statistics by region* numbers reflect the enrollment statistics of students who live in Texas. The numbers for 2011 were not included in the graph because they were calculated using the figures for out-of *These state and foreign students, among others. According to documents obtained from the MSU admissions office, the percentage of metroplex students enrolled at MSU rose by 2 percent. The overall number of them, however, dropped. Graph by Hannah Hofmann

November 16, 2011

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