As all of us Fairfield University students are aware, our school is known for it’s rather small size. This fact played a major part in my decision to attend Fairfield because of my history of attending small schools throughout all of my education. My graduating eighth grade class was only 13 students, and my graduating high school class was only 89 students. Due to my experiences in smaller schools, I felt that attending a smaller college would be best for me. Fairfield is a small university, but there is a ton of major growth happening which is all part of the “on the rise” motto that Fairfield U is working to represent. This growth is being seen specifically among the size of our student body. According to news@fairfield, this past admissions season was a busy one with over 12,300 applications to review which is the most Fairfield University has ever seen. Of this pool, about 1,160 students were admitted to Fairfield University and are projected to join us on campus in the fall. This is the largest class that has ever been admitted in the history of the university. Some may see this growth as a negative thing because of the changes that it will bring to the school, but I choose to see it as a very positive thing. Many of us are probably wishing that things could stay the same on our campus because that’s what we are comfortable with, and I can absolutely agree that I don’t want too much change to come of this growth too quickly. However, we should be proud of our school for taking that next step in helping the university develop and become a better place for all of us.
Although I am supportive and happy for the school for wanting to expand and grow, I do hope that the changes do not become so drastic that Fairfield U no longer feels like Fairfield U anymore to the current and past students, faculty and staff. Being a smaller school is one of the university’s greatest marketing points to prospective students, and I bet it peaks the interest of prospective professors and other staff members who may want to join in the Fairfield community as well. It is known for having smaller class sizes with great student to professor ratios, as well as a campus where everything is a comfortable walking distance away from everything else. I would honestly be very disappointed if Fairfield grew so much that it became like a state school (no offense to state schools). I enjoy walking through campus and seeing friendly faces everywhere I go; I enjoy when my professors are able to call on me by name in class; I enjoy not having to take a shuttle bus from an academic building back to my dorm after class because it’s too far to walk. There are so many benefits to being at a smaller school, and I’m sure many of you can agree, so I really don’t want too much expansion to happen.
The growth at Fairfield U is not only in the student body but also in the physical campus itself. Have you seen all of the construction recently? In just the past two years that I have been at Fairfield, so many changes have been made to the campus. There’s the Daniel and Grace Tully Dining Commons, the new sophomore dorm of Langguth, the parking garage, renovations to Campion, new townhouses, a new business school, a new nursing school, renovations to Canisius Hall and projected renovations to Donnarumma Hall and the library. I’m definitely forgetting some things, but that’s just an idea of how different campus has become from when I was first touring the school. All of these changes are all a part of Fairfield being “on the rise.” It can be quite startling to see how the place we call home for four years can change so quickly, and it can be nerve wracking to see how these changes will impact our time here at Fairfield. I think it is completely normal for us current students to want to keep things pretty close to the way things are.
With me being a rising junior, I still have a decent amount of time left here to see how some of these changes pan out, but I’m sure that even more changes will be made that I won’t be here to experience. For the sake of the current Fairfield community and future members, I hope that the university chooses to stick with being on the smaller scale. That’s what makes Fairfield University special. As great as growth and change can be, there is a limit to how much can be done before the original idea is completely unrecognizable. Just like people can lose track of who they are, a place can also lose track of what it is supposed to be, and I would be deeply saddened to see Fairfield lose track of itself. With the constantly changing campus and the growth of the student body, Fairfield is absolutely “on the rise” and I am really excited to see what the future holds for the university, and I can only hope that the spirit of Fairfield remains the same.
Shout-out to the incoming class of 2023, welcome to the herd! Stags up!