Students explain HSU’s decreasing enrollment

By Uche Anusiem
Flapjack staff

Leaving your family member and loved ones to go off to college is not an easy task. Many people even get home sick from being apart for so long. But could that also contribute to the number of students choosing to transfer out or leave Humboldt State University?

It is not a secret that students are dropping out or choosing not to attend this university due to various reasons, though not all students will disclose those reasons.

HSU computer science major Deejay Watson, 23, is from Riverside, California, in SoCal, and has been going to HSU for two years. Watson likes the college town vibe but he isn’t crazy about the weather here, and at times he’s concerned for his safety.

“I like how it’s a town filled with a majority of college students, makes me feel like we can relate to the same struggles of living in a town that usually doesn’t have much going on,” said Watson. “And some of the things that I don’t like about being up here is the constant cold weather. And also I’m concerned about my safety up here.”

The Mad River Union newspaper reported on the decreasing number of student enrollments for Fall 2016.

“Humboldt State University’s Fall 2016 enrollment figures are down 250 students from a year ago, accompanied by a loss in freshman-to-sophomore retention rate,” wrote Jack Durham from the Mad River Union.

For a majority of students interviewed, two things that stood out. One of them being the weather in Humboldt County, and the other being their safety in the area. That comes as no surprise as the city of Arcata is known to have cold weather and constant rain fall. And in Humboldt County especially in Eureka, there have been known crimes to occur in the area.

HSU marketing major Jake Hunt, 21, is not coming back to HSU in the fall. Hunt is from Santa Rosa, California, north of San Francisco. Though it is not SoCal, areas such as Riverside and Santa Rosa both differ immensely from some of the towns here in Humboldt County.

“I feel like there’s people that leave Humboldt because this isn’t really a place that has many things going on to begin with,” Hunt said. “Like there’s really not much to do up here compared to other places or campus locations.”

For several students, the university is not located in the most favorable of areas compared to other schools in more populated areas like UC Berkeley, Chico State and Sacramento State. The homeless problem in the Arcata community also troubles students. It does not give the university or the area the best image when trying to actually recruit student to attend the university.

HSU science major James Flag, 20, has been a student at Humboldt for a little over two years now.

“To be honest man, this isn’t the funnest or safest place to attend school. Especially for someone who might be looking for that full college experience, you know?” Flag said. “Don’t get me wrong though, you can still have a great college experience coming up here. It’s just that there might be some students who came from places like the inner city areas or places where you know they had many options that were close by to and eat or places to go have fun at like clubs or bars and stuff. Not saying they don’t have it here but it’s not a lot or it’s too far.”

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