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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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College Station Modernization

College+Station+has+expanded+rapidly+with+the+influx+of+new+students.
Photo by Photo by Paul Burke

College Station has expanded rapidly with the influx of new students.

College Station, home to Texas A&M, has developed in many ways since the university opened in 1871. From farms to new high rises, the city and university have grown within recent years.
According to the enrollment profiles by Texas A&M’s Data and Research Services, in 2012 A&M had 53,187 students enrolled in the fall. In the fall 2016 A&M had 66,175 students and the number continues to rise when a new semester rolls around, leaving the city with no option but to expand.
Dr. Jim Sanders, professor in Department of Animal Science at A&M has received his Bachelor’s, Master’s and Ph.D. from Texas A&M. Sanders began his undergraduate in 1964 and described some of the many differences of A&M’s campus from his time as a student to now.
“Where Olsen field is now is what used to be an old rodeo arena, Rudder Tower did not exist and G. Rollie White Coliseum was where A&M Basketball was played at before Reed Arena existed,” Sanders said. “If you go look out from Kleberg Animal & Food Sciences center now, all you see are high-rises but during my time as a student that area of land was only pasture.”
Dr. Manuel Piña, class of 1967 and current professor at Texas A&M for the Department of Agriculture Leadership, Education and Communications, said the town used to be minute in comparison to the current size.
“Where the Jason’s Deli currently is, off George Bush and on Texas Avenue, [we] used to have a store called Gibson’s, and that store would pretty much be the end of College Station, it was the last store going towards Navasota.”
Dr. Sherry Bame, a retired A&M professor from the Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning, said while the landscape of College Station has massively changed the town has dealt with the influx of students at A&M relatively well.
“The entertainment options accommodate the mass of people that come and go to College Station,” Bame said. “There are events to attend several days a week within College Station and Bryan including guest lectures, dance and music performances, First Fridays, these events occur all the time.”
Bame said the RELLIS Campus, which is currently being built fifteen minutes from Texas A&M’s main campus, is a terrific opportunity for the University and can help handle the increase of students looking to come to A&M.
Bame said the city has made proper improvements to handle the increase of students but there are still updates that College Station needs to improve to become more modern and meet residents needs.
“Our city public transportation system should be better, there are many non-students who live here, there should be a general bus system not just the Aggie Spirit Bus stemming from A&M,” Bame said.
Bame said the sidewalks around College Station need to be widened due to the high amount of people walking around the campus, even more so on game days.
While the city is working to make College Station an updated area the university is also focusing on meeting not just students but alumni and visitor’s needs.
After writing a popular story to Texas A&M’s Board of Regents on Odyssey Online, Alaina Reyes, supply chain management sophomore, got a letter from the chairman of the Board of Regents and Texas A&M’s own student senate even reached out to her.
Reyes said she wrote her story because so many students were complaining about issues of A&M not fully focusing on their students’ needs and wanted to voice her opinion.
“When I met with the student senate they listened to what I had to say and shared similar concerns and said their main goal right now is to be more connected with students,” Reyes said. “The chairman in the Board of Regents regarded my points made but I only felt that I was being told I was wrong.”
Reyes said the student senate mentioned that they want to remain an equal opportunity school but they still had many projects being planned to meet students’ needs.
After Reyes met with the student senate she said she still felt the same way she did when she wrote her story.
“A&M just hasn’t been quick enough, building Cain Parking Garage and remodeling The Commons were nice ways to slowly expand but the Aggie Spirit bus is still constantly packed or late and I struggle finding [parking] spots at the library,” Reyes said.
Reyes said she appreciates that Texas A&M is trying but is hoping they work faster.
Abby Marrelli, education interdisciplinary studies freshman said that although College Station is growing she loves it because it means more students are being able to experience the Aggie traditions and friendliness that this campus has to offer.
“My favorite part about living in College Station is the freedom and that everything you need is within a 10 minute drive, even though the city is becoming so developed,” said Marrelli.

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