Written from the viewpoint of Boxer, the mascot.

All humans grow physically, to a certain point. In a perfect world, once they reach this point they continue to grow intellectually; physical growth ends but the potential for intellectual growth only ends when life is over.

Also, as humans we have an innate desire to grow in population, building highways, developing cities, and increasing the enrollment on college campuses. Unfortunately, in doing so we stunt our ability to grow intellectually.

This is clearly the situation at Pacific, with administration planning to increase enrollment to 2,000 undergraduate students by 2020.

This growth is stressful for the staff, faculty and students. In my long life at Pacific I have seen an exponential increase in the number of students yet have not seen an increase in facilities and faculty to match. In fact just the other day when I was on boxer online I saw science classes with over 60 students in them.

Along with the growth of students I am seeing a rise in tuition. An increase in tuition should mean the size of classes will be getting smaller.  I hear admissions counselors tell students that “the Pacific difference” is the amount of personal attention the faculty give to students. How can this be true with our class sizes increasing at such a rapid rate?

I hope we can survive this growth. I worry about the students. This growth seems to have decreased the amount of campus life. Students are taking too many classes. In past years a college education included involvement in campus clubs, civic engagement, demonstrations and other lively activities.

Students seem so tired these days. They should be allowed to only take 14 – 16 credits of classes and be required to take an additional 2 credits that would be fulfilled by getting involved in a campus club, civic engagement activity, school newspaper or some other related activity.

This would create a more vibrant campus atmosphere. We should stop focusing on numbers and focus more on improving the education a student receives.

Focus on making students more competitive for jobs in a struggling economy. Focus on our mission, which states “Pacific’s focus on teaching and learning in a close nurturing environment leads to genuine transformation in students’ lives.”

But what do I know? I am just a mascot.

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