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Enrollment Increase at Mills

Taylor Conrad

This year Mills saw a significant increase in its student
population. Enrollment is up four percent from last fall, with a
total headcount of 1,256 students, according to the office of
Institutional Planning and Research at Mills.

Budget cuts in California’s public higher education programs may
have something to do with the increase in attendance, according to
Scottie Hill, an admission officer at Mills.

“Last year was difficult for higher education in California,”
said Hill.

“California broke a promise to its students and a lot of them
were women. The UC system made budget cuts and there were issues
with the Cal Grant. The problem is that when students are applying
to college they think of public colleges, not private. Mills
aggressively marketed toward the people that were turned down from
UCs by extending our admission deadline.”

Some faculty members at Mills are noticing the influx of

“First I should say it’s good, I’m happy enrollment is up, but
it is difficult to teach a larger class,” said Dr. Melinda Micco,
professor of Ethnic Studies at Mills. “This year I’m teaching 87
students in two classes. I usually have more interaction with
smaller classes and we are able to go further in depth into the

Despite the increase in attendance, Housing Management and
Dining Services didn’t have difficulty finding on-campus housing
for students, according to Karen Maggio, Assistant Vice President
of HMDS.

“[It was] not a crunch,” said Maggio. “It was comfortable; I
still have some open rooms.”

Contrary to what HMDS has said, students say housing has been an
issue. Freshwoman Dominique Butler said, “In Warren Olney we’re
busting at the seams. No one can switch rooms, because none are

As enrollment increases, HMDS is planning to reopen the Mary
Morse building for residency. Since 2002, the building has been
available to public organizations to use for conferences, not for
student housing.

“We already talked to the conference staff and told them not to
book any conferences next fall and the housing staff is getting it
ready to open,” Maggio said.

A lot of students are concerned that the college is merely
increasing student enrollment and neglecting to increase faculty,
staff and classes.

Merritt Linden, a junior, said, “If increases in new students
continue without making the necessary accommodations students will
notice that professors have less time to deal with their individual
needs. They will have to compete with other students for attention
in the classroom.”