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Shepherd students return to town

November 30, 1999|By Dave McMILLION

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.VA.

It's that time of year again, when the quiet residential streets of Shepherdstown turn into a cacophony of buzzing cars, loud stereos and conversation.

Shepherd University started its fall semester on Monday, and longtime town residents know that means their tiny town will be transformed.

Residential parking areas were filled with extra cars on Monday, and intersections in town were once again lined with streams of students walking to class.

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While Shepherd has witnessed record-breaking enrollment recently, it appears the throngs of students are under control.

For the second year in a row, Shepherd officials have not had to set up temporary living areas to accommodate students, and class sizes are not too big, administrators and students said Monday.

In recent years, Shepherd officials were forced to set up temporary living areas in dormitories to accommodate everyone.

But since the Birch Hall and Maple Hall apartments opened on the West campus last year, school officials have not had to set up temporary living areas, said Richard Stevens, assistant vice president for student affairs at Shepherd University.

Mariah Baughan, a freshman at Shepherd who has a room at Turner Hall on the East campus, said students seem to be settling in well in the dormitories.

"There's actually some people that don't have roommates," said Baughan.

Freshman student Sam Staley said living arrangements also appeared to be going smoothly in Gardiner Hall on the East campus.

"It's not bad. There's no A/C or anything, but it's all right," said Staley.

There is no air conditioning in dormitories on the East campus, and students had fans in their windows.

Students seemed generally happy Monday about class sizes and amenities such as access to high-speed Internet.

Joanna Jenkins, a junior studying nursing at Shepherd, said the school's growing student population has at times made for crowded conditions in classrooms.

But Jenkins said she believes the school has added more classes and hired additional faculty, which seems to have helped.

"Sometimes it gets a little cluttered. Everything's a lot better this year," Jenkins said.

Sean Brandenburg had just gotten out of a class Monday and said it contained about 20 students.

"I've been in more. I've been in less," Brandenburg said.

Shepherd spokeswoman Valerie Owens said Monday it was too early to pinpoint the school's enrollment and added that those figures would not be available until about October.

Shepherd has been experiencing steady population increases, and in 2002 the school broke its record for full-time students with a full-time equivalent enrollment of 3,586.

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