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Smaller Freshman Class Arrives on Campus

by HALEY BURNSIDE, Staff Writer, & STEPHEN ZUBRYCKY, Editor

Manhattan College enrolled about 820 new freshmen in 2016, according to data provided to The Quadrangle through email by Caitlin Read, executive director of admissions and enrollment operations.

This year’s enrollment figures represent a 9.4-percent decline in enrollment from 2015.

The slump in enrollment is paired with an acceptance rate of 71.4-percent, an increase of 4.3-percentage points from last year’s applicant pool.

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Stephen Zubrycky/ The Quadrangle

Of these 820 new freshmen, Residence Life is currently putting a roof over 607, or 74-percent of the class, according to figures provided by Andrew Weingarten, the director of the department.

The size of the new class has afforded the department a bit more wiggle room in the residence halls, which now collectively sit at 98-percent capacity.

“Last year was a big class, but we’re at 98-percent capacity now,” Weingarten said. “We’re in the same situation. The college residence halls are full from year-to-year now and we’re in the same situation… it’s not that easy. You can’t just go solve a problem by expecting to change rooms or change buildings, because we’re pretty full.”

Last September, the residence halls were at 99.7-percent capacity, according to reporting from The Quadrangle.

This year’s resident freshmen are particularly active on campus in common-interest and living-learning communities.

Arches, the living-learning community composed entirely of freshmen living on the bottom four floors of Lee Hall is home to roughly 157 residents – roughly matching the pace of last year’s enrollment, which set a record for the program.

“It’s kind of cool having classes of entirely Arches kids living in the same building,” Rebecca Lowe, an Arches resident, said.

This year, Arches students arrived two days before most of the other freshmen, and participated in activities at Chelsea Piers and Coney Island.

The bonding experience between students is one of the biggest draws to the program for incoming students like Lowe and her Arches classmate Tondreanna Esquilin.

“There’s a lot of positive energy. It’s very diverse and we’re all getting along quite well,” Esquilin said.

Freshmen enrollment in the other, newer common-interest communities, such as the entrepreneurship and the Spanish language Nuestra Casa communities in Horan Hall is also large.

Freshmen this year make up about half of all students in these communities.

Mostly freshmen communities have been formed by Residence Life in Chrysostom Hall (which is freshmen exclusively), and on the lower floors of Horan.

Other freshmen are scattered amongst upperclassmen on the top floors of Horan and Lee, as well as in Jasper Hall.

The new freshmen are finding their place in the college community, including Margarita Corado, a mechanical engineering major who commutes from Mott Haven, The Bronx.

“I like Manhattan College, because of the family environment,” Corado said. Continuing students are also doing their best to ease the transition for the new freshmen, and many are excited to see the class’ potential unlocked over their next four years at the college.

“The [freshman] class presents a lot of new potential and I’m happy to see what they can offer to the college,” said Dorian Persaud, MC’s student body president.

The admissions office will release final data on the new freshman class in October, following the census.

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