UNT students begin semester

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David Minton/DRC
Students stream out of Wooten Hall and make their way across campus between classes on the first day of the fall semester Wednesday at the University of North Texas.
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Cristin Cornal and Anthony Olgin found the University of North Texas to be a lot larger than Midland College, where they previously attended.

Both transferred to UNT this semester and were among several thousand students who started classes Wednesday.

Troy Johnson, UNT vice provost for enrollment management, said in an e-mail Wednesday that the freshman class is the largest in the university’s history.

“The growth is substantial, as we are enrolling 300 more freshman than last year, an increase of over 8 percent,” he said.

Olgin, who is a junior studying biology, is enjoying the wider variety of food the larger campus has to offer, he said, but he’s adjusting to the larger class sizes. He said he had a class of more than 200 students Wednesday morning. At Midland, he said, there were no more than 20 students in each class.

Cornal, also a junior, is studying communication design and her first class was an art course. She said she made some friends who also were new to UNT.

Rachel Jones and Joseph Adams are also transfer students. Both previously attended the University of Oklahoma.

Adams transferred last year and Jones decided this summer to transfer because it was getting too expensive to pay out-of-state tuition, she said as she sat outside the University Union.

Adams said a big change this year is the new buses with UNT’s new logo and tagline, “A Green Light to Greatness.”

“They’re very comfortable,” he said. Adams also is looking forward to the new union that students voted to build last semester.

They voted to increase the union fee to $115, which will go into effect in fall 2014.

Construction on the union is expected to begin in the summer of 2013, said Zane Reif, director of the UNT Union, but related construction likely will begin before that. The university plans to complete the project by 2015.

The university decided to build a new union because enrollment is expected to increase to 45,000 students in the next five years. The current union was last renovated in 1973 and was built to accommodate about 17,000 students.

The project is in the design phase, Reif said.

Emily Scharen, who is studying writing and rhetoric, said the university has changed since she was there in 2004.

Scharen is coming back to UNT after a hiatus due to a family tragedy, she said.

“It feels good to be back,” she said.

RACHEL MEHLHAFF can be reached at 940-566-6889. Her e-mail address is rmehlhaff@dentonrc.com .



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