Freshman class breaks record

Class of 2020 is Liberty’s largest ever

With the fall 2016 semester underway, Liberty is breaking records with the number of new freshman on campus.

The class of 2020 first arrived Aug. 24 for welcome week in order to get to know the campus and get situated for its first year of college.

After all freshmen were moved in and accounted for, Liberty broke the a record for new students once again.

FRESH FACES — Students move in to the residential commons to start the new semester. Photo credit:  Kevin Manguiob|

FRESH FACES — Students move in to the residential commons to start the new semester. Photo credit: Kevin Manguiob

According to the Liberty News Service, Liberty has 3,900 new students.

Among the 3,900 students, more than 60 percent are freshmen while the remainder are transfer students.

With this being Liberty’s largest freshman class, the university added the Montview Student Union behind DeMoss Hall and is beginning construction on the new Commons III dormitory.

Senior Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Mark Hine said why Liberty needed these new buildings.

“Because our classes that leave Liberty are quite large, we need a new class to come in that is bigger than our graduating class to replace them,” Hine said.

“Before the year ended and throughout the summer, dozens, if not hundreds, of moves took place in order to accommodate the large number of new students.”

Hine referenced the moving of the school of communication and creative arts as one of the changes that took place. He also said the future plan for Liberty is to have each school scattered across campus to help accommodate the large number of students.

“What the design is actually working toward is that the DeMoss Hall will be the freshmen/sophomore experience,” Hine said. “After finishing at DeMoss Hall, the students will then move to the school of their desired major to finish their degree.”

Hine said that having an area for students to relax, do homework and sit before class is already proving to be very helpful. He also said that the new student union helps keep students scattered in order to keep the congestion down.

Liberty News Service also reported that the university has a record-breaking number of students living on campus this year.

There are 8,100 students living in the residential dorms this year.

With this new record of students on campus, Liberty re-opened the Residential Annex to help house a portion of the students.

“I think the Annex provided the relief that we needed for this year because Commons III is not there yet,” Hine said. “We hope to open Commons III in the fall of 2017, which will give us the ability to do other things with the Annex.”

Liberty also created new programs and reorganized its leadership and campus pastor offices to better accommodate the rising number of students.

Former resident assistant Caroline Conklin said she thinks the new structure of leadership will improve spiritual life on campus.

“The new changes to student leadership are going to help freshmen much more,” Conklin said. “We are focusing on student’s spiritual growth much more, I think, than we have before.”

Robertson is a news reporter.

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