Loyola: You’ve got them, now it’s your job to keep them

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Loyola: You’ve got them, now it’s your job to keep them

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For the first time since 2013, Loyola’s enrollment numbers aren’t looking so bleak.

An email sent by the Rev. Kevin Wildes, S.J., on Wednesday, May 3, stated that the university has received 757 deposits for the fall 2017 freshman class. This is a sizable increase from this time last year, when only 512 deposits had been made.

It’s no doubt a major accomplishment, something Loyola should be proud of.  As Wildes states in his email: “This is a reflection of a great deal of work from all corners of our campus. More important, it demonstrates what is possible when we all work together and form an enrollment-centric culture.”

This enrollment-centric culture was not always on the minds of administration, though. Four years ago, it was a different story.

In 2013, Loyola expected deposits close to the goal of about 875 students when the reality was an enrollment of about 600 to 625. The last two years saw the same steady population of students enrolling in Loyola at about 512 last year and 574 for fall 2015.

The improvement was Loyola’s administration seeing a problem that needed a solution and acting on it. It was not Loyola alone to face this problem. St. Mary’s of Maryland, where our new Chief Diversity Officer, Sybol Anderson served previously, saw the same decrease. As enrollment fell, the budget decreased. A decrease in budget means cuts, which affect faculty, staff, programs and the quality of the experience at Loyola.


This experience is the essence of a student’s time at any university. Loyola in particular offers a very distinctive experience and unique community. On the evening of May 3, for example, about 50 students responded to an email request by SGA vice president-elect Blane Mader to attend a town hall in the Audubon Room about Project Magis to learn more. The participation and response was visibly overwhelming as student leaders from a range of different fields and organizations on campus expressed concerns regarding issues like commuters, retention, transparency, and communication between students and administration.

Taking the advice of students and amplifying their voices, new Interim Provost David Borofsky took notes and reaffirmed that it is our voices which matter most in keeping and sharing our distinct Loyola experience.

There is something to be said about the evolution of enrollment and overall growth at Loyola. When the class of 2017 entered Loyola, it was looking dim and unsettling. As they prepare to walk the stage at the Superdome on May 13, they have not only left their mark but Loyola in a better place than when they came in.

The increase in enrollment and exceeding the goal is not only the work of Project Magis, the texting or email program, it is the work of Loyola’s ambassadors, student leaders and faculty; it is how we occupy the spaces here, where we choose to one day call our alma mater.

The town hall consisted of questioning and it is this very questioning and showing of concern which embodies the nature of students at Loyola. Our concern needs to go beyond attending one meetingit means holding our administration accountable consistently, because that power is within our means, and making sure our voices are heard. When our voices are heard, we too create a path where we leave Loyola better than when we entered its doors.

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