A dry wind blows over the Huntsville in June, bringing tumbleweeds and warm fronts, and taking a significant portion of the city’s population. It should come, as no small surprise considering that a large portion of Huntsville is made up of students.
According to Troy Courville, director of SHSU Institutional Research, the number of students enrolled drops dramatically in the summer months.
For example, this year’s spring enrollment totaled up to a whopping 12,359. While this year’s summer enrollment figures are not yet available, last summer’s totals show a significant difference, Courville said.
During summer I in 2002, 5,221 students were enrolled, and summer II boasted a meager 4,217 students. According to Courville, these numbers are fairly typical but account for a drop off of almost 66 percent.
Courville said the number is really just a sampling of what is already there.
“In terms of ethnicity, the percentages stay about the same. It’s only the overall number that changes,” Courville said.
While I blame the taut political climate associated with the American summer, most students leave town just to take a break from the stressful life of a college student.
William Harrison, a junior RTV major, said that summer is just too pleasant to be spent in a classroom. Harrison said he plans to save money working this summer and take a long trip to South Padre Island.
“I’d much rather stare blankly at my girlfriend in her bikini than to stare blankly at the homework assignment due in the morning,” Harrison said. “Neither ever leads to anything, but at least my girlfriend is easier on the eyes.”
Jason Wright, a senior political science major and employee of Movie Gallery, said he actually prefers the summer sessions to the regular ones.
“Fewer students in town means less people renting videos,” Wright said. “And in the end, that means less work for me, and that’s always a good thing.”
Senior art major Morgan Heier said the reason she stays during the summer is that classes are much smaller, in every way.
“In a month you get the same amount of work done as you would in three,” Heier said, “and with fewer students in town, parking is also that much easier.”
However, there are drawbacks to the lowered student population, she said.
“The one thing that does suck is that the nightlife around here can get pretty boring, since the people who do stay usually leave town on the weekends,” Heier said.
If you are considering registering for summer session this year, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
You will have the pleasure of typically smaller and quicker classes, you will never have trouble finding a stool at Murski’s, and the lines are Cinema 10 and Wal-Mart (Huntsville’s biggest non-alcoholic draws) will be significantly shorter. But that’s about it.