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It’s time for the annual migration

Sunday, August 17th, 2014 | Posted by


(Christopher Chung / The Press Democrat)

(Christopher Chung / The Press Democrat)

A familiar scene for many Rohnert Park residents is the annual migration of college students that heralds the beginning of the fall semester at Sonoma State University. This year will be even more notable as SSU will welcome the largest number of students in its history for the fall 2014 semester.

The enrollment numbers for the fall 2013 term was a then record setting 9120 students and this year that figure has been eclipsed with more than 9250 students enrolled, according to Sean Johnson, Director of Institutional Research. Johnson expects the final figure to be near or above 9300 students when the university performs their fall census.

This weekend offers the opportunity for the 1850 students of the incoming freshman class, the largest on record, along with approximately 800 transfer students, a chance to move in and adjust to life on campus.

Wolf Den Plaza, the shopping center across from the SSU campus, went from fairly desolate to active overnight as the influx of new students and parents arrived and became acclimated to their surroundings. Some enterprising students were already hard at work handing out resumes and completing applications for those businesses that surround the campus.

The week of Aug 18 is Seawolf Welcome Week on campus with a series of activities planned for students that includes a parent reception, comedy show, information on Greek Life and more. A complete schedule is available online at the Sonoma State website.

“These events are designed to be fun, engaging and interactive to help the students get to know each other, get a taste of the year to come and to start to build the Seawolf Community,” says Mo Phillips, Associate Director of Student Development in a statement.

Monday, Aug 18 is also the day of the annual University Fall Convocation starting at 9 a.m. in the Evert B. Person Theatre. The two-hour presentation will begin with SSU president Ruben Arminana discussing the state of the university. He will be followed by Provost Andrew Rogerson and other faculty, student and staff speakers.

Classes start for all students on Tuesday, Aug 19.

While the fall class size is larger than last year, part of that increase is because of the limitations placed on spring admissions. About 300 to 600 students typically enroll mid-year at SSU with most being transfers from community and junior colleges such as Santa Rosa Junior College.

With spring admissions having been cancelled or limited in the past few years to the California State University system due to budget issues, there was more of a rush to be enrolled in the fall for students who wish to attend SSU.

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Nick Walden is our Rohnert Park + Cotati correspondent.
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