May 112003
Authors: Adrienne Hoenig

Students looking for a more relaxed, less crowded university might want to try CSU’s summer session.

“A lot of students really like the summer,” said Barbara Gotshall, director of CSU’s summer session. “It’s a little more laid-back and hassle-free.”

Gotshall is expecting about 6,500 students to enroll in summer classes. Compared to the 24,000 students on campus during fall and spring semesters, the smaller student body creates a very different atmosphere.

“Summer semester is a fabulous time to be on campus,” said Marianne Bickle, an associate professor in merchandising who will be teaching three summer courses. “There are fewer students, there’s an abundance of parking and the weather is magnificent.”

Summer classes might also offer students easy access for classes that may be hard to get into during the regular semester.

“Departments try to put in courses that students are really needing,” Gotshall said. Enrollment in summer classes is “open,” meaning students from any major can register at any time and students can keep on registering until the day before the class starts. For those who don’t currently attend CSU, there is a shortened and informal admissions process.

“Summer really is a nice term to serve our students,” Gotshall said.

Sarah Leahy, freshman chemistry student, is taking some classes this summer. She is hoping to enjoy the small-campus feel.

“Usually people won’t take as many classes as they do in the fall and spring,” Leahy said. “I’m looking forward to less people and less crowds.”

Even though the student body significantly decreases in the summer, many services on campus don’t.

“The services are all open in the Lory Student Center, but there’s less people,” Gotshall said. “A lot of students really do like that.”

Bickle thinks having less people on campus is nice for students who want to stay in school but still enjoy their summer vacation.

“It just feels like a more relaxed environment,” Bickle said. “By 1:30 they’re all done with their classes and then they go play in the sun.”

Benefits to taking summer classes

* Take classes that are harder to get into in fall and spring.

* Helps students stay on track with their majors.

* Can fulfill prerequisites so students can take courses they need in the fall.

* Can help students raise GPA.

* Can lighten course load for fall and spring.

* Smaller class size, more interaction.

* More relaxed environment.

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