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Grounds Crew prepares for the planting portion of the Arbor Day festivities. Grounds Crew prepares for the planting portion of the Arbor Day festivities.

On April 26 Texas Tech students joined together at Memorial Circle for Arbor Day to help plant flowers, enjoy music, and come together as a campus.

Chanel Burke, a junior chemistry major, said she found out about the event because she heard the band playing when she came out of class and wanted to find out more.

“I heard music when I came out of the chemistry building,” Burke said, “so I decided to ask someone and walked up and saw people sitting and eating so i decided to join in the event.”

Burke went on to say the Tech Activities Board, or TAB, put on a great event and it was a fun way to get the students to come together and enjoy a beautiful day.

Many different organizations set up booths around Memorial Circle handing out free items such as T-shirts, koozies, bags, ice cream, and frisbees, while others came to show their support for Tech.

Baleigh Troull, a member of Phi Upsilon, an honor society for human sciences, said she was out for a community service event to spread awareness about their group and show love for the campus and students.

“It’s one of our community service projects,” Troull said, “It’s just kind of to show our support for the campus and we have done it every year of the event.”

Sami Tiano, a sophomore education major from Frisco, Texas, said she saw the huge crowd of people surrounding Memorial Circle, and couldn’t help but be excited to get involved with such a unique event.

“When I was walking back to my apartment, I saw a ton of people surrounding Memorial Circle and decided to see what was going on,” Tiano said.  “The band was awesome, and I raced to get in line for my own personal plant.”

Tiano said she got to take home a cilantro plant to grow at home, and stayed to listen to the music and eat with her friends.

“I didn’t want to leave right away,” Tiano said, “So I called some of my friends to come and hang out.”

Shelby Williams, a junior human development major from San Antonio, said she was at the event to hear the awards for the different student organizations.

“They give out awards for the best organizations,” Williams said, “and they do awards based on the division like best religious, best greek, and for the other student organizations.”

Burke, the junior chemistry major, said although she didn’t know about the event beforehand, it was really easy to be informed and felt very included.

“It really changed my average boring day,” Burke said, “instead of it being slow and boring, it was really fun and I’m not ready to leave.”

For more information abut this event, check out the following links:
Arbor Day Preparation and Planning
Meet the Band
Students Beautify Campus
Arbor Day Radio

 

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May/13

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Planning and Preparation

It is no secret that Texas Tech University’s annual Arbor Day is a big event.

Arbor Day is celebrated all around the United States all through out the year, and according to the Arbor Day Foundation’s website, Nebraska was the first state to make this day a legal holiday.

 Tech Activities Board advisor Sonia Moore said because Arbor Day is important through out the United States, Texas Tech wants to do it’s part each year.

Moore said that planning for this event begins early in the year and lasts about four months.

“Arbor Day planning actually begins toward the first of the year,” Moore said, “and we have a committee comprised of severaldifferent individuales on campus.”

Moore explained that TAB must coordinate with several different people to make this event happen.

She said the organizations they work with include the grouds crewhospitality department, and Bahama Bucks.

“We have several meetings throughout the semester,” Moore said, “just to make sure we are all ready for the event.”

 

 

 

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Texas Tech is on the right track toward achieving its goal of 40,000 students by 2020, as evident by the enrollment numbers of both semesters in 2011.

Chris Cook, managing director of communications and marketing at Tech, said this fall’s undergraduate enrollment set a record with 26,063 students. Graduate students were at 5,566 and the law school was 698, totaling of 32,327 students at the university.

Typically, Cook said, the spring semester numbers drops from the fall, but this past spring was the third highest semester enrollment in school history, behind Fall 2010 and Fall 2011.

“What that shows you is, while spring semesters typically drop off in attendance, we’re growing leaps and bounds,” he said. “And for this next spring I know we anticipate a good enrollment (as well).”

Tech president Guy Bailey said he easily expects the university to reach its goal of 40,000 students.

“We need about 7,500 to 8,000 more students, and right now we have 80 percent of that (40,000),” he said. “Since 2008 we’ve averaged about 1,100 to 1,200 students a year.”

Bailey said something university officials are focused on is increasing the presence of the graduate population. Normally, systems of higher education have more graduate students than undergraduates, he said, which is something Tech must improve on.

“It’s real important to have more graduate students than undergraduate students,” Bailey said. “If you look at most tier-one institutions, they have a ratio of graduate-to-undergraduate at 25-to-75. Right now we’re at about 20 percent of graduate students, so we need to grow the graduate population at a much faster rate.”

Bailey said as far as achieving tier-one status, the quality of a university’s student population is more important than the quantity.

Bailey said the ultimate draw of tier-one status is becoming a member of the Association of American Universities. However, Tech has a short-term goal of being a part of the National Research University Fund, a standard set by the state of Texas which is a mechanism to help colleges become tier-one universities.

Currently, three schools in the state of Texas have gained the recognition of tier-one status, Cook said: the University of Texas at Austin, Texas A&M University and Rice University.

Being qualified for the NRUF means earning an estimated $9.5 million a year to support research efforts and graduate students in higher education. Bailey said Tech officials sent a letter to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating in September, saying they believe Tech has met the criteria set by the state. Bailey said they will learn in March if the university qualifies.

If the university does receive its $9.5 million research grant, Cook said, Tech should have no problem expanding its growth of graduate students.

“You want to increase the size of your graduate class, which in turn increases your research opportunities,” he said. “It’s a hands-on environment here and graduate students can come here and get their hands involved in research, and undergraduates (do too). That’s something we use to recruit with is our research (and we will) continue to increasing that goal.”

Tech provost Bob Smith said research funding is vital to higher education, and Tech has already made great strides in funding without the use of a possible $9.5 million grant.

“Our research funding has gone up heroically in the last two years,” he said. “We’ve gone from about $60 million a year to (this last year) about $140 million. I’ve never been any place where I’ve seen that kind of growth.”

Amanda Sanchez, a junior human sciences major from San Antonio, said it would be great to have Tech be the fourth tier-one university in the state.

“I think tier-one status is a great (thing) for this university,” she said. “It will allow us to expand our abilities as far as research goes and have us be seen as an up-and-coming research university. This can really help our total university enrollment by making us able to compete with bigger schools like UT and Texas A&M for students.”

Smith said he expects the university’s faculty to grow with the number of students by 2020, despite hiring cutbacks.

The increase of enrollment in the past three semesters has been done with stricter admissions standards, Cook said.

“The standards have been raised, yet the quality of students are still growing,” he said. “A lot of people would see that as a detriment to your growth, but it’s not. We’re going out and aggressively recruiting high schools and getting into these schools and talking to these students and actively recruiting them.”

Something else the university is focused on is decreasing student debt and increasing the amount of scholarships provided to students.

U.S. News and World Report ranked universities according to the amount of debt they graduated with, and we were ranked seventh lowest in the country for the lowest amount of debt,” Bailey said. “That’s real important for us because we don’t want you to graduate with a lot of debt. At a lot of private schools you might graduate with $40,000 or $50,000 debt. I think the average for our students was $11,000. That’s less than a car.”

More information:

Enrollement numbers

Enrollement video

 

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