GV sees increased student enrollment, campus options for Fall 2022 semester


GVL / Bri Conway

Payton Brazzil, Staff Writer

As Grand Valley State University returns to regular operations there has been a boost in enrollment and on-campus living.

Not only did the pandemic affect enrollment and on-campus living, but GVSU experienced a steady downward trend in enrollment during each fall semester since 2017. This fall, enrollment is now on the incline, with more than 200 more students living on campus compared to last fall.

Director of Housing and Residence Life, Kyle Boone, said that more than 5,400 students are planning to live on campus for the fall semester, according to MLive.

“We have residence halls again, we have a new student class that’s larger than the last couple of years and even more diverse,” President Philomena Mantella told MLive. “So, it’s just really thrilling to have everybody back.”

With more students living on campus, GVSU encourages students to attend its orientation programs and classes to learn more about the school, along with in-person events such as Campus Life Night and Convocation.

Those coming to campus for the first time are set to experience a college environment almost entirely removed from COVID-era protocols.

GVSU freshman Francesca Petrucci said the transition from home to school has been positive.

“Living on campus has been good so far,” Petrucci said. “I’m really happy to be living in Holton Hooker because it’s in the middle of everything. Everyone has been super nice and welcoming.”

Petrucci also said she liked the variety of things to do on campus like the transition events and Convocation. When it came to academics, however, she said she felt unprepared.

“I wish they had a session where they taught us about Blackboard,” Petrucci said.

Online learning can be difficult for some students to pick up, so Petrucci said she wished there could have been more direction.

In addition to complications with Blackboard, some students experience difficulties with online classes as a whole.

Many students came back to GVSU once they knew in-person classes were fully returning, including Jaden Hags.

“I came to Grand Valley in 2020, so in the thick of the pandemic,” said Hags. “I couldn’t learn online through Zoom or Blackboard, so I decided to take a gap year.”

Although Hags lived on campus her first year, she didn’t feel like she was a part of the campus community.

“Everything online was really hard,” Hags said. “I went through sorority recruitment online, went to class online and could eat at basically one place. Now, campus has way more food options and in-person events, so I could see myself coming back.”

Due to fewer COVID-19 restrictions, GVSU is offering more in-person events and dining options as students that had previously encountered virus-related cancellations return to on-campus housing.

The university has opened new dining options and reopened multiple sites closed by the pandemic, including Einstein’s Bagel Bros, Bento Sushi, GV Brew and Fuel in the lower level of Kirkhof Center.

This change has received generally positive feedback from students on- and off-campus.

“I like the places where you can use your dining dollars,” Petrucci said. “ I don’t really like the ‘all you can eat’ places, though, like the Dish or Fresh. I think Grand Valley is doing a great job with a variety of food choices.”