By Courtney Cole/ Delta Staff Writer 

Despite the new faces As faculty and staff returned to campus for the spring semester, overall enrollment numbers were down.

Registrar Marsha Lashley said this drop from fall to spring is actually common, noting there are multiple reasons why students choose not to return to Missouri Valley College.

“When students choose to not come back, it can have many reasons such as financial problems, family problems, and many more,” she said. “I have been here for 38 years and the student population always decreases in the spring semester.” 

In the fall semester there were a total of 1,370 students enrolled, but some of those graduated at semester. There is not yet an exact number of students on campus for spring semester, but the current estimate is 1,273 with some students still enrolling. 

Every year there are students who don’t come back in the spring because they realize that college is not what they want to do. On top of that, some students who actually enroll in classes for the spring semester do not come and have to be from the list. Lashley said this is usually about 15 to 20 students. The school also has about 40 to 50 students who graduate at the semester. 

Another factor impacting enrollment in Spring 2021 is Covid-19.

Kori Szabo, a former student of Missouri Valley College, chose to opt out of the semester for multiple reasons, several of them related to the pandemic. Szabo said that during the fall he witnessed things that made him feel the college was “grossly negligent in hosting a campus environment reflective of the stark and existential circumstances we invariably live under.”

Szabo said all around campus students, and sometimes staff, failed to abide by the social distancing rules or even wear face masks. He said one night he was walking through the quad and saw a wedding procession taking place, and a huge crowd of people gathered out in front of the library where they were not socially distanced. Szabo said he called public safety to break up the crowd, but nothing was done about the gathering. Even when the risks related to Covid-19 subside, Szabo will not be considering going back to Missouri Valley College even though his family are alumni. 

“The administration can wax poetic about abiding by the CDC’s guidelines and perhaps even borrow from the playbooks of better, more successful colleges, but MVC will continue to struggle significantly until they can effectively solve for the cultural challenges that weigh heavily on the college,” Szabo said. “Students deserve a campus environment that resembles a hotel – a socially responsible hotel – and not a prison.”