With droves of students crowding Cooper Hall to make their way to class, pouring into the Marshall Student Center for something to eat or lining up to purchase textbooks at the Bookstore, USF once again resembled its own city after the lull of the summer semesters.
According to USF’s InfoCenter, 41,599 students were registered for class Monday at the USF Tampa campus — 186 more total students and 55 more freshmen than last year.
The influx of students caused campus parking spaces to quickly disappear, and a constant flow of cars on main campus roads like Maple Drive demanded the use of traffic directors by the middle of the day.
Cameron Davis, a sales rep at the USF Bookstore for about a year now, said the first day of class is also when many students turn out to purchase textbooks.
“I’ve seen hundreds of students today,” Davis said. “Most people who get on campus for the first time, if they’re commuters, automatically come to the Bookstore to get their books for classes.”
Davis said, on normal days, students in the Bookstore usually come in groups when classes let out and then leave when classes start again. Monday, however, he said the crowds at the Bookstore didn’t stop all morning.
“Since 11 a.m. it’s just been a constant flow. It actually hasn’t slowed down at all,” Davis said just before 4 p.m.
Davis said the lines at the Bookstore were so long they backlogged work from over the weekend and prevented employees from dealing with an unsorted pile of books in the back of the store.
“We had one special Sunday opening the day before classes start, and we sold 9,000 products,” he said. “We’ve been helping so many customers that we don’t have time to shelve books.”
The first day of the fall semester also equates to new experiences. Alejandro Cabrera, a transfer student majoring in mechanical engineering, said he enjoyed his first engineering class during his first semester at USF — Communication for Engineers.
“It was very hands-on … the professor was really friendly, and it’s a small class of 15 or 20 people,” Cabrera said. “We’re doing an iFixit project, so we’re getting broken equipment, and we’re fixing it and creating a portfolio and a how-to guide for other people if they have to fix their own equipment.”
The start of a new year also mean some students’ times at USF are coming to an end. Alyson Strand, a senior majoring in gender studies, said this is her last semester at USF.
“It’s a little bit harder to wake up in the morning,” she said. “I know that this is the last one, and senioritis is kicking in already, and it’s the first day.”
Strand and other students still have plenty of time to enjoy USF’s Week of Welcome (WOW). WOW comes to an end with USF’s Round-Up Comedy Show at 9 p.m. Friday.