Women may not rule the world, but it might feel that way at the University of South Dakota.
Over the past few years, the ratio of male to female students has grown to be increasingly uneven. Last year’s first-year class, which totaled 1,127, was made up of 39.9 percent males and 60.1 percent females. Of this year’s incoming class of 1,251 students, 37.2 percent are male and 62.8 percent are female.
“The trend has been pretty consistent,” said Jeff Baylor, vice president of Marketing, Enrollment and Student Services at USD.
Baylor said USD’s female attendance may be higher than other in-state schools because of the university’s curriculum.
Baylor added that USD’s emphasis on arts and sciences may attract more females, as opposed to schools focused on engineering and agriculture.
“The fact that we are a liberal arts school has an impact,” he said.
Despite this, Baylor said the university strives to keep things as balanced as possible.
“It’s important that we pay attention to these statistics, not just based on gender, but that we are a diverse campus,” he said.
Even though females outnumber males by 60.1 percent, campus programming hasn’t changed, Phil Covington, associate dean of students, said.
“The general programming on campus hasn’t seen a massive shift,” he said. “We always look at our audience, especially when a vast majority is female. But in general, it hasn’t changed too much in terms of the lectures we offer and such.”
Students weighing in on the issue saw varying amounts of growing female attendance.
“I’d have to say more girls have come to school now,” senior Annie Miller said. “I can’t tell if it’s a drastic change, but I’ve been overhearing a lot about the housing, especially at North Complex.”
Sophomore Julie Smith said she hasn’t noticed a huge change.
“I guess I don’t pay that much attention. The only time I noticed it was in the dorms because so many floors were all girls and only a few were co-ed,” she said.
Senior Tara Zeinstra has noticed a real difference since she started at USD.
“I’d say a lot more girls,” she said. “There are no boys. We pretty much outnumber them. Times are changing.”