Not to knock SIU-E as an institution (although it does need its own name), but I think I have an idea why its enrollment is up so much. The kids think (and maybe they’re right, how would I know) that Edwardsville is the new party school of choice. Having a graduated senior in my midst, I hear these things. In fact, a large contingent of my graduate’s class is going to Edwardsville, in part, I hear, for that reason.
Again, I’m not in any way dismissing SIU-E as a center for education and the general college experience. In fact, I think having a reputation for fun and attracting those looking for fun is a good thing.
In my day, 30 years ago, it was the real SIU in Carbondale that had the party cred. That party school reputation attracted some kids that were more interested in the “party” than the “school”, but they often didn’t make it and eventually washed out. The rest of us were able to somewhat temper our fun and were more than happy to have the overindulgers subsidize our educational institution and add a spice to the party scene.