ENMU’s growth continues

Freedom New Mexico: Alisa Boswell Eastern New Mexico University students walk the halls of the Jack Williamson Liberal Arts building Tuesday for classes. Freshman students said they have so far enjoyed the university and are excited about starting another semester.

Alisa Boswell

Enrollment for Eastern New Mexico University is over 5,000 students for the first time in a spring semester, according to school President Steven Gamble.

“We anticipate a good spring semester,” Gamble said. “We had such good growth in the fall that we have retained a large number of those students into the spring.”

Gamble said the spring enrollment numbers will drop slightly from the fall semester, as they always do (probably no more than 200 students), but the enrollment will still be well over 5,000.

Exact numbers for spring enrollment are not currently available, but enrollment was at 5,574 students in the fall.

“In the spring, we will continue with the new residence hall and we will complete the demolition of De Baca and complete that in the spring,” Gamble said.

Joseph Kline, dean of the Fine Arts Department, said the first day of the semester seemed to be running smoothly for students and faculty.

“We’re well-prepared and as far as I can tell, everything is going just beautifully. Today is the first day of our launch for our new art and anthropology building,” Kline said. “The students are particularly excited to be able to use the new spaces and the new technology.”

Attending ENMU has been a good experience so far for students Clay Stephenson and Lauren Smith, freshmen entering into their second semester.

“It’s a lot easier this semester, because I know how to do everything, but I’m still just as pumped as last semester,” Stephenson said. “There were a couple of bumps in the road with homework, but I got used to it and overall, it’s easier (than high school) because you do things on your own time.”

Smith, who is from Carrizozo, said she likes that ENMU is not a big university but that there is still a lot to do on and around campus.

“I’m from a really small town where everyone knows everyone, so going to a huge university probably wouldn’t have worked out as well,” Smith said. “It’s pretty great getting to meet new people and all kinds of different people.”

Campus Life Coordinator Gabby Galvan said new activities are in store for students this semester with the university offering laser tag and a dance marathon for the first time.

She said students who are members of the Associated Student Activities Board bring in the new ideas for campus activities.