The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Freshmen migrate onto ENMU campus


August 18, 2019

Mathew Brock

Eastern New Mexico University students Sabrina Garza and Brayan Bar help the McCants family move furniture into Curry Hall on Saturday.

PORTALES - It's not every day you get to watch a great migration of 600 freshman college students unload truckfuls of furniture, clothes and the rest of their personal items into the cramped dormitories they'll be inhabiting over the next year.

Saturday morning saw the streets outside the various residence halls of Eastern New Mexico University packed with trucks and cars packed with cargo. Students and families led by councilors walked the campus, getting themselves acquainted with their new stomping grounds.

The annual move-in day is part of ENMU's three-day Dawg Days welcome festival, also referred to this year as Houndchella. The weekend starts on Saturday with a move-in day before two days of orientation and activities ending on Monday. The goal is to help ease incoming freshmen into their first year of college with a little help from veteran students and staff.

According to University President Jeff Elwell, 550-600 new students were anticipated for this year's move-in day. Elwell himself could be found outside Guadeloupe hall on Saturday, directing traffic and meeting with new students and their families.

"I've worked every move-in day since I've become president," Elwell said. "Quite frankly, its one of my most enjoyable days of the year. I meet the new freshmen and parents and our (more veteran) students get to welcome them."

Tessa Schwalm worked as a Dawg Days councilor on Saturday, introducing new students and their family's to the dorms and campus. Schwalm is a senior studying wildlife and fishery science at the ENMU and remembers her Dawg Days introduction fondly.

"It didn't freak me out or anything, but I just thought that these people were super excited to be here and it got me excited too," Schwalm said. "I wasn't happy to be leaving my family, but I got excited to come here after seeing how much they loved the school and how much spirit they had."

Councilors like Schwalm will spend the weekend helping new students move in and get through orientation before classes begin on Aug. 20.

Ken and Elizabeth McCants of Estancia brought their grandson Demetrius McCants to move into his dorm on Saturday.

Demetrius will be studying theatre arts and anthropology through a scholarship after first visiting the school through a theatre competition. He isn't sure what sort of career he'll pursue after college, but is looking forward to his first year and hopes to get involved in the theatre program as soon as possible.

Brayan Navarro of Albuquerque also brought his parents Cindy and Jon Navarro to the move-in day on Saturday. He'll be attending ENMU on a baseball scholarship and wants to study wildlife and forestry while attending.

Brayan said he's mostly looking forward to the baseball season and to start working out for the 2020 season as soon as he can. His parents were a little reluctant to let him go, but are excited to see him starting his college path.

"I'm a bit nervous, but he's got a good head on his shoulders," said Cindy.

"It's hard, but we mostly just want him to come out and be successful," Jon said.


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