ENMU regents approve room and board rate increase

By Clarence Plank: PNT staff writer

The Eastern New Mexico University Board of Regents approved a 3-percent increase Tuesday in room and board rates for the next school year.

The rate increase was approved on a 3-1 vote, with Student Regent Robert Wachter the lone dissenter.

Vice President of Student Affairs Judith Haislett said the fees show an increase for apartments.

“We feel with the 3 percent increase, which is less than the average increase has been over a five year period, we can still provide a safe residence home, a clean residence home,” Haislett said.

Wachter questioned the reason for the increase.

Haislett said it covers a projected increase in utilities, hiring people and the cost of a minimum wage increase.

Occupancy at the San Juan Village is at 75 percent, and west campus is full. Some apartments are under maintenance. San Juan has 186 out of 286 apartments in use for the fall and spring of 2008-2009.

ENMU has already increased tuition and fees to help balance the budget for next year.

The money is going toward utilities, property insurance and things we have to pay, said ENMU President Steven Gamble.

“If the state could budget their money better, then the students wouldn’t have to flip the bill,” Wachter said. “I feel the students are paying the right amount of money for their education, I understand the reason why we had the increase because we had to balance the budget due to the state increases.”

In other business, the board:

• Appointed secretary/treasurer regent Chad Lydick.

• Approved an electrical distribution project, weight training facility and technology building.

• Approved an identity theft policy for both Ruidoso and Portales.

• Set the 2009-10 holiday schedule and fall academic calendar.