ENMU focuses on incoming freshmen

By Clarence Plank: PNT staff writer

It’s that time of year at Eastern New Mexico University as freshman students begin arriving on campus, making the sometimes difficult transition from high school to college.

Students have to deal with new living expenses, being away from their family and friends, while going to school and working.

Chinese student Yunkai Zhang, a business major with a year at ENMU under his belt, arrived just after midnight Monday from the Lubbock airport. Despite being a college veteran, he still needed help from a resident assistant to get into his apartment.

For new students entering their first year he emphasized communicating with professors.

“Students should have more communication with their professors,” Zhang said. “It is very important when they come to Eastern to communicate more with their professors so they will know what career they want and study better.”

New students will have a chance to meet other freshman and staff at this weeknd’s annual the Dawg Days. The four day event — Saturday through Tuesday — is part of student orientation.

Dawg Days also features a barbecue, pep rally, community fair, ice cream social, live bands and a water park.

Daniel Martinez, co-director of Dawg Days, said the event helps ease freshmen into college life.

“We put on the events for them, such as live bands, comedians and a hypnotist for them,” Martinez said. “Just so the freshmen can get out there and meet other students and get out of the shy stage, and get comfortable with the Eastern community.”

The other Dawg Days co-director, Shandra Smith, a communications major. She thinks student involvement is the most important element of a successful transition.

“Some people come here by themselves,” Smith said. “They should get some experiences in the new town they’re in, meet new people and see what this town has to offer.”

Smith said when she started, she joined a sorority and was part of the student senate.

“I like the size of the classes,” Smith said about what she enjoys about ENMU. “I know my teachers and they know me. I get a more personal experience inside the classroom that I really like, which has kept me here.”