- Associated Press - Sunday, December 13, 2015

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) - Officials took the first step toward requiring most incoming freshmen at New Mexico State University to live on campus for one year.

The university’s Board of Regents approved a resolution Friday in support of requiring incoming freshmen to live in student housing, The Las Cruces Sun-News reported (https://bit.ly/1INDBPV). They also expressed interest in possible exemptions from the requirement, such as students who live within a certain distance of the campus and military veterans who are attending college for the first time.

University President Garrey Curruthers indicated that the requirement could open the door for the university to enter into public-private partnerships with companies to provide additional on-campus housing. “We need to send a signal to the private sector that we intend to have a rule on the books,” Carruthers said.

Regent Kari Mitchell expressed concern that the university was mandating a market for a potential public-private partnership and asked that the proposed exemptions be brought before regents, along with data suggesting that living on campus helps to improve the university’s rate of student retention.

“I want to be sure we don’t create a policy for students living on campus that would affect their access to an education because of affordability,” Mitchell said.



Carruthers said living on campus enhances the student experience, and he has heard from a growing number of parents who want their children to live on campus. He believes living on campus provides greater safety, increases the likelihood of graduation and that the financial burden will likely be minimal to students.

Carruthers said a public-private partnership was one of the only options available to the university if new dorms are to be built to meet an increased demand.

“We cannot come up with the funding to build any kind of new properties at the moment, in my view,” Carruthers said. “It’s an option that we’d have to take a look at, but I’m very inclined toward public-private partnerships.”

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Information from: Las Cruces Sun-News, https://www.lcsun-news.com

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