Although the UNM administration has increased security measures at Lobo Village, the Board of Regents questioned whether the efforts have gone too far.
At a meeting on Tuesday, Board of Regents President Jack Fortner commended the University’s efforts to improve student safety at Lobo Village, but said the increased security might be excessive. He said that on Saturday at about 10:30 p.m., he and his wife tried to visit their daughter, who is a Lobo Village resident, but were stopped by the security guard checking identification at the gate.
Fortner said he had his ID with him, but that his wife did not and that the guard wouldn’t let them in.
“I said ‘Look, she’s age appropriate,’” he said. “Perhaps we’ve gone a little overboard, but at least in the right direction.”
Vice President for Student Affairs Cheo Torres said the University has increased security measures at Lobo Village to improve student safety and that improvements included plans for “designating a building or buildings that are alcohol-free.”
He said a survey was sent to Lobo Village residents regarding whether residents would prefer the community to be alcohol-free.
According to the survey, 57 percent of survey takers did not want an alcohol-free building at the community, 15 percent were very interested, 15 percent were somewhat interested and 13 percent had no interest either way.
Torres said that despite the results, the University will continue to explore having at least one alcohol-free building at Lobo Village. He said that although some students are not pleased with the change, it’s an effort to keep students safe.
“Yes, students don’t like change, but they’re getting used to the changes and of course we know we’re doing it for the right reasons, and that’s for their safety and well being,” he said.
During a presentation about the current enrollment at UNM, Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management Terry Babbitt said that the University’s main campus has hit a new enrollment record, with 29,100 students enrolled at main campus. He said that 6,600 students are enrolled in online courses at UNM, a 44 percent increase compared to the 4,575 students who enrolled in online classes last year.
The regents unanimously approved the purchase of three new properties, which will cost the University about $3.1 million for about 4.3 acres of property.
One of the properties is a vacant commercial site located at 5400 Central Ave. S.E., which will cost about $1.12 million and will be used as a clinic site for the UNMH Alcohol and Substance Abuse Program, which provides substance abuse and mental health treatment.
The University will also purchase a 2.5 acre property at 2130 Eubank Blvd. N.E. that will cost a little less than $1.7 million. The building on the property will be converted into a community-based health care clinic.
The third purchase, a single-family home located at 923 Vassar Dr. N.E., will cost $320,000. The house will be converted into the School of Medicine Development Office.