By Tony Parra
Another school year and another batch of new faces on the campus of Eastern New Mexico University were on hand to celebrate the beginning of Dawg Days and a leap into college life.
The incoming freshman spent Thursday registering for classes, which begin on Monday, and used the rest of the afternoon and evening to unwind. There was a barbecue at 5 p.m., followed by hypnotist Chuck Milligan in the evening.
The center of the ENMU campus had a giant tent with many tables and chairs for students to eat. There were organizational booths lined up next to a sidewalk, across from the tent. Sarah Brooks, Dawg Days co-coordinator, said 60 organizations signed up for the community/organization fair.
Shem Peachey was a Dawg Days co-coordinator at last year’s Dawg Days and said this year’s was larger with a bigger turnout.
“I saw both of the first days, first hand,” Peachey said. “This year’s is much better — by far the best Dawg Days I’ve attended. I think community members have caught on and realize the fair is a great place to advertise.”
Peachey and Brooks worked together to coordinate the Dawg Days events which continue until Sunday. They were in training with 30 Dawg Days counselors at the beginning of the week.
“This is the best group we have had,” Brooks said. “So far it’s been great. We had to combine many of the organizations onto one table.”
Thursday was also the first day students could begin moving into the residence halls. Vehicles with furniture, televisions and computers cluttered the parking lots outside of Lincoln and Bernallilo Halls on Thursday.
A few incoming freshman, because of athletics, are already acclimated to their surroundings, having an advantage over some of the other freshman.
“I kind of know where everything is,” Joel Dunn, who is an inside linebacker for the Greyhounds football team, said. “We’ve (players) been working together with our teachers and coaches. The teachers have talked to us in morning meetings.”
Dunn, who comes from Bledsoe, Texas (a town 57 miles southeast of Portales), said he’s been practicing for a month already and is anxious to start classes. Lindsey Roberts and Brittany Bauer were hanging out at the barbecue, both with many things in common. Both are incoming freshman from San Antonio and both moved to Portales a week ago.
“It’s a culture shock,” Roberts said about the adjustment. “It’s been fun though. Everyone has been nice.”
Another thing the both have in common is that they are both on the ENMU cross-country team and this is the reason both moved in a week ago.
“We’re excited, it gives us something to do,” Bauer said about the start of classes on Monday. “It’s a big adjustment coming from a big city to a small town.”
For Daniel Campolla, he doesn’t have to make the same adjustment, because he is coming from Muleshoe, Texas. Campolla said he moved his belongings into his dormitory room at Lincoln Hall on Thursday.
“It’s been fun so far,” Campolla said. “I’m going to be participating in some of the Dawg Days events.”
Campolla said the biggest adjustment he’s going to have is being by himself. However, he looks forward to the time he is going to be spending at ENMU.
“I just want to have fun,” Campolla said.
Dawg Days will continue through the weekend, with the Greyhound football game against Central Arkansas, followed by the Blessid Union of Souls concert at Greyhound Arena. The game is scheduled for 6 p.m., while the concert is slated for 9:30 p.m.