By Eric Norwood Jr.
PNT staff writer
The incoming freshmen could not wait to get on campus at Eastern New Mexico University this semester.
“I’m finally here. It was heartbreaking leaving my mom but I’m ready to start class,” said James Reeder, an incoming freshman from Amarillo.
ENMU welcomed all of its new students with their Dawg Days student orientation. The highlight of the event was Saturday, which featured a community fair, BBQ, and a pep rally to kick off the year.
Director of Student Activities Draco Miller said that the main goal of Dawg Days is to help get students at ease to college life.
“Students are leaving home, some of them for the first time, so we want to make sure that they feel welcome, they feel safe, and get acclimated,” said Miller.
Students, parents, staff, faculty, and residents of Portales enjoyed the fun as the band played music, and the cheerleaders and spirit squad danced. Miller and his staff livened up the crowd by shooting a T-shirt gun and there were games and prizes. Even parents who got involved in the festivities.
“Four parents volunteered and I went up,” said Kristy Marney, mother of freshman Danielle Bennett.
“They had me put as many marshmallows as I could in my mouth and say chubby bunny. I did eight,” Marney said with a grin. She won a bag full of ENMU gear for her feat.
Booths representing organizations from on campus as well as the community lined the middle of campus.
Ben and Terri Fasanando had a booth welcoming Chinese students. Eastern has many Chinese students who enroll each year, and the Fasanando family helps them get acclimated.
“We hold bilingual Bible study, host soccer games, and we help them get stuff they will need like drivers licenses and Social Security cards,” said Terri Fasanando.
The Forensic Science Society had a booth too, showcasing what they had to offer to students.
“We’re in our third year, and we are made up of Forensic Science majors and non-majors. We are raising money to take trips to go visit a crime lab and get guest lectureships,” said senior Samantha Ferguson.
Dawg Days continues through Monday for freshmen, with school beginning on Tuesday. The freshman and their parents are nervous, yet excited for the future.
“I’ve only been here two hours, but I’m so excited,” said Katrina Estrada, a freshman from Albuquerque.
“It’s scary to leave her but I think she’ll be good; I like the small hometown environment,” said her mother Cheryl Ray.