Not all students can vote on new stadium

By Christina Calloway

PNT senior writer

ccalloway@pntonline.com

Only full-time Eastern New Mexico University students will decide the fate of a proposed $8 million football stadium to be built ion campus. But if the vote is successful, all students will share the burden for the next 30 years.

Christina Calloway: Portales News-Tribune Eastern New Mexico University Student Body President Justin Aguilar, sorting through plastic leis that will be used during homecoming week, said the student government has been flooded with inquiries as to why part-time students aren’t allowed to vote.

Christina Calloway: Portales News-Tribune
Eastern New Mexico University Student Body President Justin Aguilar, sorting through plastic leis that will be used during homecoming week, said the student government has been flooded with inquiries as to why part-time students aren’t allowed to vote.

Fifty-seven percent of ENMU’s record fall enrollment of more than 5,800 students are full-time students — or a little more than 3,000. ENMU’s enrollment includes 751 dual-credit students, who do not pay tuition and are also not considered eligible to vote.

Full-time students are being asked to pay $40 per semester to raise $4 million for a new stadium that would replace the outdated 45-year-old stadium the school currently uses at Blackwater Draw.

A quarter of the remaining $4 million cost will be requested from Portales schools, which would also use the facility. ENMU has already agreed to pay $1 million and the other $2 million will be the responsibility of the ENMU Foundation.

The election is Oct. 2-4.

ENMU Student Body President Justin Aguilar said the student government has been flooded with inquiries as to why part-time students aren’t allowed to vote.

“The students that use the facilities the most should decide,” Aguilar said. “They’re paying more than anyone else on campus.”

If the vote is successful, part-time students will pay $3.33 per credit hour toward the stadium construction, a prorated amount from the $40 per semester fee increase for full-time students.

“I suggested it be all full-time people. Those are the people that deserve to vote,” Gamble said. “Students are getting the vote out of the kindness of the heart of the board of regents. They put it to the students to vote, it’s the fairest way in the world to do it.”

Gamble said the board could have increased fees without a student vote but felt it was only fair to receive student input since students would pay for half of the bill.

“We didn’t want to feel guilty by jacking up the cost but we also know we need to get out of Blackwater Draw,” Gamble said.

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