UNM to Enforce New Freshman Residency Requirements

Also in The Daily Lobo

By: Courtney Salinger and Maria Gomez

The University of New Mexico-Main Campus’ freshman retention rate is 80 percent, making it higher compared to the nationwide average of 71 percent, according to College Factual.

However, UNM’s graduation rate of first-time/full-time students is lower, with a four-year graduation rate of 15 percent. First-time/full-time students in the UNM class of 2012, were less likely to graduate on time. After six years, the graduation rate was 47.8 percent and by 2016, 54.7 percent of this class had completed their degree, according to College Factual.   

(Graph of UNM-Main Campus first-time/full-time graduation rate compared to nationwide rate. Source: Collegefactual.com)

With hopes to increase success for first-year students, UNM is requiring all incoming freshman to live on campus for one year, beginning the Fall 2018 semester. There are five exceptions to the live-in requirement, including students who live within 30 miles of main campus and students who will be at least 20 years old at the start of the academic year.    

“We believe very strongly that freshman students in particular really do have a much higher success rate when they have their first year living on campus,” said Teresa Ortiz, the Residence Life/Housing operations manager.

Students living on campus have easier access to campus resources and events, she said.

“They’re close to class, tutoring, professors’ office hours, the dining hall is right here for them and there’s a lot of activities and programming for the students that live on campus,” Ortiz said.

“This helps give them a connection to campus, so they feel that they are apart of things — they’re not just coming to school, leaving and going back home,” she said.

Roughly 1,900 students are expected to live on campus this upcoming fall semester, according to Ortiz.

“When we last looked at some statistics about students living within the 30 mile zone that were freshman that weren’t living with us, there was only about 300 that weren’t, so we can definitely accommodate those,” said Ortiz.

In order to accommodate incoming freshmen, previous deluxe singles created to give one student more room are being converted back to double spaces to make sure that no student who’s chosen to live on campus gets left out, according to Ortiz.

UNM Police Detective Alfredo Bouquet said the UNM Police Department are not looking to make changes to their security based on the Freshman Residency Requirement.

“At this time I have no information that there’s going to be more officers or security hired,” Bouquet said.

UNM is an open campus, allowing students and the public to come and go off of the property as much as they want at any time.

UNM police are always patrolling on foot, bikes and cars, Bouquet said. There aren’t a lot of incidents on campus in regards to personal safety, most issues are related to property crime.

“For the most part, I am going to say the campus is relatively safe,” he said.

Adam Biederwolf, the Assistant Director of Associated Students of UNM Lobo Spirit, thinks the Freshman Residency Requirement is beneficial for students but shouldn’t be mandatory.

“I think it can be beneficial for freshmen to have to live on campus just because they’re surrounded by so many resources on campus and I feel like their grades will reflect that in a positive manner,” Biederwolf said. “However, I just think it’s wrong to force incoming freshmen to live on campus because some freshmen might be uncomfortable with the environment.”



Courtney Salinger

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