PORTALES, N.M. (KRQE)- Students at Eastern New Mexico University are re-thinking their winter break plans after learning the school will charge them to stay on campus. They say the cost is too much, but the university says it’s been that way for years.
In a little more than three weeks, fall semester wraps up at Eastern New Mexico University. Most students will head home for winter break but a few will choose to stay for all or part of the break.
Mekayla Welch is an ENMU student. She works at Walmart and doesn’t want to lose her job. Welch lives in Guadalupe Hall but says she will have to stay with a friend because it’s too pricey to stay in the dorms.
The university is charging students $250 to stay on campus during winter break or a $15 a day rate. Some students will also have to be moved to a different dorm.
Welch says it’s just not worth it. “I think it’s too much considering that I don’t get to stay in the room that I’m already living in, I would have to move completely and have a new roommate for five weeks and it’s just too complicated,” said Welch.
The school says this policy has been in place for years but some older students say they don’t remember ever being charged to stay.
Marcos Walters wanted to stay on campus for part of the break to continue training for the upcoming track season.
“I was planning on staying just for a little but now that I know it’s $250 just to stay for the whole break, I mean it might not even be worth it,” said Walters.
On top of the cost, the dining hall will be closed over break, so students will have to find somewhere else to eat.
The school athletes and band members who need to stay over the winter break can stay for free.