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Students, potential students have mixed feelings about fence

Caleb Rice

It seems Lobos have mixed reactions about being caged.

Caleb Rice, who has attended the University of New Mexico in the past and plans on going back, said he was surprised university officials would consider building a 10-foot-tall, wrought-iron fence around the campus.

“To restrict access feels strange, since UNM has been the center of the community,” the 30-year-old said.

He noted that UNM is known for hosting nonacademic, community events, which Rice says he likes taking advantage of himself.

“One of the things about UNM is people come here to see what’s going on,” he said.

He thinks a perimeter fence could detract from that atmosphere.

Ray Coan

Ray Coan

Ray Coan, 36, who is studying computer science at UNM, said he thinks the buffer could be a bust.

“Around the dorms, maybe, I’d be for it, but around the rest of the campus, it would be a waste,” he said, adding that the campus wouldn’t notice much change.

“It’s still such a public campus,” he said.

If people want to get into the campus, he said, they will find a way even with a fence.

Coan said he would rather see the estimated $1.6 million for the project go to educational programs, adding that if the money had to go to security, he would want it to go toward increasing the campus police presence.

Jayme Ech

But potential future Lobo Jayme Ech thinks the fencing could prove to be a prudent safety move.

Ramón Roybal

Marcus Adams

The 17-year-old is considering going to UNM after high school, and she said a perimeter fence would be a plus when making a determination.

“It would make me feel safer,” said Ech, who mentioned there have been times she has felt unsafe walking on campus.

“I think it would be a good idea,” she said.

And some people were, well, on the fence.

Ramón Roybal, a 19-year-old sophomore studying biochemistry, said he has no strong feelings for or against the proposal.

“It couldn’t hurt,” he said.

He hasn’t felt unsafe with an open campus so far, he said, and is indifferent about the university’s moving forward with the perimeter plan.

Similarly, Marcus Adams said he likes the idea if the budget allows for it but doesn’t think it’s critical.

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