When I first came to Las Cruces, New Mexico and enrolled in NMSU's Doña Ana Branch, I felt like I was at a big University. This because I attended at the Central Campus, located on the actual campus of New Mexico State University. Doña Ana Community College students all have an NMSU ID; this allows one to use most, but not all, of the facilities and/or benefits and activities associated with the main NMSU campus. One must pay extra to use the gym/aquatic center and Doña Ana students cannot get what they call Pete's Pass. A second student ID entitling one to use the Crimson Cab safe ride service (to any alcohol serving establishment in Las Cruces and Mesilla, only), as well as Pete's Pickup. The latter being an off-campus ride service using golf carts (usually, if one just has their regular NMSU ID, the students working for Pete's Pickup will let you slide).
However, attending Aggie Solidarity meetings on the main, NMSU campus when I first got here, the group's then president use the term for what is happening with today's universities. His term? "Educational factories"! Meaning, that when one factors in how state funding for education has been getting cut in recent years (especially in New Mexico with our moron Republican Governor-Susana Martinez), major corporations recruited by many American public universities have been picking up the financial slack. That said, the point he was trying to get across is this. College students today are no longer taught how to think for themselves; how to formulate their own individual opinions as an individual. Rather, thanks to the heavy investments from private business interests, they are being taught how to "Robo think". In other words, students are being taught how to think, and act, for the benefit of the greater corporate good in America. Not for themselves. By the time I got to my second semester at NMSU's Doña Ana, I began to see where he was right about this. The majority of our instructors/professors at DACC heard us into little groups of 2 to 3 students each. Expecting us to learn the American Corporation sanctioned skill of groupthink. Speaking for myself, I am one of those students that cannot cooperate very well. Particularly those I have nothing in common with. I being the rebel and the outcast; that and the artist/writer who marches to the beat of her own drum despite the discordance it causes others. That said, groupthink does not work for me! Making things even harder is the fact that roughly 75 percent of the students at my school are conservative Mexican-American Catholics. I being both LGBT and a self-proclaimed agnostic-atheist and "Sensitive Satanist", you can see where this is going here. I must honestly say that New Mexico State University as a whole has far too many Christian groups on campus. And why not? The administration at Doña Ana Community College's aforementioned parent university seems to kiss the back sides of every stinking Baptist, and evangelical church in Greater Las Cruces! This to the detriment of us liberal students; I being one among the extreme leftists who refuses to play "God's chess game": love thy neighbor with those whom I despise-most Christians in general.
When I first got here, I lived off-campus. Thanks to President Obama's Rapid rehousing grant which paid most of my rent for the first thirteen months. At first, I found the idea exciting that Doña Ana was part of New Mexico State University. Immediately, I got involved with every club I was interested in; Aggie Solidarity, Stonewall Queer-Straight Alliance, and later, Aggies for Feminism. That and, about three semesters ago, with our "resurrected" Secular Student Alliance. The anti-thesis of the thirteen Christian groups on campus, such as CRU-formerly, Campus Crusade for Christ. I also went to several of the events. Getting sidetracked from studying because I tend to be what they call a "Chatty Cathy".
Factoring in that my only income is Social Security Disability/SSI, when that rapid rehousing grant ended and I could no longer afford to total living expenses amounting to nearly $580 a month, I took out a Stafford loan and moved into campus housing on the New Mexico State University campus itself. Notwithstanding the fact that South Campus Housing, especially, is very old and was built in the 1950s, I must admit that one of the best things about New Mexico state University (including Doña Ana Branch) is the diversity in campus housing. NMSU Housing and Residential Life offers everything from the traditional dorm room, to single student efficiencies with shared bathrooms called suites, duplex and quad apartments, and yes, for the adult student/couple who has children-single-family housing.
At Doña Ana Branch, the class sizes aren't that bad. Not the case at Main Campus NMSU were freshman classes have as many as 200 or more students per class; the school's upper-level classes generally having between 45-75 students each. For those not on the mainstream career path, I must say this. New Mexico State University as a whole, including the Doña Ana Branch where many freshman and sophomore students take all their core, and required elective classes before transferring to main NMSU, is, for the most part, what they call a STEM school. It is NOT really a school for liberal arts majors. I can think of only one Associate Degree major, at Doña Ana Branch, that is artistically oriented. That being commercial graphic arts. For those majoring in Doña Ana's Associate of Arts degree program who wish to transfer to the main campus of New Mexico State University and major in a liberal arts oriented degree, there aren't too many choices. The fine arts college is rather small; the English college in Clara Belle Williams Hall is even smaller. There is a theater arts program, as well as a film program at NMSU's main campus which Doña Ana students can transfer into somewhat easily. However, as a whole, the overall campus atmosphere at both New Mexico State University and NMSU-Doña Ana isn't really conductive to those of artistic pursuits. As I stated before, both schools are oriented towards STEM majors. That or education and social science majors. Also worthy of mention here: with thirteen Christian groups at Main campus NMSU, but only one each of the following-Muslim, Jewish, Catholic, Pagan, and secular, both schools as a whole are majorly conservative. However, they are more progressive than the city of Las Cruces itself; a boring community dominated by conservative Christian rednecks, equally conservative Mexican-American Catholics, and yes, retired people. That and a lot of uneducated, blue-collar working people, who, while being rather friendly for the most part, are essentially "Dumb as a dead tree stump". No, I would probably not recommend New Mexico State University (parent University of Doña Ana Branch) for those interested in becoming political arts majors. That is, unless you are either a conservative Republican, or a Blue Dog Democrat (representative of the conservative Catholic Mexican-American population here in Las Cruces/Doña Ana County).