For resources and information on Hermit’s Peak / Calf Canyon fires, click the banner

For resources and information on Hermit’s Peak / Calf Canyon fires, click the banner

Hermit’s Peak NMHU campus response

May 17, 2022 11:57 a.m.

Smoke relief for employees and staff
If you are experiencing problems with smoke in your office:Employees can pick up KN95 masks as well as an air purifier from Facilities Services if they are experiencing smoke in their individual offices. They can choose to retain the air purifier long-term after the crisis is over, provided their department picks up the cost to replace the air purifier’s filters, or they can return the unit to Facilities Services.


May 17, 2022 9:58 a.m.
New Mexico Highlands University opens doors to Calf Canyon and Hermit’s Peak evacuees and firefighters (KOB news video)


 

May 13, 2022 4:45 p.m.

The #NMHU Las Vegas campus will resume normal operation beginning May 16 and will remain open until further notice.


May 5, 2022 2:05 p.m.

Resources page updates

As the status of wildfires changes from hour to hour, the needs and resources for those impacted by the fires continues to evolve as well. Considering the rapidly changing needs of the wider community, we are updating the New Mexico Highlands University fire resource webpage multiple times per day as we receive and verify the latest information.

In particular, the list of needed donation items and the locations for donating these items changes daily. Please visit the resource webpage for the most up-to-date information about what is needed and where to bring these donation items: https://www.nmhu.edu/hermit/

The resource page also includes information about shelter locations, mental health resources for all community members, fire status, financial and legal resources, and many other relevant resources.

We are encouraged by the overwhelming support from the community, and we are so grateful to see so many efforts in place to support everyone affected by the wildfires.

Also, rather than provide a daily update, NMHU will instead provide important fire-related information as it becomes available. This change allows us to work to prevent potential email fatigue and reserve our email updates for bigger announcements.


May 4, 2022 4:55 p.m.

Las Vegas campus now closed through Friday, May 6

In keeping with our ongoing commitment to our students and employees’ health and safety, New Mexico Highlands University President Sam Minner has ordered the Las Vegas campus closed through Friday, May 6 to all faculty, staff, and non-resident students, except for staff members performing critical campus functions.

NMHU faculty is encouraged to continue with distance learning where possible through Sunday, May 8. We thank faculty for continued efforts to work closely with students to ensure their successful completion of the semester.

The university requests that instructors continue to accommodate any students who may be displaced, who are experiencing health issues due to the smoke, who may have lost homes, or other fire-related reasons. Potential options may include modifying assignment due dates, moving a final exam to a distance education format, or assigning incomplete grades. Final decisions about grades or assignments are up to the individual faculty member.

Security staff and essential staff will remain on campus to ensure the safety of students on the Las Vegas campus. Please note that the Las Vegas campus has NOT been evacuated, and we do not have reason to believe this will occur.

If students residing on campus decide to leave campus on their own, please email housing@nmhu.edu so we can account for all students.

The dining hall will remain open daily for brunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and for an early dinner from 4 to 5:30 p.m. through the end of the semester. As a reminder, student meal plans end on May 13.

We will provide an update over the weekend to notify employees and students if the campus closure will extend into next week.

The Cstore, Purple Brew, and Bookstore remain closed until further notice.

If you need to return rented textbooks, do not mail them to the Las Vegas campus. Please mail them to the following address:

Campus Bookstore
Attn: NMHU Rental Return
1713 East University Avenue
Las Cruces, NM 88001

Tracking information must be uploaded under the Rental Tab at: nmhutextbooks.com. Textbooks must be postmarked and shipped on or before May 13th, 2022.

Returning books at the Las Vegas campus is not an option at this time, but we will provide updates for an in-store drop-off option as we receive more information regarding the wildfires.

For an up-to-date full list of resources available to those impacted by the fires, visit https://www.nmhu.edu/hermit/.


May 4, 2022 5:15 p.m.

NMHU NOT on “Ready” status

New Mexico Highlands University continues to work closely with local, state, and federal agencies. The Las Vegas campus is not under evacuation, but we continue to remain vigilant and will provide updates if this changes. We will evacuate if directed to do so and will provide updates if this occurs.

Monday afternoon the New Mexico Highlands administration was alerted that our Las Vegas campus was on the cusp of being moved to the READY status of EMNRD’s Ready, Set, Go! fire prevention program. As the situation evolved, our campus was never officially placed into READY status.

To be clear, the NMHU Las Vegas campus is not on READY status. The wildfire situation is dynamic and changes from hour to hour and we are working diligently to ensure our campus community has the most accurate information available as quickly as we can disseminate it. As always, we will err on the side of caution to do everything possible to ensure the safety and security of all of our campus community members.

As such, and to provide that everyone has the best information on evacuation zones, please be sure to refer to the regularly updated map showing evacuation zones according to the Ready, Set, Go! Program.

NMHU will continue to release the best information as we receive it, and we remain alert and prepared for the ongoing situation. We do have an evacuation plan prepared and ready to be enacted should that situation arise.

As a reminder, a full list of resources for those impacted by the fires is available at https://www.nmhu.edu/hermit/

 


May 3, 2022 8:08 p.m.

Asynchronous Classes Encouraged for Remainder of Week

Given the ongoing nature of the wildfires and the effects of smoke in Las Vegas, NMHU faculty is encouraged to continue holding classes asynchronously where possible through the end of the week. We thank faculty for continued efforts to work closely with students to ensure their successful completion of the semester.

Finals are scheduled for next week, and we understand the importance of faculty decision-making on academic matters. Many students have left Las Vegas already so we encourage faculty to work with those who are unable to return. As such, we’re certain you’ll make the best decision for your students.

Staff members should continue to work from home where possible through Wednesday. We will update the campus about staffing needs on the Las Vegas campus at the conclusion of our 10:30 Wildfires Emergency Command Team tomorrow.


May 2, 2022 2:10 p.m.

NMHU main campus (Las Vegas) closed through May 4
Our hearts go out to our faculty, staff and students who are being impacted by the fires. The university’s number one priority is the safety and health of the NMHU family.

In keeping with our commitment to our students and employees’ health and safety, NMHU President Sam Minner has ordered the Las Vegas campus closed through Wednesday, May 4 to all faculty, staff, and non-resident students, except for staff members performing critical campus functions.

Security staff will remain on campus to ensure the safety of students and other essential staff members. Please note that the Las Vegas campus is NOT under evacuation, and we do not yet have reason to believe this will occur.

Campus staff members who can work remotely, except for staff providing critical campus services, should remain at home Tuesday, May 3, and Wednesday, May 4. We will provide an update to this message should this closure need to be extended. Staff migrating to remote work are authorized to take home any equipment required to execute their work responsibilities.

Security staff and essential staff will remain on campus to ensure the safety of students, faculty, staff, and the community we continue to support. Please communicate with your supervisor to determine if you are required to remain working on campus during this time.

Staff members impacted by the fires will receive paid administrative leave and should communicate with their supervisors to make these arrangements. If you have been affected by the wildfires, you can take these 40 hours of paid administrative leave any time between now and July 31, 2022, to manage your affairs. When you take this leave, please be sure to document the reason for the leave and indicate that it is due to the impact of the wildfire on your home or property. If you are a nonexempt employee, you must submit the leave on the timesheet. If you are an exempt employee, you must submit leave for the time off requested.

For an up-to-date full list of resources available to those impacted by the fires, visit https://www.nmhu.edu/hermit/.

For anyone looking to donate items to evacuees, please take those items directly to Calvary Chapel. For questions about donations, contact Veronica Black at Veronica@nmhu.edu or 505-454-3070.

New Mexico Highlands University continues to work closely with local, state, and federal agencies. The Las Vegas campus is not under evacuation, but we continue to remain vigilant and will provide updates if this changes. We will evacuate if directed to do so and will provide updates if this occurs.


May 2, 2022 3:20 p.m.

Las Vegas Campus is Closed, Essential Services Still Available

NMHU President Sam Minner has ordered the Las Vegas campus closed through Wednesday, May 4 to all faculty, staff, and non-resident students, except for staff members performing critical campus functions.

Security staff and essential staff will remain on campus to ensure the safety of students on the Las Vegas campus. Please note that the Las Vegas campus is NOT under evacuation, and we do not yet have reason to believe this will occur.

If residential students decide to leave campus on their own, please email housing@nmhu.edu so we can account for all students.

Essential Services
From Monday, May 2 through Wednesday, May 4, the dining hall will be open daily for brunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and for an early dinner from 4 to 5 p.m. We will provide an update on or before Thursday to notify students of any changes to this schedule.

Work studies should work directly with their supervisors to determine if remote work can be assigned.

The Cstore, Purple Brew, and Bookstore will be closed until further notice.

If you need to return rented textbooks, do not mail them to the Las Vegas campus. Please mail them to the following address:

Campus Bookstore
Attn: NMHU Rental Return
1713 East University Avenue
Las Cruces, NM 88001

Tracking information must be uploaded under the Rental Tab at: nmhutextbooks.com. Textbooks must be postmarked and shipped on or before May 13th, 2022.

Returning books at the Las Vegas campus is not an option at this time, but we will provide updates for an in-store drop-off option as we receive more information regarding the wildfires.

For an up-to-date full list of resources available to those impacted by the fires, visit https://www.nmhu.edu/hermit/.

New Mexico Highlands University continues to work closely with local, state, and federal agencies. The Las Vegas campus is not under evacuation, but we continue to remain vigilant and will provide updates if this changes. We will evacuate if directed to do so and will provide updates if this occurs.

 


May 1, 2022 3 p.m.
[updated Tuesday, May 3 at 8:15 p.m]

Face-to-face and synchronous classes cancelled Monday, May 2 through Friday, May 6

Due to the wildfires, smoke conditions, and the greater impact to the Highlands and New Mexico community, all face-to-face and synchronous (Zoom) classes at the Las Vegas campus and all the Centers are cancelled from Monday May 2 through Friday, May 6. Faculty teaching in a face-to-face or synchronous format are invited to shift to an asynchronous format, if appropriate, and at the faculty’s discretion. This will give students and instructors flexibility to address any needed health or evacuation concerns.

The university requests that instructors work to accommodate any students who may be displaced, who are experiencing health issues due to the smoke, who may have lost homes, or other fire-related reasons. Potential options may include modifying assignment due dates, moving a final exam to an asynchronous format, or assigning incomplete grades. Final decisions about grades or assignments are up to the individual faculty member.

The university and all campus locations will remain open. During this period, we will continue to serve brunch and dinner in the dining hall.

As of today, the commencement ceremonies scheduled for May 12 at Rio Rancho, and May 13 and 14 on the Las Vegas campus are still being planned for these dates.

The university will continue to closely monitor the fire situation.

 


May 1, 2022 4:05 p.m.

Air quality and protecting yourself from smoke

We know the air quality in Las Vegas and the surrounding areas is a concern to residents. To track current air quality in real time, visit https://fire.airnow.gov/

NMHU students and employees on the Las Vegas campus can pick up free KN95 masks for smoke and particulate protection at Facility Services, Donnelly Library, Campus Security, and the Provost’s office in Rodgers Hall.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the following actions are recommended for protection from smoke:
Keep windows and doors closed.

Use fans and air conditioning to stay cool. If you cannot stay cool, seek shelter elsewhere.

Reduce the smoke that enters your home.

If you have an HVAC system with a fresh air intake, set the system to recirculate mode, or close the outdoor intake damper.

If you have an evaporative cooler, avoid using it unless there is a heat emergency because it can result in more smoke being brought inside. If you must use the evaporative cooler, take advantage of times when outdoor air quality improves, even temporarily, to open windows and air out the house.

If you have a window air conditioner, close the outdoor air damper. If you cannot close the damper, do not use the window air conditioner. Make sure that the seal between the air conditioner and the window is as tight as possible.

If you have a portable air conditioner with a single hose, typically vented out of a window, do not use it in smoky conditions because it can result in more smoke being brought inside. If you have a portable air conditioner with two hoses, make sure that the seal between the window vent kit and the window is as tight as possible.

Use a portable air cleaner or high-efficiency filter to remove fine particles from the air.

If you use a portable air cleaner, run it as often as possible on the highest fan speed.

If you cannot get a portable air cleaner, you may choose to use a DIY air cleaner as a temporary alternative. Run it as often as possible. Tips if you use a DIY air filter: https://www.epa.gov/indoor-air-quality-iaq/wildfires-and-indoor-air-quality-iaq#tips

If you have an HVAC system with a high-efficiency filter installed, run the system’s fan as often as possible to remove particles while the air quality is poor.

Avoid activities that create more fine particles indoors, including:
Smoking cigarettes.
Using gas, propane or wood-burning stoves and furnaces.
Spraying aerosol products.
Frying or broiling food.
Burning candles or incense.
Vacuuming, unless you use a vacuum with a HEPA filter.

Avoid strenuous activity during smoky times to reduce how much smoke you inhale.

Create a clean room. Watch EPA’s video about how to set up a clean room at home: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8DqzogXcVg

Have a supply of N95 respirators and learn how to use them: https://www.airnow.gov/sites/default/files/2020-06/the-right-respirator-and%20proper-fit-508_0.png

Air out your home by opening windows or the fresh air intake on your HVAC system when the air quality improves, even temporarily.