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Marianas Variety: NMC welcomes high number of students to its fall semester (September 3, 2019)

HUNDREDS of students attended Northern Marianas College’s mini-carnival on Thursday morning to celebrate the first week of the fall semester. The event was part of the college’s welcome activities held throughout the week.

Students engaged in various fun activities conducted by NMC Project Proa such as cornhole, ring toss, disc dunk, darts and football.

There were also food stations that served French fries, chicken wings, nachos, and popcorn.

A Project Proa student navigator, who declined to be identified, said he had been volunteering for NMC’s mini-carnivals for two years now.

“This event is wonderful for new and returning students to come together and have a wonderful time,” he said.

Project Proa is a federally funded program at NMC that “aims to improve and expand the capacity of indigenous Chamorro and Carolinian students in Rota, Tinian and Saipan by increasing the number and proportion of those who enroll and graduate on time” at the college.

NMC freshman Esther Huh, who will study computer application this fall, said she enjoyed the mini-carnival. “I’m so happy! I won a lot of games and prizes.”

Some students noted that the turnout for this year’s mini-carnival was larger than last year’s.

“There are more people now than before,” said Project Proa volunteer and NMC student Eloise Lopez. “And this event is really helpful because it reaches out to students.”

NMC Board of Regents Chairman Charles Cepeda said student enrollment is up 12 percent. “I am glad more students are enrolling at NMC,” he added.

The college sustained massive damage when Typhoon Yutu slammed into Saipan and Tinian in Oct. 2018, but “we are building a new campus and just waiting for other grants — more students will enroll once everything is fixed.”

NMC Interim President Frankie Eliptico welcomed the new and returning students during the mini-carnival.

“I got to see our students not only engaged academically, but also in other ways as well,” he added.

Eliptico said the college now has about 1,300 students — the highest student population that NMC has seen in over a decade.

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