The ASUNM Senate welcomed six new members Wednesday night.
The RISE slate, the only slate to run this semester, dominated the race. Nine out of RISE’s 10 candidates won a seat. RISE slate member Grace Liu received first place with 539 votes. Liu said that, because this was her first time running for the ASUNM Senate, she did not expect to win.
“This is a complete shock,” she said. “I’m not expecting anything like this. This is crazy.”
Liu said she was satisfied about the election’s results but it was unfortunate that one of the RISE candidates, Joe Stevens, lost.
Incumbent Stevens came in 11th place and received 364 votes.
Liu said she wants to improve UNM’s website and that she’s been working on this project since last semester.
“I’ve been working … with the dean of students and we’ve been getting some ideas together,” she said. “But now it’s time to push it.”
RISE slate member Rachel Williams won second place with 525 votes. She said that, because she was not qualified to run last semester, the victory was a surprise and that she’s excited to work on campus projects.
“Senate just means the world to me, and I really want to help this University,” she said. “This University is my whole heart.”
RISE slate member Malika Ladha said she congratulates all candidates for their hard work but she was disappointed because she expected that all RISE members would win.
“We were able to get nine people from our slate elected,” she said. “It’s a really weird feeling actually.”
Ladha said she will continue to fight New Mexico’s tuition credit in the Legislature. She said she will also work to improve the quality of academics at UNM.
“We have the tuition credit frozen, but it’s still there,” she said. “We have a lot of input, but we need to know how we’re going to go and what our next step is.”
Colt Balok, a first-time senate candidate, was the only independent candidate out of the three who ran to win a seat.
Bolok said running independently gave him an edge in the race because he was able to prove his courage and ambition as a candidate and that during his term, he wants to focus on parking and transportation issues at UNM.
“I really want this to show to people that anyone who wants to make an impact on campus … can do it,” he said. “If you want to make an impact, go out there and make the change.”
Independent candidate Spenser Owens, who received 279 votes and came in 12th place, said his loss was nobody’s fault but his. He said it was the second time he lost in an ASUNM Senate election, but that he plans to run again next semester.
“I didn’t work as hard as the other candidates did, and the results reflected that,” he said. “If you didn’t win, keep on trying … I’ll never give up.”
No. of Votes/ Candidate Name
539 Grace Liu
525 Rachel Williams
500 Taylor Bui
495 Tyler Crawley
491 Malika Ladha
484 Holly Marquez
480 Earl W. Shank
463 Colt Balok
420 Brandon Meyers
386 Wesley Martinez