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Sunday, December 21, 2014

ASUNM: Do not ignore Lottery

Senate fears legislature won’t address scholarship

assistant-news@dailylobo.com
@ChloeHenson5

The Associated Students of the University of New Mexico senate passed an emergency resolution on Wednesday concerning the Lottery Scholarship.

In a full senate meeting, ASUNM senators enacted a resolution that calls for Gov. Susana Martinez to give a special message that recommends all legislation on the Scholarship to be considered during the state Legislature’s 30-day session. The legislative session begins in January.

ASUNM President Isaac Romero said that at a recent meeting of a statewide student coalition working on the Lottery Scholarship, representatives from universities across the state learned there was a possibility that scholarship legislation might not be considered during the next legislative session.

“It was established that there’s a chance, however unlikely, that any legislation pertaining to the Lottery will not be heard,” he said.

Romero said the legislation may not be considered because it is not budgetary. He said the legislation would therefore require a special message from the governor.

Funding for full-time awards under the Lottery Scholarship is supposed to run out during the beginning of next fiscal year because of lower revenue in lottery sales in the state accompanied by an increasing demand for the scholarship. According to the New Mexico Higher Education Department, lottery sales only amounted to $40 million this year, leaving funding for the Scholarship at a $20 million shortfall.

Per the resolution, the recommendation was forwarded to Martinez’s office, as well as to those of some state legislators.

SUB Pub

ASUNM unanimously passed Resolution 77F, a mock resolution that called for a University pub in the Student Union Building.

Sen. Earl Shank, who failed to win re-election next term, introduced the resolution, which aims to convince governing bodies to better enforce policies. Shank said the resolution was not only intended to be humorous, but also aims to prove a point to the University.

“We realize that this entire resolution is just satire,” he said.

“It’s a joke. But it’s not a joke in the sense that it’s not trying to accomplish something. What it is trying to accomplish is the recognition that certain policies at UNM are established, but there’s no teeth for enforceability.”

ASUNM forwarded the resolution to the UNM Board of Regents, the Office of the President and to other UNM administrators.

The resolution starts by suggesting an addition to the SUB, Shank said.

“We started off by attacking a rather unfortunate clause that is on the Student Union (Building) website,” he said. “The student union has ‘everything you need.’ Evidently that’s not the case.”

Shank said the resolution then goes on to justify placing a pub in the SUB.

“It would be possible to have a pub in the SUB — a SUB pub,” he said. “However, there would still be a considerable liability with students drinking on campus.”

Shank said another UNM policy would allow students to possess but not consume alcohol on campus. The University community would supposedly enforce this policy, he said.

“Students, faculty, staff, pretty much the campus would enforce that,” he said. “Again, seeing how successful the smoking policy has been, we can imagine that that would probably be rather successful.”

According to the resolution, reforming the University’s Policy 2250, which establishes UNM has a “tobacco-free campus,” was not the piece of legislation’s intent.

Shank said that when committees meet to create a policy, they should also create a tool for enforceability to accompany them.

“There has to be some kind of tool for enforceability or they’re wasting their time,” he said. “They’re merely creating something that’s marketable, like the smoking policy.”