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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Romero runs on platform of experience, success

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By Sergio Jiménez / New Mexico Daily Lobo

Isaac Romero, president of the Associated Students of the University of New Mexico, mingles with senators before a meeting. Romero intends to run for a second term this spring.

assistant-news@dailylobo.com
@ChloeHenson5

For the second consecutive school year, President of the Associated Students of the University of New Mexico Isaac Romero will file a bid for the undergraduate student government presidency this spring.

Romero said he originally planned to move on after his first term, but said he decided to stay because he felt more work needed to be done at ASUNM.

“I haven’t really finished the work in ASUNM,” he said. “We’ve been able to accomplish a lot, and I think we can move forward and accomplish a lot more.”

Last year, Romero won his presidency with 757 out of 1,521 votes, according to an article by the Daily Lobo. About 7.8 percent of undergraduates voted in the election.

In his last campaign, Romero said he aimed to work on the Legislative Lottery Scholarship’s solvency during his current presidential term. While the bill that Romero and his colleagues supported, Senate Bill 150, didn’t pass the New Mexico Legislature, Romero said he thinks he fulfilled his promise to the students.

“I worked as hard as I could, got as many people as I could on board,” he said. “We moved forward. We had a good plan.”

Romero recently faced opposition from groups that believed he was misrepresenting them when ASUNM representatives handed out fliers at UNM day stating students supported SB 150.

The bill would have increased the minimum GPA required to keep the scholarship from 2.5 to 2.75. Romero later apologized for the incident.

He said that if he is re-elected this year, he aims to reach out to students better through forums, speeches and using different forms of media, such as the ASUNM website.

“The big thing is to hear our students more,” he said.

Romero said some of his projects for the upcoming year would be continuing plans to renovate Johnson Center and increase its hours of operation, to look into ways to improve local Wi-Fi and to have 24-hour libraries.

“I think it all comes down to having that first year of experience and being able to implement a lot more,” he said, “Especially without the learning curve, which was definitely steep.”

Zeke Chavez, who will run with Romero as the vice-presidential candidate, said he also wants to invest in students by increasing operation hours for the libraries and gym.

“We need to make sure that we invest in our students themselves,” he said, “It’s our students that really push us to go farther.”

But Chavez said one of his primary goals, should he be elected, is to get a permanent polling place at UNM.

“I want to work with the (Bernalillo) County Clerk’s office to try to get a permanent polling place here because I don’t want students’ voices to be heard some of the time — I want them to be heard all of the time,” he said.

While Chavez does not have previous experience with ASUNM, he said he has been involved with politics outside of the University. He said his lack of involvement with the student government could help him bring a new perspective to the position.

“If (Romero) has this experience, and I have this outside perspective, what can we get done together? I think that’s a very powerful combination,” he said. “My goal is to bring a fresh perspective to ASUNM.”

Undergraduate students can file for candidacy for all ASUNM positions until March 24.