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Monday, December 22, 2014

The Lobo Letter

UNM wraps up midsemester with fees, lottery and improvements

It’s hard to believe that spring break is only two weeks away; so much has been done and more has yet to be done.

SFRB

The Student Fee Review Board completed the final recommendation of student fee allocations this past Friday. This final recommendation will be sent to the Strategic Budget Leadership Team, which will take the SFRB recommendations into account when putting together the university budget. The recommendations will then be passed on to President Frank for approval and finally to the Board of Regents.

On top of that, ASUNM and GPSA have been working together to revise Policy 1310, which allows the SFRB its oversight of the Student Activity Fee. These revisions will help ensure that students continue to have their voices heard regarding their fees.

Lottery Scholarship

The state legislature wrapped up this year’s session having found a temporary fix to the Legislative Lottery Scholarship. It was a long session and the legislature passed SB 347 in the final minutes.

The new legislation will pull money from the General Fund and will provide funds from the state’s liquor excise tax for the next two years. Students currently on the scholarship will continue receiving their awards as normal. However, students starting to receive the scholarship next year will be required to maintain 15 credit hours minimum, up from the current 12 credit hours.

In the wake of this legislation, I have already begun conversations with a few legislators that are optimistic about the future of this great scholarship. We hope to begin this summer in search of other revenue sources for the scholarship and, if successful, to see if it is possible to bring the requirements back to what they have been throughout the life of the scholarship: 2.5 GPA and 12 credit hours minimum. There are many options to ensure the scholarship’s solvency and we will not rule any of them out.

Capital Funds

This year the ASUNM Governmental Affairs agency, with aid from the office of Government and Community Relations, did tremendous work to receive a sum of money for campus improvements. There are a few priorities for using this funding. The first of these is for additional lighting around campus. The next is for creating more recycling receptacles around campus. Finally, some of these funds will be used for the improvement of the volleyball and basketball courts on the east side of campus just north of Johnson field. We are still waiting for the signature of the governor before we begin these tasks.

We hope to double our goal for capital funding next year and we will be seeking input from the campus about where you would like to see improvements.

That is all for now. Have a great week, lobos!

Isaac Romero
President, ASUNM
asunmprz@unm.edu