For many UNM students, last week’s leaked recordings of Gov. Susana Martinez were considered shocking.
Oscar Gamboa, a sophomore studying music, said he was amazed when he first heard the comments by Martinez, which were recently leaked by Mother Jones. He said he believes educators easily work as much as other professionals, even during summer holidays.
“I thought it was really bad, especially the part about the teachers,” Gamboa said. “I think teachers work twice as hard. They have to go to school and teach, but then after school they also have to make their lesson plans, grade papers and do other outside-of-classroom things. I think that makes up for the months they don’t work.”
The DC-based organization Mother Jones released audio Wednesday of Martinez speaking to her aides in private. In the recordings, Martinez says teachers don’t work two and a half months out of the year, though they get paid as much as people who work for 12 months. Martinez also called former Lt. Gov. Diane Denish “a little bitch.”
Gamboa said he believes all careers have their respective challenges, but that educators are definitely underpaid.
He added that he has never been a fan of politics because comments like these are often expressed in a private conversation. He said too much goes on behind closed doors, and people don’t truly know what many politicians believe.
“That’s very unprofessional,” Gamboa said. “Everyone’s flipping out. It’s definitely something she shouldn’t be doing.”
Rachid Saghrouni, who is pursuing his doctorate in linguistics, said he does not agree with Martinez’s view that jobs should be compensated based on the number of working hours. He said the value of the work put in is what should determine salary.
“This is wrong to say that someone who is an educator, doing a great job, is measured by how many hours they put in,” Saghrouni said. “I would rather look at the value of the work. Every work is constructive and has value. I think the compensation for work should not be measured by the hours, but by how constructive it is to our society. Educators should be well-paid.”
Saghrouni said although the leak is sad, it is common for politicians to have a separate face for the public, and he has come to expect this.
“Usually when government officials express their true intentions, they like to keep it hidden from the public,” Saghrouni said. “That shows in her effort right now to change or conceal it, make it look like it’s not a big deal, when in fact it is.”
Saghrouni said he hopes more students get involved with politics in the future. He said a high level of political participation is important to expose politicians’ true intentions, and that the community is involved in politics regardless of whether people enjoy it.
“Most people will tell you that politics is corrupt, and they don’t want to be a part of it,” Saghrouni said. “But, unfortunately, politics pervade all aspects of our lives. If you decide to stay out of it, it is still going to affect you in one way or another. So, opting out and saying that it doesn’t concern you — well, one day it will concern you, and it will be too late.”