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Senate funds more student groups

Steering and Rules seeks to clarify ASUNM Lawbook

One ASUNM committee allocated $882 to Students Educating Peers About Sex to fund salaries for the rest of the semester, while another passed three changes to the Law Book Wednesday night.

Jeremy Jaramillo, president of Students Educating Peers About Sex, said after the Finance Committee meeting that his group will probably have enough money to finish this semester but will run out of funding for salaries and pamphlet distribution next year.

“I think it will help a great deal,” Jaramillo said. “But it’s not what we wanted of course.”

The Student Health Center pulled its sponsorship of the group earlier this semester, leaving the its leaders searching for ways to pay for new office space, an adviser, office supplies and student salaries. The group is fighting the Student Health Center’s decision and is asking the Senate for more funding.

Jaramillo said the $882 will fund only two work-study positions at less than 20 hours a week, and that he and membership coordinator Nicola Trevisan are working more than 20 hours a week without compensation.

“We need four positions — it’s an office,” Jaramillo said.

The Finance Committee also allocated $1,915 to the College Republicans so the group could travel to a conference this summer, and $500 to the Hispanic Honor Society for a salsa dance. The Senate will vote on the allocations — including the one for Students Educating Peers About Sex — Wednesday. Finance Chairman Grant Nichols said the committee has two meetings left and $8,828 to allocate to student groups.

The Steering and Rules Committee passed a bill that adds a standing resolution section to the definitions code of the ASUNM Lawbook. The addition states that a standing resolution is “a resolution passed by the Senate that provides for a directive or rule within the Senate.” Sen. Joshua Aragon, Steering and Rules Committee chairman, said the amendment would allow the Senate to adapt to changing needs on campus. He said it would let the senators increase what is required of them, such as serving more office hours.

Steering and rules also passed Bill 10B, which strikes the Open Meetings Act from the ASUNM Lawbook because it isn’t valid, Aragon said. He added that because ASUNM uses public funds, the group has to follow the State of New Mexico Open Meetings Act, which the bill adds to the Lawbook.

The Presidential Appointments Committee drafted a bill that rearranges the duties of the president in the executive code and adds that the president is not limited to duties that the code lists. The Steering and Rules Committee approved the bill, which — along with the other bills — will go before the Senate Wednesday.

During the Finance Committee’s closing comments, Sen. Gerald Pacheco said the Daily Lobo has been giving unfair press coverage about the amendment to cut Student Publications Funding.

Sen. Javier Martinez said that he didn’t think the Daily Lobo has had enough time to present its side.

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After the meeting, Pacheco said that Nichols’ letter to the editor concerning the amendment was a bit choppy — as if words had been cut from it. He added that Nichols should have had the chance to respond to the two previous editorials written by Daily Lobo editors without the editors writing another note underneath of his letter.

Pacheco said Daily Lobo reporters and editors have not been giving proper coverage about how other student groups — such as the AGORA crisis center— are in need of funding and could use the $38,000 that the amendment cuts from the Student Publication Board.

“The media should be unbiased and fair,” he said. “But because it affects them, they’re not covering our perspectives.”

Nichols said his editorial sounded choppy, but that he didn’t know if that was his fault or the editors’ fault. He said it seemed very close to what he sent in, and that his general point was conveyed. He added that the editors told him that they would give priority to letters to the editor concerning the amendment, but have published letters that do not really deal with the issue.

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