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Bowens plans to resign from Senate at end of semester

The Senate passed appropriations and amendments with few arguments Wednesday night, though Sen. Da Vonda Bowens expressed disappointment with the group during her closing comments.

At the end of the meeting, Bowens said she thought it was rude that senators were not paying attention to each other during the meeting.

“People are talking and walking — what happened to order?” she asked.

Sen. Heather Gabel apologized for running around during the meeting but said she had realized a problem with one of the bills and needed to work it out.

After the meeting, Bowens said she will be resigning from Senate at the end of the semester.

“The Senate experience is not all it’s cracked up to be,” she said.

Bowens said that senators argue about being professional but talk throughout the meetings about things unrelated to business.

The Senate passed appropriations of $1,915 for the UNM College Republicans, $882 for Students Educating Peers about Sex, $200 for the Society of Physics Students, $500 to the Hispanic Honor Society and $238 for Cultura, a new student organization.

Debbie Morris said during the meeting that people at the Student Activities Center are considering making a proposal to the UNM President Bill Gordon that would prohibit non-students from being members of student organizations. Morris said that up to 25 percent of a chartered student organization can have non-student members.

The Senate also passed a change in the Law Book that allows the Senate to make temporary rules for senators, or standing resolutions, that do not need to be signed by the ASUNM president.

Sen. Joshua Aragon, chairman of the Steering and Rules Committee, said that the Senate will not be able to suspend the Law Book or Constitution through standing resolutions because the courts would overturn its action.

The Senate also passed a change in the Law Book that strikes the public information officer from being part of the executive cabinet. Aragon said the change was made because ASUNM does not need a public information officer.

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The Senate passed a bill that strikes the Open Meetings Act, which Aragon said is invalid because ASUNM uses public funds and must therefore follow the New Mexico Open Meetings Act.

Aragon said his committee is not making proper progress and that more senators need to write bills. He said people are available to assist with the bill-writing process and that he doesn’t want to hear that senators are too busy with elections or organizations to do it.

“I do not want to hear excuses,” he said.

Aragon thanked Sen. Gil Morales, Sen. Josh Ewing and Sen. Sara Schreiber for their work with the Steering and Rules Committee.

Aragon said that though he jokes around about wanting to get out of Senate, he will miss working with the group when his term is up at the end of this semester.

“I love debating, I love fighting,” Aragon said. “I’m going to miss it a lot.”

Sen. Aimee Duplessis encouraged the Senate to find people to work at polls on election day, which is April 11. She said the position pays $5.50 per hour and would be a great way for student organizations to raise money.


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