Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
The Daily Lobo The Independent Voice of UNM since 1895
Latest Issue
Read our print edition on Issuu

Committee looks at ways to hold Senate accountable

The ASUNM Steering and Rules committee Wednesday discussed ways of keeping senators accountable for their comments and messes.

Steering and Rules chairman Sen. Joshua Aragon said he was thinking of drafting a bill to control the colored chalk that appears on steps and sidewalks during ASUNM election time.

“I think it makes the campus look kind of shoddy,” he said.

Associate University Counsel Melanie Baise said UNM allows chalking and that sidewalks have traditionally been viewed as public forum by the courts. She said it would probably be unconstitutional for the University to deny ASUNM candidates the right to chalk if it allowed others to do it.

She said having a clean up rule, in which candidates would have to clean up their chalk after so many days, would be fine because cleaning up the chalk would not keep the candidates from getting their messages out.

Sen. Gilbert Morales said problems could arise if people other than the candidates decided to chalk for the elections. Questions of who wrote what, and who should clean what, could come up, he said.

During the same meeting, the committee rejected a bill introduced by Senators Tim Serna and David Padilla that would require the Senate president pro tem to tape record all Senate meetings and label the tapes as a means to keep people accountable for their discussions.

Aragon said the bill was a bad idea because the Senate already has minutes for its meetings that have, so far, been effective. He added that it would be hard to find an affordable recording device that could effectively pick up everyone’s comments in the Kiva Lecture Hall.

Padilla was the only committee member to vote for the measure. He said if those who write minutes were to miss something, the tapes would act as back up. Padilla said buying a tape-recorder would be a one-time expenditure that would eliminate the “he said, she said” confusion and rumors that can circulate after meetings.

“In reality, what is on tape is on tape — there are no rumors behind it,” he said.

Sen. Sara Schreiber said she disagrees with the bill because the Senate follows the New Mexico Open Meetings Act and a reporter records information.

Sen. Lisa Marie Gomez said the tapes are unnecessary because senators can relay information to people who have questions about the meetings.

Enjoy what you're reading?
Get content from The Daily Lobo delivered to your inbox

“I don’t see how it will help us as senators to do our jobs better,” she said.

The committee also passed bill 3B, which had already passed Senate vote, but was vetoed by ASUNM President Jennifer Liu. The bill amends the Executive Code of the Law Book so that the Lobby Committee’s subcommittees and duties do not require presidential approval.

Aragon said the ASUNM President appoints and has the power to fire the chief lobbyist and shouldn’t have to consent to all of the Lobby committees decisions.

The Senate can override Liu’s decision on Wednesday with a two-thirds majority vote. The change would then have to be approved by University Counsel. The Senate will also be able to vote on bill 19B, which is a new measure that strikes another part of the job descriptions within the Executive Code.

The bill deletes one section of the code that states, “Senators will inform the chair and committee of any directions for lobbying set by the Senate.”

Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2024 The Daily Lobo