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ASUNM brings senate to students

Student government fields plans to stream meetings on YouTube

ASUNM Communications Director David Ishmael said the organization will experiment with uploading videos to an archive on YouTube which students will be able to access. The broadcasting of ASUNM meetings will be another step toward its goal of reaching out to students, Ishmael said.

"(ASUNM) President (Rachel) Williams, at the start of her term, challenged the communications team with realizing her goal of being an open student government," Ishmael said. "We bounced around ideas as to how to boost gallery attendance at senate meetings, and then we thought, 'Why not bring the meetings to students?'"

Ishmael said they will film the business portions of ASUNM meetings, in which matters that affect the student body are discussed. Students will be able to tune in on what appropriations are passed, as well as the introduction of bills and resolutions and see whether they are passed or not.

ASUNM Vice President Jenna Hagengruber lauded Ishmael's plan, and said she hopes that students will take advantage of the opportunity to stay informed.

"With David's very innovative mind and ASUNM's passion to improve our communication and relationship with the student body, we think we can make this a really wonderful thing for the students," Hagengruber said.

Ishmael said he hopes that bringing the meetings to undergraduates will make them more inclined to vote, or even run for a position in the student government body. There is a lack of understanding in the undergraduate population about what exactly ASUNM does, and he hopes that this initiative helps to clear the confusion, he said.

"I hear through various means that ASUNM does not do much for the student body, or that they don't understand the purpose of ASUNM," Ishmael said. "I hope that by doing this, students will recognize that we are much more than just the senate. We are eight strong agencies, and three branches of government of students that selflessly do tremendous amounts of work to make sure they do as much as they can to protect the interests of the student body."

Julia Sierra, a sophomore nursing major, said that she likes the steps that ASUNM is taking to extend their business to the students, but that most students might not have time to watch lengthy portions of meetings.

"Instead of broadcasting the meeting they should do a summary of it with other news from around UNM," Sierra said. "That would make it easy for students to use and access."

In addition to broadcasting meetings, Ishmael said ASUNM will also launch an e-magazine and a revamped website to spur student awareness.

He said the communications team is also thinking about live streaming ASUNM meetings with multiple camera feeds. The primary goal, he said, is to allow students the means to be in the loop about what goes on at meetings, which students almost never attend. He said it would be a win-win situation.

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"I want students to know that we are accessible and crave their input year round," Ishmael said. "We are giving all students the opportunity to view our senate meetings whether they're here on campus or studying abroad, if they so choose to stay informed."

David Lynch is a staff reporter at The Daily Lobo. He can be reached at news@dailylobo.com or on Twitter @RealDavidLynch.

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