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ASUNM communication mishap leads to emergency funding review

The Associated Students of UNM, the University’s undergraduate student governing body, will hold an emergency senate meeting this week to address an appropriation that may have been unfairly reduced at last week’s meeting.

During Wednesday’s regularly scheduled full senate meeting, appropriation 13F was presented and passed to give money to the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, but not before the senate cut the amount requested in half due to what at the time seemed like poor representation on the student organization’s part.

Each organization that asks for funding from ASUNM via appropriations must present before the ASUNM finance committee to explain how the funds would be used. At last week’s full senate meeting, ASUNM finance committee chair Sen. Ashley Hawney said that she replied via e-mail to the student organization about their scheduled time and date to present to the committee.

But Hawney said that information was never relayed through to leaders of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, which was to help fund the hosting of a speaker on campus.

“I think since they missed half the process, I would feel comfortable giving them 50 percent,” Hawney said. “Organizations do have to have self-generating (finances) to receive funding, so if this event is truly vital to their organization, they will find a way to put it on regardless.”

However, ASUNM Vice President Alex Cervantes said on Friday that the alleged internal miscommunication might not have been what led to the organization being absent from the finance committee’s Sept. 16 meeting.

Cervantes said Hawney, instead of replying to the primary contact listed on the appropriation paperwork for the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, replied to the organization’s adviser, who sent the appropriation request in the first place.

“We kind of went back and forth on whether or not that was legitimate grounds for doing certain things, but I really disagree with how it was handled, so...we’re looking at the appropriation again, and I’m trying to convince senators to fully fund it, cause I feel like this wasn’t a student error,” Cervantes said.

The student group’s leaders were at Wednesday’s full senate meeting, and said they would be okay with going through the process again if that was what it took to receive funding.

During discussion of the appropriation, when senators were deliberating over whether they should reduce the amount initially requested from $2,400 to $1,200, Sen. Brad Sedillo said that they should be cautious not to reprimand the wrong people.

“The problem with reducing to penalize them doesn’t really penalize the people asking for the money, it penalizes the people who are using the affects the services that that group provides,” he said.

Wednesday’s emergency senate meeting, which will be held at 6 p.m. in the SUB Atrium, will give senators a second chance to discuss whether the organization should receive full funding for what was essentially a communication mishap on ASUNM’s part.

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“I know some senators are going to be really upset because they’re going to feel like we’re undermining their committee authority and things like that,” Cervantes said. “And I’m not necessarily sure that it’ll pass fully, but I feel like all the senators didn’t have access to this information, so that wasn’t fair for them to vote on it.”

David Lynch is the news editor at the Daily Lobo. He can be reached at or on Twitter @RealDavidLynch.


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