After three years of being involved in the Associated Students of the UNM and interning for the U.S. Senate and Department of State, Gabe Gallegos is now running to be ASUNM president for the 2017-18 academic year.
Originally from Las Cruces, Gallegos decided to become a Lobo and major in both political science and strategic communications.
His experience with ASUNM began as a freshman, when he took part in the Emerging Lobo Leaders program — which grooms students for potential future involvement in the undergraduate student governing body. That spring he was elected to his first term in Senate, went on to chair the Outreach and Appointments Committee and this year serves as the the ASUNM director of communications.
Gallegos also helped create the New Mexico Leadership Institute Scholar Association.
If elected, Gallegos said he believes ASUNM has potential to be the organization that brings the community, students, University administration and other officials together to meet real needs on campus and beyond.
“Not only on campus, but in the state as well. That’s exciting to me, that is an exciting opportunity for my team and I to come and represent students to the best of our ability,” he said. “I truly believe people matter, their stories matter, their lives matter, our students matter. So I want that to be the value that I bring into the organization, but also the value that outlasts my time there.”
Gallegos said one of his strengths is being able to get away from personal feelings about any given subject, allowing him to look at particular issues from different perspectives.
“A lot of people have a hard time doing that because when you are in the space you’re in this place of negotiation, building policy that is right for everybody,” Gallegos said. “You have to put away personal interest (and) you have to think what is best for everybody and what is going to make everybody come to the table and agree.”
Gallegos also puts stock in another strength of his: being a good spokesperson.
“Overall, what I think is important is being a tough negotiator and asking tough questions,” he said.
Gallegos believes the indigenous community is the most underrepresented group on campus, and said he wants to fight for issues that are important to them to let them know they have not been forgotten.
“We have done some work this semester, but (there) is certainly a lot more work that can be done to fight for the issues that are important to them,” he said. “I fought for the UNM seal to be changed and more, but it’s not enough. We need to work harder to work with our indigenous community. Their voice is loud but often not heard.”
Denicia Aragon is a staff reporter at the Daily Lobo. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @deniciaaragon98.