Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story said Lobo Motorsports Formula SAE received about $20,000 in appropriations last year. It has since been corrected to say Lobo Motorsports Formula SAE had about $20,000 in their budget last year. The Daily Lobo apologizes for any confusion.
The Associated Students of New Mexico Senate Finance and Steering & Rules committees met Wednesday evening to discuss an investigation into Lobo Motorsports Formula SAE, appropriations and four resolutions.
Among the nearly $25,000 in appropriations discussed, Vice President Emily Wilks announced the Finance Committee was investigating Lobo Motorsports Formula SAE who had about $20,000 in their budget last year.
Lobo Motorsports Formula SAE is a student organization, partly funded by student fees, that builds and races formula one vehicles against other universities.
Wilks said the gray area was the group’s relationship with the classes they offer and ASUNM.
The group’s website states, “The program is now a three semester program that begins in the spring of each year and is an alternative path to graduation.”
In 2016, ASUNM defunded Scribendi, a magazine that publishes creative works by honors students, on the grounds that Scribendi “functioned too much like a class.”
The committee also discussed nearly $25,000 of appropriations.
Beta Alpha Psi – Theta Xi, a fraternity for students of accounting, finance and information systems, requested $3,811. Much of the appropriation was to cover the cost of traveling and attending conferences in Fort Collins, CO and Chicago, IL.
The Finance Committee voted to reduce the appropriation to $2,232, largely because the fraternity had requested money they planned to use in the upcoming spring semester.
Lobo Catholic requested $3,585. Nearly all of it was to cover their Fall Awakening Retreat at the Madonna Retreat and Conference Center in Albuquerque. The appropriation was approved “to see the opinions of the Full Senate,” said Senator Isez Roybal.
The Society of Women Engineers requested $1,877. The society requested $500 for a new office computer. The appropriation was approved.
The Society of Physics Students requested $5,388, which was reduced to $1,036.
The Women's Ultimate Frisbee club sport requested $5,577. The representatives of the Ultimate Frisbee Club high-fived immediately after the appropriation was passed.
Lobo Hockey requested $4,491. The appropriation failed because the request form was filled incorrectly.
The approved appropriations will go before the Full Senate next week
Steering & Rules Committee
Four resolutions were discussed Wednesday evening — three passed and will be heard in front of the Full Senate next week.
The lone struck resolution addressed the general discontent by UNM undergraduates with the Board of Regents for their lack of involving the student body in the decision making process.
The committee conversation centered around adding more senators as sponsors of the bill, and adding specific grievances with the Regents.
Sponsor and co-author of the resolution, Senator Mohammad Assed said more resolutions are in the works addressing specific sport cuts, and the one proposed today was just the beginning.
“The message is still there whether or not the resolution passed or failed tonight,” he said. “The message is still something I feel strongly about — students aren’t being heard, regents need to listen to us.”
In response to the desire from multiple senators asking for more sponsors, Assed said resolutions are meant to represent all of ASUNM in their nature.
Co-author of the resolution, Chief of Staff Alice Vernon said the intent of pushing this resolution now is to take a step forward in saying “listen to us.”
“(Assed and I) thought it was really important that we try to set the tone early on in the school year that we’re here, we’re students,” she said. “And generally I don’t think it’s a secret that a lot of students don’t feel like the Regents are listening to them.”
The first resolution passed addressed the lack of compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act throughout campus. A similar resolution passed last year, but Senator Rachel Montoya, a sponsor of the resolution, said she wants to reinstate it, as resolutions only last the term of the president they are passed under.
“We may be ADA compliant technically, but we’re behind and we should be doing better,” Montoya said.
A resolution supporting nonpartisan voting campaigns as a way to increase voter participation and encouraging all eligible students to vote in the November elections passed unanimously.
The last approved resolution encouraged students to vote on General Obligations bonds in the upcoming election.
According to the resolution, the GO bonds will “help renovate and modernize” parts of the Chemistry building, as well as renew and upgrade ROTC facilities, including the bathrooms which do not meet ADA compliance.
Justin Garcia is a freelance reporter for the Daily Lobo. He primarily covers ASUNM. He can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Just516garc.
Madison Spratto is the news editor at the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at email@example.com or on Twitter @Madi_Spratto.