The Associated Students of the University of New Mexico finished up another semester last Wednesday. Here is a recap of some of the highlights of this semester.
Reaction to the Cut Sports
The Senate wrote profusely commending the student-athletes of men’s soccer, men and women’s skiing, and women’s beach volleyball and denouncing the regents’ decision to cut the sports.
In their first meeting, Senators passed eight commendations recognizing the academic and athletic achievements of student-athletes on the cut teams. One of the resolutions singled out Katherine Irwin, a member of the women’s ski team. Irwin, a biochemistry and molecular biology major, had earned a 4.10 GPA, according to College Sports Information Directors of America.
Three more resolutions commending the cut teams were passed in late October. Those resolutions also denounce the BOR’s decision to cut the teams, citing a lack of sufficient input from students before the decision was made.
Society of Automotive Engineers
On Sep. 26th, the president and program manager of the society of automotive engineers told the finance committee that his organization and ASUNM were through.
“While the organization of the SAE has remained consistent since our initial charter with ASUNM, it appears that our respective missions are no longer in agreement,” said Gabriel Brown. He and six other members of SAE,walked out of the meeting after reading their statement.
SAE was approved for a $20,000 budget in 2018 according to the Student Government Accounting Office, before they withdrew their charter. In 2017, SAE was approved for nearly $40,000.
Negotiations with ASUNM were almost non-existent. One of the only meetings came in late October when a handful of ASUNM members met with members of SAE in-private. Very little came of the meeting according to Communication Director Brendon Grey.
Whether SAE will request a budget from ASUNM in the coming semester remains to be seen.
The process also caused ASUNM to codify the Scribendi rule, which bars ASUNM from funding classroom components. ASUNM defined classroom component as “activities within a chartered student organization that contributes to earning a class credit hour including assignments outlined in the syllabus or assigned by an instructor.”
The bill codifies a 2016 ruling that defunded the Honors College magazine Scribendi.
The Death of John McCain
One of the more dramatic moments arose early in the semester when senators voted down a resolution commending deceased Senator John McCain.
“A condolence is written out for a white man,” said ASUNM joint council representative Victoria Knight before the vote, “but not for others.”
The roll-call vote bounced from Senator to Senator many, including President Pro Tempore Satchel Ben, hesitated for several seconds before voting. Ultimately, the condolence failed on a 7-11 vote.
That was the only condolence to come to vote in the fall semester.
Record Low Voter Turnout
ASUNM’s semester began with the appointment of Satchel Ben to President Pro Tempore. In an interview with the Daily Lobo, Ben said that one of his goals this semester was to better engage the student body.
The November senate elections saw the second lowest turnout in 14 semesters, according to Daily Lobo records. Only six percent of UNM undergraduates voted.
Balance Forwarding Funds the Agencies
President Becka Myers requested that about $37,000 of almost $50,000 in leftover budget money be spent to cover costs of ASUNM’s eight student service agencies.
This was the first time the balance forward requests have gone through the Finance Committee, said Madelyn Lucas, the Finance Committee chair.
In 2016, the Daily Lobo reported that 76 percent of ASUNM funding went to ASUNM. That was the same year Scribendi was defunded. .
Reactions to Title IX Changes
In a last minute resolution, Senators condemned the Title IX changes and urged UNM President Garnett Stokes and the BOR to issue their own condemnations.
The changes to Title IX are vague, according Office of Equal Opportunity Director Francie Cordova.
After the resolution was passed, the Daily Lobo reported “overwhelming-majority (of Senators) said they had not read most of the Title IX recommendations they had just denounced — many hadn’t read them at all.”
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.