Emerging Lobo Leaders, Board and Committees Coordinator, senator, chairwoman and now president.
Becka Myers has seen the many facets and functions of the Associated Students of the University of New Mexico from many different sides.
Now, as ASUNM President in her final semester at UNM, Myers has the opportunity to affect the future of the University in ways that few other in her position have had.
The supreme governing body of UNM, the Board of Regents, sits with five empty seats awaiting Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s appointments.
On Wednesday, Myers and her Director of Governmental Affairs, Libertie Green, were dashing around the Roundhouse, from a House Education Committee meeting to the viewing gallery of the House of Representatives.
“We’re seeking out who to talk to (about) capital outlay, who's going to give us the capital outlay, chasing down people that have written legislation concerning either the lottery or concerning different aspects that have peaked our interests,” Myers said.
At the start of her presidency Myers and current Vice President Emily Wilks ran unopposed, a unique challenge came before her. At the recommendation of Athletics Director Eddie Nuñez and President Garnett Stokes, the Board of Regents voted to cut four sports from the Athletics Department budget, as reported in The Daily Lobo.
Mired in Title IX compliance issues and Athletics Department scandals, the Board of Regents voted to cut the sports, to the dismay of many in the UNM community. Myers said she felt like student representatives — including her — were sidelined during that discussion.
This was evident when Myers declined to speak after Regent Thomas Clifford called the UNM Faculty Senate “cowardly.” He also said there is an underrepresentation of men at UNM.
Later, Myers told the Lobo, “I think, and I will say this loudly, the Regents are in a position of power and we are just there to advise them,” adding, “for them to try and spin it in a public forum to where it’s on someone else and not them is exactly the issue that we’ve had with them in the past.”
Now the issue has cooled off some and Myers said what’s important for UNM is a balanced budget, adding that the way sports were cut was unfair.
Another major role of the ASUNM President is co-chairing the Student Fee Review Board (SFRB) with the Graduates and Professional Students Alliance (GPSA), ASUNM’s sister institution for graduate students.
In the last few months of the semester, Myers chaired the SFRB. This go around, SFRB had to decide what to do about a $4.5 million difference in the money requested and what was available.
“That’s something you can’t really prepare for,” Myers said. “You just gotta ride it, do your best and be as clear as possible with everyone requesting.”
The SFRB recommended cuts across the board. The final decision is made by the Board of Regents.
“We didn’t cut things because we didn’t think it was necessary, we cut things because we had to — which is why it was cuts across the board,” Myers said.
For now, it’s unclear what will happen to the SFRB’s recommendation to rely more on the Instruction and General Funding (I&G) funding and less on student fees. Myer’s however, was pleased with how the dialog went. Myers said her experience discussing and negotiating with administrators has been an empowering one.
Justin Garcia is a freelance reporter for the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted by email at email@example.com or on Twitter @Just516garc.