Monday was the day for the University of New Mexico brass at the New Mexico legislature. The hallways surrounding the Roundhouse rotunda were lined with tables staffed by representatives of many organizations from both UNM and UNM Hospitals.
Administrators, like UNM President Garnett Stokes, Athletics Director Eddie Nuñez, Student Activities Center Director Ryan Lindquist and Student Union Building Director Walter Miller, among others, were all present.
Many students also filled the halls of the Capitol, including student athletes.
Representatives from the recently cut sports— men’s soccer, beach volleyball and men’s and women’s skiing — were present and viewed the proceedings from the House Gallery. The cut sports teams were invited to the Legislature by the Athletics Department.
House Bill 320 would reinstate the four sports cut from the University in the summer of 2018 through an appropriation of $2 million, and also create an oversight board to oversee the Athletics Department and the UNM Board of Regents.
When asked whether or not she would accept the money, Stokes said she would have to look at the Title IX implications that accepting the funding would create. Nuñez deferred to the University’s statement when asked for comment on the matter.
Members of student governments — graduate and undergraduate — were also present and could be found staffing their tables and speaking with legislators and UNM administrators during the day.
The Associated Students of UNM Governmental Affairs Director Libertie Green said her agency’s top priorities include opposing bills that would reduce or eliminate funding for the Lottery Scholarship.
One such bill, Senate Bill 283, would eliminate the 30 percent minimum of monthly gross revenue of the New Mexico Lottery that goes to the lottery tuition fund. This bill is sponsored by Democratic State Senators Jacob Candelaria and John Arthur Smith.
Another ASUNM priority is securing capital outlay funding for solar panels that would be affixed on top of the Student Union Building, according to ASUNM President Becka Myers.
Myers said they are looking to secure around $150,000 for the solar panels, adding that the panels would pay for themselves in utility costs savings.
Danielle Prokop contributed reporting to this article.
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.