It was big. It was radical. It was something that had come up a number of times before. And it would have restructured undergraduate student government.
But, it wasn’t ready.
At least that was the consensus of the Steering & Rules Committee of the Associated Students of the University of New Mexico, who voted down a package of legislation that would have added up to 10 (possibly appointed) seats on the Senate.
The package, which included six separate bills, would have added between five to ten seats to the senate. The seats would have been filled by either representatives from resource centers, such as the Veterans Resource Center or the LGBTQ Resource Center, or colleges, such as the College of Arts and Sciences.
Whether these students were appointed or elected by their organizations was unclear in the legislation, which was sponsored by S&R Chair Mohammad Assed.
Assed and Holly Gallegos are running for President and Vice President, respectively, of ASUNM for the next academic year.
While this package failed, many members of ASUNM present at Wednesday's meeting said they thought the idea was something to continue pursuing.
“The intention of the bill package was to better represent (the student body). It’s something that we’ve been talking about since before any of us have been in Senate,” Assed said referring to similar discussions of Senate bodies in the past.
ASUNM President Becka Myers and Senator Madelyn Lucas (also running for Vice President) said the intent of the bill was good.
Lucas said it was “something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time.”
Before the bills were voted down, President Pro Tempore Jacob Silva and Assistant Director of Governmental Affairs Jac Hoswell voiced their opposition to the package.
Silva said the legislation was “too simplistic” and needed to be more cohesive.
“It seems like I have fallen into the trap that others before me had fallen into,” Assed said as the meeting adjourned, referring to previous attempts to change senate's structure.
Members of S&R then had a twenty minute conversation after the meeting adjourned, discussing what might be done to further the goals of this package.
Justin Garcia is a staff reproter for the Daily Lobo. He primarily covers student government. He can be contacted at email@example.com or on Twitter @Just516garc.