Resources and how to access them dominated the discussion at Monday’s Associated Students of the University of New Mexico endorsement forum.
The forum, mandated by ASUNM governing documents, gives student organizations a chance to endorse candidates, as the name suggests. The event doubles as a forum, where Elections Commissions Director Jordan Montoya and Assistant Director Christian Ojeda moderated the candidates.
“I don’t think the endorsement forum is useful,” Montoya said. “(The forum) doesn’t mean people will vote.”
This Presidential Election comes after a Fall semester Senate election that saw record-low turnout. Just over 1,000 undergraduates voted, according to the Elections Commission. That's about six percent of the undergraduate student body for Fall 2018.
This election, which begins on Monday March 25 and runs until Wednesday March 27, will decide who will become ASUNM president and vice president.
The candidates for these two races are ASUNM Senate Steering & Rules Chair Mohammad Assed and Lobo Spirit Executive Director Adam Biederwolf for president. For vice president, Finance Committee Chair Holly Gallegos and Senator and the Fall 2018 terms Finance Chair Madelyn Lucas.
Biederwolf is running with Lucas on an unofficial slate called YourUNM. Assed is running with Gallegos on an unofficial slate called One_UNM.
Both campaigns have said access to resources, such as resources centers, is their top concern. Biederwolf said he thinks ASUNM, which includes the Senate and eight Student Service Agencies like the Elections Commission and Lobo Spirit, are “Greek oriented” and that it can, and should, be changed.
Not counting people who walked by the Student Union Building Atrium where the forum was held, about fifty people stayed to watch the candidates answer questions. Many of the questions were about the candidates themselves.
Justin Garcia is a staff reporter with the Daily Lobo. He primarily covers student government. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Just516garc