The University of New Mexico undergraduate student government rolled about $44,000 into the budgets of the student service agencies and the student government on Wednesday night.
The Associated Students of the University of New Mexico (ASUNM) sent $29,476 to the eight student service agencies' budgets, including the Arts and Crafts Studio, Student Special Events (SSE) and $15,000 to the government’s budget. Money from balance forwards is supplemental to the government and the agency’s budgets.
A balance forward is unspent money in ASUNM's budget from the previous fiscal year that rolls over into the current fiscal year.
The biggest beneficiary was SSE, who was awarded $15,500. SSE puts on events including Fiestas and last fall’s JID concert in the Student Union Building. SSE had originally requested $20,000 through balance forwards, but the request was cut in committee.
During discussion on the balance forwards, Senator Nieajua Gonzalez motioned to table the requests, starting a lengthy debate about the request. Gonzalez said she was concerned that SSE representatives did not adequately express why they wanted the money and that more time was needed.
Ultimately, the other members of Senate failed her motion, many citing the short-term needs of agencies. The motion failed, and Gonzalez cast the sole vote against the balance forwards.
No other agency received a five-figure forward.
Arts and Crafts Studio received $2,000. Community Experience, which puts on events including Fall Frenzy, received $2,250. Emerging Lobo Leaders, an agency dedicated to mentoring students and training potential student leaders, received $900. The Elections Commission, who run the ASUNM elections, received $150. Governmental Affairs, who lobby the state legislature, received $1,950. Lobo Spirit, who put events including Homecoming, received $4,700. Southwest Film Center received $1,800.
Wednesday's vote marked the second year the Senate had the opportunity to decide on this kind of funding. Before 2018, balance forwards were done without the Senate’s input. Previously, the act was done through the executive office.
According to the ASUNM Lawbook, the balance forwards can total no more than $50,000. Last year, President Becka Myers’ and Vice President Emily Wilk’s administrations requested $37,788 in balance forwards.
In addition to the balance forwards, ASUNM Senate also passed five appropriations, or one-time payouts, to student organizations.
UNM Women’s Rugby was awarded $18,591. The money was designated for the travel costs of away games.
The Women’s Ultimate Frisbee club was awarded $4,397. The money was designated for conference fees and covering the costs of traveling to conferences.
Tau Beta Pi was awarded $402 for "professional development events."
UNM Men’s Rugby was awarded $9,026 out of the original request of $18,649. The money was designated for travel costs of away games and was cut in committee because the club did not bring quotes for travel and part of their appropriation request was filled out incorrectly, according to Finance Chair Greg Romero.
American Nuclear Society was awarded $1,367 to travel to and attend a conference.
In all, ASUNM approved $33,662 in appropriations. Appropriation documents were provided to the Daily Lobo by ASUNM.
Justin Garcia is the Editor in Chief of the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Just516garc