It was a pricey night for the University of New Mexico undergraduate-student government.
Five appropriations, totaling $33,662, rolled through the Finance Committee of the Associated Students of the University of New Mexico (ASUNM) on Wednesday night. Of that, nearly 32,000 or just under 95% went to three club sports: UNM Women’s Rugby, UNM Men’s Rugby and UNM Women’s Ultimate Frisbee.
The Women’s Rugby president and the Women’s Ultimate Frisbee president said they had met with Micheal Turner, the club sports coordinator at the Department of Recreation Services. The President of Men’s Rugby declined to comment.
“It’s been a little unclear where that money is coming from, or when it’s coming,” Samatha Siska, president of UNM Women’s Ultimate Frisbee, told the Daily Lobo. “A lot of the details are really fuzzy.”
Anissia Savic, President of Women’s Rugby, echoed that sentiment.
“It’s all really up in the air,” Savic said. “(Turner) advised us just to proceed getting funding as we normally would.”
Appropriations for Women’s Rugby and Women’s Ultimate Frisbee went smoothly. Senator Abby Lutz called Rugby’s appropriation “perfect.” It was a different story for Men’s Rugby.
The committee spent over 20 minutes going line-by-line through Men’s Rugby appropriation. Senator’s told the Men’s Rugby representatives that some of their requests violated ASUNM standing rules. Those violations included missing quotes at the time the appropriation was submitted and requesting money for three vans instead of two.
Neither representative would comment on their appropriation or their interactions with Recreational Services.
Most of the money the three club sports were requesting was for travel, according to the appropriations documents.
In Aug. 2019, the Daily Lobo reported that UNM president Garnett Stokes would be using money from her discretionary funds to support several club sports, including both rugby clubs and Club Soccer. UNM Chief of Staff Terry Babbitt said the President’s decision to send her discretionary funds toward this project came after “listening to the community.”
The year before, the UNM Board of Regents voted to cut men’s soccer, men’s and women’s skiing, and women’s beach volleyball from the athletics budget. This was to comply with Title IX and to address financial concerns, as reported in the Daily Lobo. The cut was recommended by Athletics Director Eddie Nuñez and Stokes.
The decision was met with boos and jeers at the time it was made and received criticism from the UNM committee in the year after it was implemented.
Justin Garcia is the editor in chief of the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Just516garc.