1,053 students cast their votes during the Associated Students of the University of New Mexico’s (ASUNM) fall Senate election. Of the 20 candidates that ran, 10 first-time senators and one incumbent senator will take their seats in the Senate next semester. Constitutional Amendment 1 — which clarifies senate vacancy appointments — also passed.
ASUNM President Adam Biederwolf said the highlight of the night was that they “diversified ASUNM.”
“This incoming group of senators is going to be a lot different from the senators we’ve seen from years past,” Biederwolf said. “So many people talk about how ASUNM is so greek-oriented, and I think the numbers show for themselves that this incoming group really does impact every population on campus — and that’s all I really wanted going into this year (as President).”
Despite changes in senatorial representation, voting trends appear to be harder to change. 961 students voted in last year’s ASUNM election, the lowest participation in fourteen semesters. Although 1,053 students voted this semester, some students voted only for senate candidates or the constitutional amendment.
“Voter turnout was significantly low — lower than we expected,” Biederwolf said. “I think part of it falls on myself, part of it falls on my team — on reaching out to students and providing them the information on why voting is so important.”
Todd Moe, the executive director of the ASUNM election commission, said he was satisfied with this semester’s election.
“I am very pleased with how the election went,” said Moe. “Of course, we always wish the voter turnout would be higher but we’re very happy with everybody that ran and the candidates that were selected.”
Of the 10 students elected, the entire IncludeUNM slate was elected. All of the IncludeUNM candidates were first-time runners. According to an opinion piece published by supporters of IncludeUNM in the Daily Lobo, the slate ran on being “dedicated to starting and facilitating conversations on the issues and difficulties that diverse populations on campus face.”
IncludeUNM slate candidate and third year UNM student Timothy Mondloch received 337 votes, the second most votes of all candidates.
“I’m elated — our whole slate was able to get elected, so I really feel like we’re going to create some positive change here on campus for the students,” Mondloch said. He added that his first goal as a representative was to “try to guarantee seats for people of color.”
Suha Musa, the only first-semester freshman candidate to win a seat, told the Daily Lobo that she is looking forward to representing the people on campus who don’t feel like they always have a voice in ASUNM.
“Even though we are a minority-majority campus, there are still people that feel left out,” Musa said. “As a non-Greek campus resident I feel like I can now represent more students.”
- Ana Paula Milan received the most votes of the night at 402 votes.
- Timothy Mondloch received 337 votes.
- Edgar Iram Corona Castañeda received 315 votes.
- Miles Leap Harris also received 315 votes.
- Sebastian Molinar received 298 votes.
- Suha Musa received 275 votes.
- Ricardo Hill received 272 votes.
- Jacob Olaguir received 267.
- Ilan “Frodo” Jaffe received 248 votes.
- Erika MacSaveny received 234 votes and will only serve a half-term.
- Ryan Regalado was the only re-elected senator, receiving 273 votes.
Senators Matthew Zank and Michel Rivera were not re-elected for another term. If any vacancies occur, the runner-ups with the next highest number of votes will fill the seats.
Alyssa Martinez is a beat reporter at the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @amart4447
Alex Hiett is a beat news reporter at the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at email@example.com or on Twitter @Nmal1123