The semiannual Associated Students of the University of New Mexico senate shuffle is back in full swing for the spring semester.
While new faces settled into their respective committees and old-timers assumed their new roles on Jan. 22, vice-chairs were elected and introductory explanations about processes ensued.
Senator Abby Lutz returned to ASUNM as chair of the finance committee. Senators Michel Rivera and Briana Flores were both nominated as vice-chair, but each received 2 votes from the other members. Lutz broke the tie and selected Senator Flores as her vice-chair of finance.
Eight student organizations (Women’s Soccer Club, Women’s Ultimate Frisbee, Men’s Rugby Football Club, Men’s Ultimate Frisbee, SACNAS club, ARMOR club, Lobo Wrestling Club and Quetzalkuetlachtli) requested appropriations from the finance committee.
Standing rules — rules that committees follow as a framework — can only be changed at the beginning of a term. Senator Lopez took the opportunity to propose modifications to some of the finance committee’s standing rules.
“The cutting was just mostly language,” said Lopez. “A lot of languages can be super confusing sometimes and we just wanted to make it easier, not only for groups but for us ourselves.”
Nearly every student organization saw their appropriation request cut to some degree, either due to the finance committee’s standing rules, redundancy, or misunderstanding a part of the appropriation process. SACNAS Club, ARMOR Club and the Lobo Wrestling Club each had their appropriations tabled.
The amended appropriation requests that passed will be voted on next week at the first full senate meeting of the semester.
Meanwhile, in Steering and Rules, the conversation classically revolved around grammatical corrections within their two pieces of legislation — one upholding Open Meetings Act (OMA) compliance and one commending a student-athlete.
Weini Kelati, the record-breaking cross country runner and UNM undergraduate, recently won the NCAA Cross Country individual title, among other accomplishments. The commendation also recognized that Kelati is only “the second individual winner in UNM cross country history.”
As for the leadership of the committees, freshman senator Suha Musa was elected Outreach and Appointments chair and senator Giovanni Chioda was elected vice-chair. Returning senator Ryan Regalado was elected Chair for Steering and Rules.
As for vice-chair of Steering and Rules, incumbent senator Matthew Zank — who drafted legislation to defund the constitutionally designated 8.5% of ASUNM’s general fund for Student Publications last semester — was elected. Zank originally nominated previous Steering and Rules Chair Emma Hotz, who declined, then nominated himself uncontested.
Going forward, Regalado said he anticipates a more productive semester in Steering and Rules than that of the fall.
“(I look forward to) being more efficient than last year, myself included,” Regalado said. “We could have communicated better.”
The first full senate meeting of the semester will be held on Jan. 29 in the Student Union Building (SUB).
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