The Associated Students of the University of New Mexico Senate came together for its first full meeting to elect Suha Musa president pro tempore on Saturday, Aug. 15 in an otherwise uneventful session.

Musa is a sophomore majoring in international studies and was a co-sponsor of the ASUNM Black Lives Matter resolution that was passed over the summer.

According to the ASUNM Constitution, “a president pro tempore shall be elected from the membership of the Senate by plurality. The president pro tempore of the Senate shall preside over the Senate in the absence of the vice-president.”

President Mia Amin started the meeting by addressing the reduction in the undergraduate governing body’s student staff.

“Given that a lot of our events are going to be virtual this year, we decided to hire limited staff for the agencies given that there are a lot of concerns from students that feel their fees are not being properly allocated,” Amin said.

ASUNM saw an increase in applicants for various staff positions, but ultimately only 37 people were appointed, according to Amin.

“We did three different rounds of interviews, but for the second round — for the executive directors — we did panel-style interviews and found it to be very successful,” Amin said.

Prior to presiding over the pro tempore election, Vice President Ana Milan asked the assembled legislators if they wanted to postpone the vote because three senators were absent from the full meeting. After considering her suggestion, the Senate voted to proceed with the election.

Senator Ryan Regalado initiated the process by nominating then-Senator Musa to serve as president pro tempore.

Senator BrookeLynn Southern also nominated Senator Miles Harris, a film and digital arts major, which Harris then declined.

Musa left the meeting after her nomination to allow her fellow senators to debate the pros and cons of electing her as president pro tempore. Regalado and two other senators spoke on behalf of Musa.

After deliberations, the votes were sent to director of Student Activities Ryan Lindquist, the staff member paid by the University to support ASUNM and other student activities. Lindquist compiled the votes and announced that Musa was elected president pro tempore.

Kyalynn Moore-Wilson is a freelance reporter at the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at or on Twitter @KyalynnW