The University of New Mexico College Democrats strongly oppose ASUNM Senate Bill 18F that would slash guaranteed funding for student publications from 8.5% to 4% of ASUNM revenue. Student publications such as the Daily Lobo are indispensable to the undergraduate population at UNM, having been proven to be a unique and irreplaceable public service by providing students with steady, credible reporting and information, most recently with information on where and how to vote in the 2020 election.
Their coverage of protests has also been invaluable over the past year, and the quality has often rivaled — if not surpassed — that of mainstream publications in the community like the Santa Fe New Mexican or the Albuquerque Journal, further proving them to be a service to not only the undergraduates of UNM but to New Mexicans as a whole.
To push through a bill like this during the last meeting of the semester is not only cowardly, but reckless as well. These funds not only ensure proper distribution and production of student publications but also allow these student journalists to receive financial compensation for the work they do. We stand in solidarity with student publications on principle. There must be a place for students to report on news and publish their work. Our solidarity is not based on political ideology but rather a commitment to truth and freedom of the press. Student publications cannot function effectively without sufficient funds.
We at the UNM College Democrats unequivocally oppose Senate Bill 18F and encourage undergraduate students to speak at the ASUNM Steering and Rules Committee meeting today at 5:30 PM. The Zoom link for the meeting is https://unm.zoom.us/j/99889459123. Public comment begins after 6 p.m.