As the curtains draw closed on the final undergraduate semester of 2021-22 for retiring Associated Students of the University of New Mexico President Greg Romero, he still maintains the same passion and love for the school as he did when he first began his term. Still, he is ready to graduate with a liberal arts degree and a wealth of leadership experience.

Romero came to the University with the intention of focusing strictly on his academic pursuits with little time for putting himself out there, but this plan soon fell by the wayside when he joined Alpha Tau Omega his freshman and sophomore years. This opened the door for him to join other on-campus projects like LoboThon and Emerging Lobo Leaders, his first foray into ASUNM affairs.



“When I was in ELL, one of the current Senators came to the class and was like, ‘I’ll be running for Senate; I was curious if anybody else was.’ I didn’t even know what Senate did at the time and I was like ‘I’ll run for Senate.’ It was probably kind of a bad decision at the time, but it worked out really well and I really enjoyed it,” Romero said.

Romero’s imminent liberal arts degree has concentrations in business and theater; he switched from a business major after taking theater courses for the first time in college and realizing he had a passion for the stage, much to his surprise.

“In high school I did every sport you could think of: football, basketball, baseball … it was actually kind of the same thing though, when I did theater, the acting part of it. It was very adrenaline-y, kind of, and that’s what I liked about it,” Romero said.

Krystah Pacheco, current vice president of ASUNM, came to know Romero as a tremendously effective leader in her time as director of communications in his cabinet. Pacheco said that, under Romero’s leadership, she was granted a solid mix of clear goals and creative liberty in her work.

“Greg in particular, he has a lot of ideas, and I think his drive allowed him to get them done this year, especially all of his goals like working with alumni, initiating an ASUNM rebranding, connecting with different areas of student life, working with every resource center this year. I think Greg just has the drive to do what he wants and get it done,” Pacheco said.

Being ASUNM president is a “24/7 gig,” according to Romero. Leaving the position is bittersweet, but he is also excited to take a break and move on to new frontiers in his education, working on his Master of Business Administration part time at UNM and indulging in his interests in film, basketball and, most of all, spending time with friends. He has also already received several job offers which he is considering for part-time work.

Romero said he is very happy with the work ASUNM has been able to get done in helping recoup after last year’s almost-exclusively virtual semester which halted student activities and school tradition. Pacheco credits Romero and ASUNM Vice President Ryan Regalado with  forging a new groundwork for the organization that she and new ASUNM President Ian May can easily build off of.

“I think Greg has really shaped the future of ASUNM, especially now that we came back from COVID … alongside with Ryan, they really kind of changed the culture of how we approach things, and I think laid a lot of good groundwork for mine and Ian’s administration to hit the ground running,” Pacheco said.

Pacheco highlights Romero’s keen ability to see situations, accessibility and willingness to listen from multiple perspectives as some of his defining qualities as a leader.

“Greg is just also one of those people where you just feel very comfortable to approach him,” Pacheco said. “He’s a familiar face and I don’t think he realizes the impact he’s had, especially this year with reshaping ASUNM and doing our rebranding.”

Romero said that he has made many connections in his time in the position which have served him not only in providing him with networking opportunities but also in helping him to understand the complex community that makes up the University and solidifying his love for the school. Above all, he is grateful for the many kind faces he has encountered who have helped him achieve his goals with open arms.

“I really put myself out there here at UNM, which I didn’t think I was going to do, but I was always met in the middle. It was never me reaching for something and it was unattainable; there were people along the way from every year I’ve been here (where) I would express an interest and they were like, ‘Let’s help you get there. Let’s make this happen.’ I’ve always felt very supported by everyone here at the University; it’s probably my favorite part about UNM,” Romero said.

Zara Roy is the news editor at the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at news@dailylobo.com or on Twitter @zarazzledazzle