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Courtesy photo from the Galen Osten (left) and Tivon Osten (right) campaign. 

ASUNM Presidential and Vice Presidential elections: Galen Oston and Tivon Oston

Brothers Galen Oston (ballot #3) and Tivon Oston (#4) hope to bring changes to the Associated Students at the University of New Mexico in the upcoming spring elections.

Running as brothers allows them to complement the skills the other brings to the table, Tivon Oston said. Neither of them has prior experience in ASUNM, which is something they want to use to their advantage to bring an outside perspective and change to the institution as a whole.

“I think there's no way around the fact that there needs to be changes,” Galen Oston said.

They both support the idea of leading sit-ins – student-led protests that would stop the day-to-day functions at UNM to leverage the student body as a whole to force negotiations and create change, alongside voicing concerns directly to the Board of Regents and President, Tivon Osten and Galen Oston said.

“If you're helping to lead sit-ins and helping to push the true student struggles and agendas, there's a lot of political ones, but there's also just the day-to-day. Anyone you talk to – they’re having a hard time. With that position, you can use it to actually better the student body,” Tivon Oston said.

Galen Oston, a statistics and economics major, is on the Presidential ballot, and Tivon Oston, an international studies major, is on the Vice Presidential ballot. Using his background in statistics and economics, Galen Oston said he hopes to bring more of a focus to ASUNM’s finances if elected.

Prioritizing funds for Student Organizations charted by ASUNM, over the eight Student Service Agencies like Student Special Events and Elections Commission that are operated out of ASUNM, is one of Galen Oston’s prime objectives.

While he doesn’t want to get rid of Red Rally, Galen Oston said he hopes for ASUNM’s spending to be a more direct avenue for change by aiding the student body. Tivon Oston also brought up moving Special Events from Thursdays to Fridays to encourage more attendance.

“There's a lack of understanding how much (Student Service Agencies are) actually affecting the student body. For example, with some of the student events, you have some really great events that no one goes to, and you also have some really big events that you don't have enough support and capacity for those students,” Galen Oston said.

Accessibility of funds for student organizations is something Galen Oston said he would like to improve. He aims to accomplish this through consolidation and standardization of the rules and procedures that he said can complicate the process.

“Having consistencies that are not there currently with, for example, finances would help the student organizations way more,” Galen Oston said.

“We have done it in a way that doesn't allow for (ASUNM) to understand the actual connections between both the student orgs and their own finances and data,” Galen Oston said.

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The brothers also spoke about their legislative priorities, which include lobbying for campus improvements outside the scope of ASUNM. For example, Galen Oston said he would lobby for increased compensation to graduate student workers.

“The ways in which (grad students are) getting funded for this work, and how much they're actually doing, doesn’t make sense,” Galen Oston said.

The United Graduate Workers of UNM recently reached an agreement with the University administration for higher wages. Pre-master’s teaching assistants now make $8,808.43 across an 18-week contract working half-time, according to UNM’s website.

Utilizing his associates in photovoltaics (solar) energy from Central New Mexico Community College to create blueprints conceptualizing his proposal, one of Tivon Oston’s legislative priorities would be to create an eco-friendly and greener campus through solar, he said.

“A secondary thing I would love to see lobbied for because I've done solar (is) using the real estate we have to create a better or closer to net zero energy usage for the campus,” Tivon Oston said.

Through their campaign, the Oston brothers said they hope to bring change throughout the entire student body.

“Too many people have become complacent, both in ASUNM and the student body… I want to be able to kind of reignite that fire that I think we all have, but have kind of suppressed,” Galen Oston said.

ASUNM’s elections begin Wednesday, March 20 at 9 a.m. and close on Thursday, March 21 at 5 p.m., according to the ASUNM Elections Commission. Polling locations have yet to be announced.

Jaymes Boe is a beat reporter for the Daily Lobo. He can be reached at

Maddie Pukite is the editor-in-chief at the Daily Lobo. They can be contacted at on Twitter @maddogpukite

Maddie Pukite

Maddie Pukite is the 2023-2024 editor of the Daily Lobo. 

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