The goal was to create a fully immersive musical experience - so Kai Warrior brought their childhood home to The Orpheum Community Hub on Saturday. Warrior is a local musician who grew up in Albuquerque. They released their debut EP, “Everything I Know,” on Feb. 3. Their work follows a cyclical motion and outlines the details of childhood, friendship, love and heartbreak, and then circles back to childhood. “I wanted the EP to feel fully engulfing, and I figured the only way to do that would be to recreate my life in a room,” Warrior said.
Self Serve Toys is a feminist and Queer-owned sex shop in Albuquerque. It opened up 17 years ago after the owner, Matie Fricker, saw a need for more inclusive sex shops nationwide. Tiziana Friedman, the outreach team coordinator at Self Serve, spoke about love for the shop because of the experiences there compared to other sex shops they have visited. “Self Serve is a sex-positive, education and health-focused sex shop. We believe that all bodies are good bodies deserving of love, exactly as they are. We believe that sex is healthy and pleasure is good for you,” Friedman said.
Student Health and Counseling’s (SHAC) Barrier Necessities program aims to make condoms, dental dams and lubricant accessible to students while simultaneously providing education around safer sex practices. “The mission for this program (is) to help provide students with free prophylactics and to make it as convenient as possible, really meeting the students where they’re at,” Lianna Maldonado said – SHAC Health Promotion and Education Coordinator. Currently, the program has 29 locations, along with latex-free materials available at SHAC’s Health Promotion office. The program tries to be accessible and comprehensible to students, Maldonado said.
The Southwest Film Center (SWFC) held a double feature on Saturday, Feb. 3 of “Twilight: Breaking Dawn” parts 1 and 2, showing that community that can be found both in movies and in a movie theater. The Student Union Building theater was decorated with “Twilight” references and filled with “Twilight”-inspired outfits. The event included “blood bags” – fake blood bags filled with Sprite, red food coloring and sparkles, which were reserved for the first ten attendees. Theatre manager Stefan Rossell explained that the blood bags were meant to be an incentive to movie-goers to come early, and it worked. Over ten people were at the doors before they opened officially.
2023 was a big year for bookworms everywhere. This year concluded strongly with a plethora of bestsellers worldwide, and with some true gems from local New Mexican authors. Sci-fi lovers were indulged with new unique titles from local authors Sarena Ulibarri and Ness Brown who crafted stories about the extraterrestrial and other space oddities. Both have had success in publication and have plans to expand their authorship in the future, they said. Ulibarri, a University of New Mexico alumna, has been publishing since 2012 and released two books in 2023. She published her novel “Steel Tree” in December – a sci-fi retelling of the Nutcracker.
Within the enchanting landscape of the Southwest, New Mexico has emerged as a widely sought-after location for filmmakers. Recently, the state has experienced a surge in the film industry. Landscapes, diverse locations and supportive tax incentives have turned this state into a haven for filmmakers. The New Mexico Film Office announced on Jan. 18 that Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Las Cruces have landed spots on MovieMaker Magazine's "Best Places to Live and Work as a MovieMaker." Albuquerque ranks second on the big cities list and Santa Fe tops the small cities and towns list with Las Cruces coming in eighth.
As the semester starts and calendars fill up with festivities, one weekly event students could consider attending are the weekly Midweek Movies hosted by the Student Activities Center on Wednesdays at the Student Union Building. Midweek Movies feature anticipated newer releases and beloved older films alike. A few films fresh out of theaters that will be screened this semester include Emma Tammi’s “Five Nights at Freddy’s” on Jan. 24, Sofia Coppola’s “Priscilla” on Jan. 31 and Nia DaCosta’s “The Marvels” on Feb. 21. The screenings include refreshments free of charge. Student Activities Specialist Megann Roszak – who organizes Midweek Movies under the SAC – recommends getting there early to get popcorn and looks forward to welcoming students back for screenings.
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) has recently undergone several significant changes – the most since the introduction of the Common Financial Aid Form in the Reagan era, according to the U.S. Department of Education website. This redesign was created via the FAFSA Simplification Act and Fostering Undergraduate Talent by Unlocking Resources for Education (FUTURE) Act. Ria Shultz, the Assistant Director of the University of New Mexico Center for Financial Capability, said that these laws should make the FAFSA easier to access, leave users with fewer questions and provide better clarity on what information students need to provide.
Getaway Adventures – a program offered through the University of New Mexico Outdoor Adventure Center – provides students with the opportunity to further their learning through group trips around New Mexico and the country. Charles Gwinn, the OAC Operations Specialist, is in charge of the Getaway Adventures program and said he strives to create a multi-layered experience. “These experiences allow students an affordable path to be active outdoors, learn a new skill, expand cultural knowledge and build community,” Gwinn said.
With a love for storytelling, Detroit Kallunki is graduating with an English degree this December. Kallunki began reporting for the Lobo about a year ago and along the way found a love for talking to others and helping share stories. “I really like conducting interviews, communicating with people and helping people share experiences that have shaped them, and what's important to them,” Kallunki said. As an English major, their understanding and love for storytelling boils down to the words being written on a page, and the extra time for consideration it allows.
The Daily Lobo’s outgoing photo editor, Jessica Baca, has always had a passion for photography. So much so that her family would keep disposable cameras out of her hands because she would use them up in minutes. In awe of everything around her, she would shoot anything and everything she could. Baca is set to graduate from the University of New Mexico with a bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Studio Art with a concentration in photography. During her college career, she said she was often urged to apply to the Lobo, but it wasn't until Film & Digital Arts Professor Roberto Rosales encouraged her that she stumbled upon the newspaper. She has worked at the Lobo since October 2022 and has served as the photo editor since May 2023. Shortly after, she also began to work for the Albuquerque Journal.
After seven semesters, Computer Engineering student Sarah Maurice graduates this month from the University of New Mexico with a bachelor’s degree, an internship at Intel and enough credits to earn her master’s degree by 2024. “Engineering gives me the opportunity to give back to the community and to help in a way that I can make a positive impact,” Maurice said. Maurice’s interest in engineering stems from her goal to use biomedical engineering to increase accessibility to prosthetics after handling the insurance and cost of her own following the loss of her leg in 2010.
The Graduation Project is a program at the University of New Mexico dedicated to bringing senior students back to complete their degrees. Students who qualify for the Graduate Project are returning to complete their first bachelor’s degree after at least a semester break. Graduation Project Director Corine Gonzales said the project looks to provide support and assistance for students looking to return and complete their program. “Our mission is to help bring back students who are very close to completing their degree … We also follow through and provide onboarding assistance and transition experience to help them come back and complete their degree,” Gonzales said.
Miyawni Curtis did not always want to be a journalist. But after her high school teachers encouraged her to continue to invest in her writing, she selected it as her major at the University of New Mexico. Curtis graduates with a degree in Multimedia Journalism after a year and a half spent at the University. During this time, she worked as a reporter and news editor for the Daily Lobo, wrote for Source New Mexico and participated in an internship at KSFR – northern New Mexico’s independent public radio station. While at the Daily Lobo, Curtis wrote news, culture and a few sports stories. Her favorite articles to write are human interest stories involving giving people justice and making sure their stories are heard, she said.
The University of New Mexico’s 2023 fall grads are set to graduate on Friday, Dec. 15 at the University Commencement at The Pit starting at 6 p.m. On average, a commencement ceremony lasts for about two to three hours as each student is given their own time to shine at the convocation. While UNM holds an overall commencement ceremony, various departments within campus hold their own ceremonies as well.
Monday, Dec. 4 would have been the 21st birthday of former Daily Lobo editor Natalie Jude. The loss of Natalie on March 26, 2023 was a devastating blow to all that knew her kind soul and radiating goodness – leaving an ever-filling well of sadness for the many people whose lives she touched. I am honored to have met her and to have been able to call her a friend for the time I was able to. I first met Natalie when we started at the paper at the same time in the fall semester of 2021. We became good friends that spring and lived together in bleak campus housing for part of that summer. She was a beautiful soul with bright, expressive eyes and a magnetic personality. She was a truly good person, capable of kindness even in circumstances which would challenge the patience and goodness of a saint.
Albuquerque is filled with a multitude of different sources of natural beauty. Whether the Sandia Mountains, the Rio Grande, the Bosque or the city’s Botanical Gardens, there are several beautiful sites, including National Wildlife Refuges that take care of hundreds of flora and fauna. The Valle de Oro refuge is located behind the industrialized zone of the South Valley off of Second St., consisting of 570 acres. After opening 11 years ago in 2012, Valle de Oro’s mission is to transform the dirt-based area into a lush open space where people can come to connect with nature amidst the growing industrialization of the area, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services website.
Whether in need of a turkey to prepare or a warm meal to eat, there are a variety of events in Albuquerque over break to cater to these needs in several ways. University students are one of the groups in the U.S. that suffer most from food insecurity. According to the Basic Needs Survey run by the University of New Mexico Basic Needs Project, 37% of UNM undergraduate students suffer from food insecurity. Over Thanksgiving Break, La Posada, along with other food options found in the Student Union Building (SUB), will be closed. Only the Market at the Student Resource Center will be open over break with reduced operation hours from 11:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. While many on-campus options will be unavailable, a few on and off-campus partners are holding events for this Thanksgiving season to combat these insecurities.