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OPINION: Staying connected with friends and family while at school

As I enter my sophomore year at the University of New Mexico, I, like many others, am coming out of a summer filled with friends and family that I haven’t seen since January. Now that school is starting, I am getting ready to say goodbye to them for the next few months. However, if my first year taught me anything (it certainly didn’t teach me statistics), there are plenty of ways to keep in touch with those you aren’t going to see for a few months.


B.J. Novak’s ‘Vengeance’ showcases humorous, realistic view of rural Southwest

With the release of his first feature “Vengeance,” a comedy-thriller filmed in New Mexico and Texas, B.J. Novak got the rural southwest right. “Vengeance” is a passable yet promising first feature, showing a smart eye for dialogue, character and story that should only improve as the writer/director/actor continues his career. “Vengeance” follows shallow New Yorker Ben Manalowitz (Novak) as he attempts to turn the death of a former hookup into the next hit true crime podcast, following her family in their quest for vengeance in what seems like an open-and-shut case. In the process, he bonds with the family and Texas itself.

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REVIEW: ‘Obvious Child’ brings abortion to the rom-com

Gillian Robespierre’s 2014 romantic comedy “Obvious Child” seamlessly portrays the difficult realities of young adult life, complete with heartbreak, job instability and unplanned pregnancy. “Obvious Child,” with its frank discussion of abortion and reproductive rights, earns a solid place alongside other romantic comedies like Michael Showalter’s 2017 film “The Big Sick,” handling serious issues with heart, thought and care, while remaining funny and alive all the while.


REVIEW: ‘Unpregnant’ falls flat in its own Storyline

Rachel Lee Goldenberg’s “Unpregnant,” released in September 2020 on HBO Max, follows a newly pregnant 17-year-old Veronica (Haley Lu Richardson) and her ex-best friend Bailey (Barbie Ferreira), as they travel across the country from Missouri to Albuquerque, New Mexico. The duo’s aim is for Veronica to get an abortion without parental consent. The film entertains, but ultimately falls flat both in cohesion of storyline and in making a statement on abortion. This film could have benefited from being a miniseries — six episodes rather than a feature-length film. Perhaps an expanded version of the story could’ve better explored the emotional depths of Veronica's decision. The events in “Unpregnant,” however, unfold episodically instead of flowing into one another.


Local creatives meld tradition and modernity with independent magazine

With their latest issue hot-off-the-presses —released this July — local magazine Iconica is set to continue on in their celebration of fashion, arts and culture. The magazine strives to blend modern art with the local culture of New Mexico while working to connect artists across the state with their next big opportunity. “My vision for Iconica is to be a hallmark of what it means to be New Mexican in a sense of, I think we’re really known for older traditions, and I would like it to be a balance of bringing that modern talent in with our history and it just being a focal point for all of the amazing talent we have here in a very high-end way,” Natassja Santistevan, creative director for Iconica, said.

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New Conceptions editor-in-chief plans bold strides for prestigious magazine

On April 23, the University of New Mexico Student Publications Board selected senior Sierra Martinez as the new editor-in-chief of literary arts magazine Conceptions Southwest. Martinez brings editorial experience, refined taste and a bold vision for the future to the historic magazine. Beginning in 1978, Conceptions Southwest is UNM’s premiere annual fine arts and literature magazine that accepts submissions from all members of the UNM community, including undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, staff and alumni. Conceptions takes submissions in poetry, short fiction, creative nonfiction, visual art, photography and open media, an open-ended category that ranges from short films to sculptures — anything otherwise difficult to publish.

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Zara Roy selected as new editor-in-chief for Limina: UNM Nonfiction Review

Zara Roy has been hard at work preparing Limina: UNM Nonfiction Review for the new semester since her selection as editor-in-chief for the magazine’s upcoming 35th edition. An incoming junior studying psychology and theatre, Roy brings over three years of editorial experience to the role, which she looks forward to taking on amongst her other responsibilities. Limina: UNM Nonfiction Review is an annual nonfiction publication that accepts submissions from undergraduate and graduate students alike, including academic essays, memoirs, photo essays, research papers and journalistic stories. Previously known as “Best Student Essays,” Limina changed names in 2020 to better reflect their content, which they view as transformative for students and readers.

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UNM offers support to students after overturning of Roe v. Wade

Since the United States Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on June 24, women and people with uteruses have faced uncertainty across the nation. Since the ruling, 44 states have banned abortion after a certain point in pregnancy, with 17 banning it entirely. For New Mexico, abortion is still legal at any stage of pregnancy. Resource centers from the University of New Mexico such as the Women’s Resource Center and the Division for Equity and Inclusion stated their support for people affected all over the country and UNM students in particular. 

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Women’s Resource Center provides support, advocacy

Since its inception, the Women’s Resource Center at the University of New Mexico has worked tirelessly to create a space that makes individuals feel less alone on the busy UNM campus and continues to adapt to the needs of all students. The WRC prides itself on accessibility and inclusion, in addition to continuously evolving to better serve UNM students. One of the most well-known and unique services provided by the center is confidential advocacy, according to Michelle Dugan, a campus advocate at the WRC.

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Female-driven bike workshop kicks into gear

With summer still in session and the weather ripe for cycling, the University of New Mexico has kicked off a series of bicycle maintenance workshops specifically targeted towards women, trans and nonbinary people, and allies. The goal is to create a comfortable space for femme people to learn the mechanics of their bike. The free program, which takes place at the UNM Outdoor Adventure Center, runs from 5-7 p.m. every Tuesday and Wednesday from July 13 to Aug. 14. The unique workshops cover a variety of different aspects of bicycle mechanics over the course of a month.


Immersive opera ‘La Malinche: Traitor | Savior’ opens at Albuquerque Museum

The opera “La Malinche: Traitor | Savior” by composer Nathan Felix, premiered July 21 at the Albuquerque Museum, exploring the journey, influence and legacy of historical figure La Malinche and her involvement in the Spanish conquest of Mexico. The opera, commissioned by the Albuquerque Museum, coincides with an exhibit currently showing, “Traitor, Survivor, Icon: The Legacy of La Malinche,” which showcases works of art surrounding the iconic figure. La Malinche, whose real name has been lost over time, was gifted to Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés in 1519. Due to La Malinche being fluent in Nahuatl and Maya, two of the languages spoken in the Aztec Empire, she became Cortés’ translator. Eventually, La Malinche would go on to mother Cortés’ child, according to the Albuquerque Museum.


REVIEW: Going bananas for ‘Minions: The Rise of Gru’

Minions have found themselves to be the sources of great civil unrest since their introduction to cinema in 2010 with the release of the first film in the “Despicable Me” franchise. These peanut-esque beings have been shamed and disgraced for little reason since their introduction to the public, but with the release of the latest despicable installation, have risen to great distinction: on July 1, “Minions: The Rise of Gru” released in the United States, already becoming one of the highest-grossing films of the year. Finally, we’re going bananas for minions, rather than rising against them.

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D.H. Lawrence Conference honors important author to New Mexico

On Monday, July 18, the University of New Mexico Center for Southwest Research welcomed over 40 researchers and enthusiasts from around the world into Zimmermann Library’s west wing for the opening event of the 15th International D.H. Lawrence Conference, celebrating the life and work of the early 20th-century English writer. The conference is held every three years in different locales of relevance to the author and his writings. For Feroza Jussawalla, a professor emerita in the UNM English Department and specialist in Lawrence, the conference serves as a good reminder to UNM students and faculty of the value the author brought to our state, which Lawrence saw as a space for a potential utopia.

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Elections Commission executive director shows skill in leading, encouraging students

Recently, the Associated Students at the University of New Mexico announced the hires for student service agency executive directors, including rehires and new faces alike. One such new face is Mac Bagwell, executive director of the Elections Commision, who plans to work diligently in the position. As executive director of the Elections Commision, Bagwell’s primary responsibility is overseeing the entire agency in protecting the integrity of all student elections, including senatorial, presidential and homecoming elections. A junior majoring in criminology and political science, Bagwell is also an executive board member of the Pre-Law Society and vice-president of the UNM chapter of the National Society of Leadership and Success, on top of her ongoing work with Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps and ASUNM. To Bagwell, being so widely involved on campus has helped her prepare for her role as executive director.


REVIEW: ‘Hellfire’ burns fast and bright

When black midi first burst onto the music scene with their debut single “bmbmbm” in 2018, it was clear they were a band to watch. Their subsequent albums “Schlagenheim” and “Cavalcade,” released in 2019 and 2021 respectively, were met with universal critical acclaim, further cementing black midi’s place among some of the top bands working today. On July 15, 2022, black midi returned with “Hellfire,” an album that strangely feels like the best introduction to the band with its clear sense of identity and superb musicianship. While black midi typically gets grouped in with the other bands out of England making waves in the post-punk scene like Dry Cleaning and Black Country, New Road, they stand out from the crowd with a heavy progessive rock influence not present in other acts. It makes midi’s music incredibly unique, but also difficult to approach.


Baz Luhrmann’s ‘Elvis’ ain’t nothing but a hound dog

Baz Luhrmann’s “Elvis,” with its overwrought style beyond substance, is the cinematic equivalent of eating all of your leftover Halloween candy in one night and waking up sick the next morning. An enjoyable ride with sweet flavorings to boot, it’s too eager in its undertakings and leaves you staggered and slightly sick. With a hubristic two-hour, 39-minute runtime that challenges even the most ardent supporters of the hyper-stylistic director, “Elvis” fails to shine beyond spectacle in its portrayal of the relationship between the iconic rock-and-roller and his infamously manipulative manager. 


ASUNM Community Experience executive director encourages student engagement

The Associated Students at the University of New Mexico recently announced the new executive directors of the various student service agencies. Among them is the newly appointed Community Experience director Sierra Quintana, who brings past senatorial experience, a strong sense for the responsibilities of community and bold ambition to the position. Quintana, an incoming junior, has been involved with ASUNM since she was a freshman: first with the Emerging Lobo Leaders program, then as a senator and vice presidential candidate. As an electrical engineering major, she’s also heavily involved elsewhere on campus as the president of the Society for Women Engineers and a member of a Panhellenic society.

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ASUNM Arts Studio executive director crafts a new path forward

The Associated Students of the University of New Mexico recently announced their 2022-23 agency directors, including returning ASUNM Arts and Crafts Studio executive director Sara Atencio-Gonzales. She was rehired largely due to her history of dedication and hard work. Atencio-Gonzales first learned about the studio in Fall 2020, when she joined ASUNM’s Emerging Lobo Leaders program. She became interim director in Spring 2022 and applied for the position for this year after she fell in love with the work. In the position, she balances both outward and inward facing jobs, taking care of studio member and employee needs as well as budgeting, working with other ASUNM offices and event planning.

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REVIEW: Former UNM student’s ‘Natives Don’t Get Haircuts’ bursts with wry introspection

On June 28, Wry Press released “Natives Don’t Get Haircuts,” a chapbook by former University of New Mexico student Hataałiinez Wheeler containing 29 poems and one short story. Fans of Wheeler’s will recognize the disconcerting linework as analogous to what is often scrawled alongside his sketches and photographs, while those new to his work will be brought in by the tension and language — none will be disappointed with the outcome, printed and bound. Wheeler, the definition of an interdisciplinary artist, has already released three albums and an EP under his nickname Hataałii. A personal favorite is the song “Walking on Our Own,” co-written and produced by current UNM student Jakob Jaques. Wheeler is also a model and actor, recently working on the AMC television series “Dark Winds” as Joe Leaphorn Jr. In the past year, he’s even delved into painting and jewelry-making with vigor.

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