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AFMX provides a film festival experience like no other

 With the film industry in New Mexico growing at a rapid pace and big-name production houses like Netflix bringing large-scale operations to Albuquerque, it’s clear more college graduates will gravitate toward the field after finishing school. The Albuquerque Film and Music Experience seeks to provide those opportunities in the field to students by connecting them with industry professionals while also allowing them to showcase their own work, according to executive director Ivan Wiener. The festival is currently open for submissions to its 2023 festival, with students interested in submitting in the student film category being permitted free submissions by emailing for a fee waiver code.


New Mountain West commissioner visits Albuquerque

 Gloria Nevarez became the second Mountain West conference commissioner in its history on Sunday, Jan. 1 after previous commissioner Craig Thomas retired. Nevarez was previously the commissioner of the West Coast conference. She stopped by in Albuquerque on her trip to meet all the universities in the conference and watched the University of New Mexico women's basketball team take on Colorado State University and the men's basketball team face the Air Force Academy. Before the men's game against Air Force, Nevarez spoke with the media and answered questions about her plans for the Mountain West conference.

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‘The Legend of Vox Machina’ succeeds on charisma check, but just barely

 On Friday, Jan. 20, Amazon Prime Video released the first three episodes of the second season of “The Legend of Vox Machina,” animation studio Titmouse Inc.’s adaptation of the wildly successful Dungeons and Dragons actual-play show “Critical Role.” Though impressive in scope and showing plenty of promise for what’s to come, season two so far is underwhelming, if not as an adaptation, then as a story on its own. This season, “The Legend of Vox Machina” follows titular adventuring party Vox Machina as they track down legendary magical items to help them defeat a cadre of villainous dragons dubbed the “Chroma Conclave,” bent on ruling the world. If it sounds played out, that’s because it is — mostly.


ASUNM approves over $30,000 for student organizations

  The Associated Students at the University of New Mexico distributed $31,545 among eight student organizations during a full senate meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 25. The senators also voted to allow themselves more flexibility on when to meet with their sponsored student organizations. All eight appropriations and the lone bill on the agenda passed unanimously, with one senator abstaining. ASUNM President Ian May told the Daily Lobo he intends to sign off on everything. Once per semester, student orgs can submit an appropriation – a request for travel funds and money for other one-time expenses, according to the ASUNM website.

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5 and Why: 5 best places to read on campus

 As students and faculty return to the University of New Mexico main campus, it can be harder than ever to find a nice, relaxing place to unwind with a good book. To help readers get back in the swing of things amid the bustle of a new semester, fifth year student Arely Ortega shared five of her favorite places to read on campus. El Centro de la Raza As far as study spots on campus go, you can’t get more welcoming than the various student resource centers on campus. To Ortega, the most relaxing of these is El Centro de la Raza, located in Mesa Vista Hall.

Elena Gallegos, the open space area in Albuquerque, debate issues over potential creation of an education center.

Community opposes potential structure at Elena Gallegos Open Space

 The 640-acre Elena Gallegos Open Space, located in the foothills of the Sandia mountains, is currently the subject of concern among community members of the legality and consequences of a potential project from the Albuquerque parks and recreation department to create an education center in the space, according to Save the Elena Gallegos co-founders Viki Teahan and Katrina Sanchez. The potential educational center would be no larger than 5,000 square feet, according to Dave Simon, the director of the Albuquerque parks and recreation department. Since the 1960s, advocates have fought for protection of the park from development when the Albuquerque City Council began a tax to purchase the space in 1969, according to The Paper.

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City council continues to postpone decision on fate of zero-fare bussing

 The Albuquerque City Council continues to stall the final decision on whether or not to continue zero-fare bussing and replace it with a pass system, deferring the bus pass ordinance for the eighth time on Wednesday, Jan. 18. This time, a third floor substitution was presented that combined the original pass system ordinance with two other ordinances meant to add additional security measures to the transit system. The newest floor substitution has since replaced any specific language regarding fares with a study on how to equitably distribute passes. If the ordinance is passed in its current iteration, the zero-fare pilot program would continue through June, after which a study on the program with recommendations on how to continue the program as well as a cost-benefit analysis of the creation of a fare box and distribution of bus passes shall be presented to the Council by September 2023.

GALLERY: Men's Basketball vs. Boise State

Men's basketball: Lobos hunt down Broncos in overtime

 On Friday, Jan. 20 the University of New Mexico men's basketball team defeated the Boise State University Broncos 81-79. Going into the night, the Broncos were tied for first in the Mountain West conference, but are now tied for second with a 5-3 record in conference play. Both teams played well throughout the game, and it took a game-winning layup from Morris Udeze with under 2 seconds left for the Lobos to win the game. The Lobos had another solid team win with four players in double-digit scoring.

GALLERY: Abortion Rally Protest

Protesters call for equitable abortion access in New Mexico

 On Sunday, Jan. 22, dozens gathered outside of the University of New Mexico bookstore to call for reproductive justice on the 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court case that established a constitutional right to an abortion under the privacy clause that was subsequently reversed in 2022. The rally was held in solidarity with the sister protest occurring at the same time in Clovis, New Mexico, according to Reyan Tuck, a UNM student and protest organizer. The intent was to call attention to the lack of abortion access in rural New Mexico, specifically Clovis, where the city commissioners recently passed a measure to restrict abortion access, similar to what has been done in other towns in rural New Mexico, including Hobbs, according to KRQE.

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LETTER: Support House Bill 43 this legislative session

 How many of you have been to La Posada? Or the movie theater in the Student Union Building? Have you sat by the Duck Pond as the trees start to bloom? There are a lot of memories that I hold dear from my undergraduate experiences at the University of New Mexico, but of all the resources and activities UNM has to offer, the support services for sexual violence are the ones that meant the most to me. Fall 2019 was the most complicated semester of my life. As a student, I took advantage of counseling at SHAC, academic accommodations, and regular visits to the LoboRespect Advocacy Center to navigate the dramatically different landscape after my incident. I took advantage of the resources available to me and they made an impossible situation possible.

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REVIEW: 'Puss in Boots: The Last Wish' brings back our favorite fearless feline hero

 “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish” brings back the fan favorite legendary cat from the “Shrek” franchise for an adventure filled with delightful storytelling and nostalgia. A surprisingly delightful movie, “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish” shows that Dreamworks Animation Studios can still produce films comparable in quality to the “Shrek” and “How to Train Your Dragon” movies of old. With the spring semester starting up and the thoughts of graduating or simply moving on to the next year of college hanging over many of us, the movie helps one escape with a nice dose of childhood nostalgia.

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President Stokes’ speechwriter brings impressive resume back to New Mexico

 When Brian Jay Jones graduated from the University of New Mexico with a degree in English literature, his aspiration to be a novelist was dashed by a realization that he was a terrible fiction writer. Now, with a decades-long career as a legislative staffer and four biography credits in tow, UNM President Garnett Stokes’ official speechwriter has found his own voice in writing by breathing life into others’. As Stokes’ executive communications manager, Jones helps to coordinate all written and spoken correspondence from the president and gets “last pass” on any speeches to be given by her. Prior to coming to work at UNM, Jones worked as a legislative assistant for senator Pete V. Domenici and later senator Jim Jeffords.

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REVIEW: ‘The Last of Us’ adaptation honors and furthers video games

 On Sunday, Jan. 15, HBO released the first episode of the highly anticipated “The Last of Us” series, based on the critically acclaimed game of the same name created by publisher Naughty Dog. The TV show comes one day after the game's 10th anniversary, originally released on Jan. 14, 2013. A big challenge with any video game adaptation is trying to create a series that will be engaging for the incoming viewer but faithful enough for fans of the game. It feels like most of the time with adaptations like this, the writing falls flat and is inaccurate to the game — with “The Last of Us,” fans have nothing to worry about.

UNM legislative priorities

UNM announces goals for 2023 legislative session

 With the start of the 2023 New Mexico legislative session on Tuesday, Jan. 17, the University of New Mexico unveiled its priorities for the upcoming 2024 fiscal year. The priorities focus on research and public service project requests and general outlined goals UNM seeks to further and accomplish prior to the session’s closing at noon on Saturday, March 18. The more general legislative priorities, outlined by the University’s Office of Government and Community Relations, include recruiting and retaining current staff, faculty and health professionals; improving student support services as well as “workforce development, research and public service,” improving campus safety, retaining state-funded scholarships, improving health care and health care access, and promoting economic growth, according to the Office of Government and Community Relations.

GALLERY: Men's Basketball vs San Jose St.

Men's basketball: Lobos defeat San José State 77-57

 On Tuesday, Jan. 17 the University of New Mexico's men's basketball team defeated the San José State University Spartans 77-57. The Lobos have an overall record of 17-2 and are 4-2 in conference play. The Lobos were able to hold the Spartans to a 33.9% scoring percentage, making just 21 of their 62 shots in contrast to the Lobos, who had four players in double-digit scoring. Jamal Mashburn Jr. and Jaelen House each had 20 points in the game, and Morris Udeze had a double-double scoring 17 points and grabbing 14 rebounds. Spartan Omari Moore had a great game and was the only Spartan in double digits. He had 24 points, five assists and four rebounds.

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Mens Basketball: Lobo forward takes on teams with scholarship and style

 Morris Udeze is a graduate student and a forward for the University of New Mexico men's basketball team. Udeze, who currently sits at third on the team in scoring, is graduating in the spring and is currently finishing his last semester playing with UNM; he previously earned his undergraduate degree at Wichita State University and is currently taking classes to continue playing basketball. Udeze transferred to UNM from Wichita State in May 2022 for his last year of eligibility for college basketball. He has been incredibly valuable to the Lobos, where he is currently third on the team in scoring with 15.7 points per game, grabbing 8.3 rebounds and guarding the opponent's forwards and centers of defense.

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ASUNM to lobby for campus safety projects

 The Associated Students at the University of New Mexico plan to lobby for their capital outlay projects during opening day of the 56th session of the New Mexico Legislature on Tuesday, Jan. 17. ASUNM hopes to secure funding for three projects, all of which are centered around safety on campus. They will be decided on by the administration, with limited amounts of student input, according to ASUNM President Ian May. Each year, ASUNM decides on a project that ASUNM legislative members will lobby for in Santa Fe via a capital outlay bill, according to May.

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ASUNM Southwest Film Center spring preview

 The Associated Students at the University of New Mexico Southwest Film Center, located on the first floor of the Student Union Building, is a student-run organization that showcases films for free throughout the semester. The upcoming spring semester includes a line up of film screenings and returning annual events.  The main purpose behind the SWFC is to connect the larger student body with film, according to Emma Harrison, the program’s assistant director. “The purpose of the Southwest Film Center is to present new, experimental, classic and student-made films for free to the UNM student body, and to provide fun opportunities for students to engage with and learn about film,” Harrison said.


OPINION: “Avatar” highlights the danger of computer-generated films

 Well, it’s official: we’re gonna see a whole lot more “Avatar” in the next 10 years. With “Avatar: The Way of Water” poised to make its money back, essentially confirming that we’ll see an “Avatar” 3, 4 and 5, we can rest easy knowing know that the original “Avatar” truly did have some sort of cultural impact and naysayers were just wrong. This begs the question, though: what about its impact on filmmaking, or rather, lack thereof? At the time of writing this article on Saturday, Jan. 14, the sequel is poised to reach $566.7 million at the US domestic box office over Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend which will put it at number 13 for the highest grossing films of all time in the US and Canada, according to Deadline.  

GALLERY: Monster Truck Rally

OPINION: Monster trucks rally is a Rio Rancho smash hit

 On Jan. 13 and 14, the Rio Rancho event center sold out every seat in the house for the Toughest Monster Truck Tour. And my god, were they tough: the flips, the stunts, the cars smashed are all enough to attest to that — and the crowd ate up every moment.  The trucks featured included Dozer, who made their indoor arena debut, Buckshot and the corvette Rat Attack. Dirt Crew, my personal favorite truck, looked like a dump truck (monster-sized, of course). Also present was Tailgator, who rivaled Dirt Crew for best aesthetic with a gator-themed truck, and Maximus, a brand new truck who made their debut.

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