Environmental design instructor Danielle Bilot is creating a buzz about native bees in Albuquerque. 

Bilot spoke to Burqueños on Wednesday about how to increase the diversity of native bee species in urban environments. 

“It’s our responsibility to change it because we did it to them, whether honey bees or native bees,” Bilot said. “We did this to them, so now it’s our chance to fix it.”

Bilot is an instructor at the University of Colorado Boulder and the founder of the Forgotten Hive, a course at the university focused on creating habitats for native bees in under-utilized urban areas.

After being cut from the University of New Mexico’s budget, the UNM Men’s Soccer team along with other UNM club sports are getting a financial and institutional upgrade, courtesy of the President’s discretionary funds. 

The “enhanced club-sport program” would include Men’s Soccer, Men and Women’s Rugby, Lobo Hockey and the yet-to-be established Men and Women’s Ski. The program, funded by the President and the Department of Recreational Services, would grant the clubs access to additional financial and institutional resources — such as practice facilities. 

Terry Babbitt, chief of staff for UNM President Garrnett Stokes, said there wasn’t a set budget for the program yet. However, sources close to the matter have told the Daily Lobo that Stokes may spend up to $300,000 to support the program. 

The University of New Mexico Global Education Office has said the travel advisories issued against the United States by Uruguay and Venezuela have not impacted the number of students wanting to attend UNM in the fall semester or the number of students wishing to study abroad. 

Earlier this month, the two countries issued warnings against traveling to the United States because of safety concerns. 

These travel advisories were issued after two mass shootings over a weekend collectively killed 32 people in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio. 

The University of New Mexico Board of Regents unanimously voted to reduce their total number of meetings from 12 to six per year. 

The reduction came after the Board unanimously approved a resolution expressing their desire to change the schedule. It’s unclear what the schedule will look like next year, according to UNM Spokesperson Daniel Jiron, but the issue will be taken up during the next meeting in September. 

Regent President Doug Brown said the purpose of the reduction was to alleviate the burden on staff for attending the monthly full board meetings and monthly committee meetings. 

ASUNM tables President Pro Tempore election

The Associated Students of the University of New Mexico tabled an election for a President Pro Tempore after five Senator's did not attend a special meeting. 

Absences from Nolan McKim, Dequez Irving, Gabriel Ruja, Deavon Vigilant and Ashley Varela during the special meeting on Saturday, Aug. 17, caused a 10-5 split and pushed the election to Aug. 28. 

The President Pro Tempore position is elected at the start of every semester. They are second in-line in the legislative branch of ASUNM. They are responsible for enforcing office hours and act as a non-voting member of a committee of their choosing.  

Pres Stokes hosts town hall

University of New Mexico President Garnett Stokes addressed questions about staff retention, enrollment and safety during the hour long employee town hall on August 5. The event was held in the Student Union Building and live-streamed on Facebook. Of the 9 questions asked, the most prevalent concern was focused around retention rates.

One of the issues addressed during the town hall was staff at UNM quitting their jobs when they are dissatisfied. 

Fish help researchers with breakthrough

Scientists at the University of New Mexico recently discovered antiviral roles in the olfactory neurons present in fish, leading to a better understanding of how neurons and immune cells work together to control viral infection, according to a group of scientists led by Irene Salinas.

Respiratory viruses — like the flu — are known to enter the nasal cavity and spread the infection to other organs in the body like the brain and the lungs.

In 2014 The Salinas Lab, a group of scientists led by Salinas, an associate professor of Biology at UNM, found rainbow trout to have a nasal immune system and developed the first nasal vaccines from fish.

UNM Athletics: No media deal sealed, yet

The University of New Mexico is one step closer to replacing its $4.4 million media-rights contract to broadcast games and images. However, the contracts value and when it can be signed remain unclear. 

On Tuesday, the Board of Regents Finances and Facilities Committee approved an agreement between the University and Outfront Media Sports, Inc to hold the Athletics Department’s media rights . However, F&F committee chair Sandra Begay said the contract may have to be voted on by the full Board next month. 

According to UNM Athletics Director Eddie Nuñez, the details of the contract are still being drafted. If the contract was not written up before the August 13 meeting, Begay and Nuñez said it would likely be voted on during the September 17 meeting. Nuñez said that UNM may end up using a temporary “bridge” contract while the Outfront deal is finalized and approved, but he declined to give specific details about what that might look like. 

Disability resources at UNM

The University’s most well-known disability asset for students is the Accessibility Resource Center (ARC). This organization is a department within UNM Student Services that has provided accommodations for students and employees with registered physical and intellectual disabilities for the past forty years. The center provides the 1,300 students that utilize its services with resources such as American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters, textbooks in Braille, private exam rooms and countless other accommodations necessary for these students to be able to attend the University. 

Joan Green recently celebrated her fourteenth anniversary as director of the ARC. She said the mission of the ARC is to “ensure there is equal access on campus for not just students, but the public and any visitors or employees who are here.” 

Though Green said she believes the ARC and the mission it represents have significantly improved over the years, she said there is still progress to be made on UNM’s campus in terms of accessibility of disability resources. However, she is actively working towards a solution. 

Protest to 'close the camps' held in ABQ

Hundreds of New Mexicans from around New Mexico gathered for a vigil outside of the Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement building on Friday to demand lawmakers to “close the camps” under the nationwide Liberty of Lights movement. 

The vigil was organized by the Three Sisters Collective, a grassroots organization of indigenous women in Santa Fe, co-founded by University of New Mexico alumni Dr. Christina M. Castro. The event was co-organized by the New Mexico Dream Team, the Medicine Drum Circle, and Remembering Ancestors Inspiring Community Empowering Self, RAICES. Planned Parenthood and the New Mexico Immigration Law Center were among the groups in attendance.

The evening began by calling upon ancestors for protection, followed by a blessing of all four cardinal directions. The prayer was led by Tonita Gonzales, a medicine woman of RAICES. Gonzales mentioned the native tale of the Eagle and the Condor, which prophesied that one day, the people of the North and South will be united again.

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