The University of New Mexico is requiring a three-ply or better medical-grade mask when indoors, effective Jan. 17. This decision, which updated the previous mask policy that allowed cloth masks, was made in response to the recent surge of COVID-19 cases and the increased infectiousness of the omicron variant.

According to UNM spokesperson Cinnamon Blair, Student Affairs will be distributing proper masks across campus for students struggling to source proper masks or otherwise do not currently have appropriate masks.

Masks will be distributed in high-traffic classroom buildings on campus, as well as in the Student Union Building and Johnson Gym.


 

The new Albuquerque Community Safety Department began responding to emergency calls last September and acts as a non-law enforcement dispatch team that handles issues within the community, like mental health crises, that the police may not be trained to handle. After just over four months of operation, multiple community members are tentatively hopeful that this department will bring solutions to the city.

Since ACS was created, the department has responded to over 1,500 calls, including 911 calls that get redirected to them and the 311 hotline that connects to them directly.

“(There) is a huge need for us … (with) the amount of calls that go through that are not appropriate for police. 

 

Investigation on the legality of the University of New Mexico Foundation’s indirect investment in fossil fuel companies is ongoing, and the UNM Leaders for Environmental Action and Foresight aren’t giving up. After an initial intake meeting with the office of the attorney general on Dec. 17, 2021, where they reviewed the legal arguments and historical background of their complaint filed last October, the office is still in the process of reviewing all the information.

UNMF, which funds scholarships and campus initiatives at the University, has an estimated $32.5 million of its Consolidated Investment Fund, the investment pool for endowment assets of the University and UNMF, indirectly invested into fossil fuel stock, according to Gabe Gomez, managing director of UNMF marketing and communication. 

 

Eligible University of New Mexico students, staff and faculty must receive and upload documentation of having received a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot by Jan. 17, the day before the spring 2022 semester is set to start in person.

Individuals are currently considered eligible by the University if they have received either the second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine on or before June 15, 2021 or the single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine on or before Oct. 15, 2021 because of time requirements between vaccination doses. Those vaccinated after these dates have up to four weeks to upload proof following the Jan. 17 deadline.


SAC, ASUNM kickstart spring semester with student events

 

With the spring semester beginning Jan. 18, the University of New Mexico’s Student Activities Center and Associated Students of the University of New Mexico have organized several events in the first two weeks to get students back into the groove after break.

SAC has organized two Welcome Back Days, scheduled for Jan. 19 and 26 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Student Union Building atrium. There, various departments and organizations around campus will be able to table and showcase their organizations, and prospective students can find groups that fit their interests.

The first Welcome Back Day will be focused on showcasing different departments at the University as well as Greek organizations, and the following week will highlight student organizations.

First time in 2 years guests allowed at UNM commencements

 

For the first time in two years, guests will be allowed at the University of New Mexico commencement ceremonies at The Pit on Dec. 16 and 17. Masks and vaccinations will be required for a majority of attendees.

Graduates from the classes of 2020 and 2021 are invited to celebrate after past commencements during the COVID-19 pandemic were either virtual or without guests due to the nature of the pandemic.

At the upcoming ceremonies, anyone over 12 years old must provide proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours, and anyone over 2 years old must wear a mask.

Benefits to joining a union after graduation

 

As many students at the University of New Mexico graduate and enter their respective career fields, the option to unionize will be a question that confronts many of them. Research has shown that workers that are part of a union have better working conditions overall.

In the United States, 1 in 9 workers are in a union, according to the Economic Policy Institute. This, therefore, allows their collective voices to speak up for fair working conditions, according to the Institute’s research.

Additional research from the Economic Policy Institute shows that strong unions lessen the wage gap from the highest earner to the lowest earner, and union workers tend to earn 13.2% more than non-union workers.

New Mexico’s booming film industry gives grads employment opportunities

 

Filmmaking in New Mexico is on the rise, much to the luck of recent college film graduates. With record peaks in funding, direct spending supported by credits and deductibles that are projected to continue growing, University of New Mexico film graduates are set up to find lucrative work in the film industry.

“This is where the next Hollywood is going to be and I want to be there while it’s being built. It’s perfect for someone like me who’s looking for work in the film industry and an easy in, and New Mexico is looking for a giant crop of young people to work in the film industry so they can boost the economy,” UNM film student Michael Madrigal said.

Grad union protests UNM’s unionization appeal through work-in

 

Graduate student workers lined the halls and piled into waiting rooms at the University of New Mexico as they staged their 12-hour work-in at Scholes Hall on Tuesday, Dec. 7. The students were physically showing the University how much work they do in a day to protest the University’s decision to appeal the New Mexico Public Employee Labor Relations Board’s ruling that granted them the right to unionize.

“Today at this work-in, graduate workers of all kinds … are gathered together to do what the University has claimed for the past year we don't do: work.

ABQ finds widespread heat discrepancies between communities

 

The city of Albuquerque released its heat map findings from the report in late November, compiled by Climate Adaptation Planning Analytics Strategies, a contractor of National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration. The study looked at heat impacts on human health through temperature and humidity data points collected on July 9, 2021.

Kelsey Rader, the city of Albuquerque's sustainability officer, said this report was an opportunity to evaluate how existing infrastructure was supporting active and public transportation users.

The study produced results showing a temperature difference of nearly 17 F from the hottest to coolest parts of the city. Rader said this is a call to action to manage this discrepancy through tree plantings, which has a dedicated budget with the city.

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