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Construction, remodel and loss of parking loom over Regents

The University of New Mexico's Board of Regents gathered in Scholes Hall on Wednesday, Sept. 13 for a meeting where they discussed and heard presentations on upcoming decisions but made no formal choices. A majority of the time was spent talking about property development. The Board is in deliberations with SASAKI,  an architecture firm headquartered in Massachusetts that has worked on various universities with sleek, modern designs that often incorporate the surrounding environment. SASAKI is about to enter the third and final phase of an Integrated Campus Plan (ICP) for UNM, Teresa Costantinidis, UNM's executive VP of finance and administration, said.

The Setonian

How the University can buy property and where the money is from

The University's Real Estate Department was recently given permission by the Board of Regents to negotiate the price of property they wish to buy before the Board approves the purchase. The money that pays for the property is from the Regents Endowment Fund. This pot of money also goes towards scholarships. “It's still the same process, it just expedites trying to identify the funding source because the Regents authorized (us) to use that source subject to their approval on each case,” Thomas Neale said – Director of UNM Real Estate. The Regents Endowment is one of three endowments the Board controls. Each fund has specific stipulations of what the money can go towards. Amongst others, the Regents Endowment can go towards scholarships and property acquisition.

ASUNM Senate meeting on Sept. 13

Appointments, budgets, legislation (oh my!)

 The Associated Students at the University of New Mexico began their meeting with under 20 senators. At the first recess, five newcomers were put under oath and voting representatives by the time the session came back together. All five new senators were first appointed by ASUNM Vice President Mickenzie Chessman and approved unanimously by the Senate after being asked two to four questions each.  The new Senators are Mutazz Jaber, Alexa Lucero, Luke Torres, Kiera Rosenfeld and Anthony Tomaziefski. The questions ranged from ‘What perspectives will you bring to the Senate?’ to ‘What are you most excited for this fall semester?’ They will all be up for election this fall if the Senators choose to run again.

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Unpacking the solutions to gun violence in New Mexico

  The Sept. 6 shooting outside Isotopes Park that left 11-year-old, Froylan Villegas, dead has prompted a statewide conversation about the solutions to gun violence. Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham issued a public health order on Sept. 8 prohibiting open or concealed carry in Albuquerque and Bernalillo county for 30 days. After a federal judge temporarily blocked the order, Lujan Grisham modified the order on Sept. 15 to only prohibit open or concealed carry in public parks or playgrounds. Gun violence is the second leading cause of death from injury in New Mexico, according to Dr. Richard Miskimins, Trauma Medical Director at University of New Mexico Hospital. The hospital encourages and distributes trigger locks as an intervention method, he said.

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Fatal shooting near South Campus

  A road rage shooting near the University of New Mexico’s South Campus left a child dead on Wednesday evening, according to Albuquerque Police Chief Harold Medina. The incident prompted Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham to issue a 30-day prohibition of carrying guns on public property in Bernalillo County. “They’re being used on 11-year-olds. They’re being used on 5-year-olds. This is the fifth example of road rage killing somebody in our city this year,” APD Director of Communications Gilbert Gallegos said in a media brief on Thursday.

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ASUNM Senate discusses voter turnout and mental health

  The Associated Students at the University of New Mexico held their first full Senate meeting of the semester on Wednesday, Aug. 30 and discussed ways to improve voter turnout and available mental health services for students. ASUNM represents the student body by being the first group the University’s ...

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Stanford and California leave Pac-12

  Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley left the Pacific-12 Conference for the Atlantic Coast Conference on Friday Sept. 1. This paves the way for the Pac-12’s two remaining schools, Oregon State University and Washington State University, to join a new conference or create their own. The MWC and the American Athletic Conference originally stood as the top two contenders to take Oregon and Washington State, according to CBS. Comments made by AAC commissioner Michael Aresco on Friday seemed to remove them from the equation.

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What is going on with college athletic conference realignments?

  Listed to improve athlete welfare, the athletics department Research and Public Service Projects Funding request was increased by $3.5 million from last year. This increase comes amidst conversations about the potential realignment of the Mountain West Conference. “With the recent changes in membership composition in several conferences, the Mountain West is exploring all opportunities to strengthen the league, including through the addition of new member schools,” MWC Board of Directors statement from Aug. 9 reads, which President Garnett Stokes serves as the chair of. The MWC is one of 10 NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision conferences with some independent programs. Its uncertain future follows the reorganization of the Pacific 12 Conference, now left with four teams.

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The sky’s not the limit

  Recently, the University of New Mexico’s physics and astronomy department was granted  $750,000 from NASA. This grant is headed by associate professor, Diana Dragomir, who leads the research into exoplanets at UNM. “What we want to do with this grant is find a different kind of exoplanet. We want to find more of them. Especially those of a longer orbit,” Dragomir said. The benefits of this research for the average person, Dragomir said, is to help provide answers to the fundamental questions of life. Why is there life on Earth? Is there life elsewhere?


Librarians advocate for alternative to textbooks

  An alternative to requiring students to purchase textbooks, University Libraries have begun to develop programs and offer grants to help professors integrate Open Educational Resources into their curriculum. All resources on an OER are licensed as Creative Commons - free to use. Three librarians at the University of New Mexico – Holly Surbaugh, Jennifer Jordan and Leo Lo – conducted a study in July of 2023 on the impact of textbook cost at a Hispanic-serving institution UNM. 70% of the 315 UNM undergraduate students in the study reported the amount they spent on textbooks was “somewhat or extremely unreasonable,” and 102 said the cost of materials impacted their ability to purchase basic needs such as housing, food and transportation.


Miles to fight cancer

  The seventh annual fundraiser event for the University of New Mexico Comprehensive Cancer Center is taking place at University Stadium on Sept. 23. All money raised will benefit the Cancer Center and its patients. Last year the Lobo Cancer Challenge raised $373,500. Those participating this year will either take on a 5K, stair challenge, 25 or 50 mile bike ride or  virtually decide which athletic challenge they will do individually. For children ages 1-10, there is a cub pack 1K run or walk.


Students hate PATS

  “I hate PATS” is what the stickers plastered all over campus last year read. Created by Tomas Chacon and his roommates. The stickers were created in protest of the Parking and Transportation Services at the University of New Mexico at the beginning of last year, Chacon said. Currently, the cost of parking at UNM is on the rise. Since last semester, the cost of parking meters on campus has been raised by 25 cents per half hour, totaling $1.75 per half hour with the maximum payment of $28 for 8 hours – $3 more than a parking citation. In April of 2022, parking was a dollar per half hour.


UNM Board of Regents files as a party in air pollution regulation

  This past May, the University’s Board of Regents filed as a party in the ongoing petition to amend the New Mexico administrative code to stop new air-polluting projects in communities that already live with environmental hazards via a Health Environment Equity Impact regulation. The Mountain View Coalition alongside the New Mexico Environmental Law Center filed the petition back in November. This October, the Air Board will vote on the regulation. In May, the Board of Regents entered as a party.

Recycling plant on fire

‘It smelled like plastic. That creates a memory’

This story was originally published by Source New Mexico Celerah Hewes lives in southeast Albuquerque. On Aug. 6, she was driving home from the grocery store and happened to see the smoke plume from the Atkore United Poly Systems fire. “Otherwise I would never have known,” she said. “I would have stayed in my house, my swamp cooler on, and maybe had no idea that there was an air quality issue.” As of Tuesday, city and state authorities still have not said publicly how much smoke the fire generated. They also have not provided any detailed documentation of where the smoke went. Through a spokesperson, the city of Albuquerque Environmental Health Department said the smoke drifted south by southeast “away from populated areas.”

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Legislative meeting highlights plans for a school year alongside AI

  Faculty at the University of New Mexico are preparing for the impact of artificial intelligence for the upcoming academic year after professors weighed its benefits and risks at a Science, Technology and Telecommunications Committee meeting on July 24. The committee was created by the New Mexico Legislative Council in May. AI was one of three topics the committee discussed, and the subject was given additional meeting time to develop legislation.

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Board of Regents approve RPSP requests

  Passed unanimously, University of New Mexico President Garnett Stokes presented the Legislative Research and Public Service Projects Funding requests for FY 2024 - 2025 to the Board of Regents at their meeting on Thursday, Aug. 10.  The largest RPSP request for 2025 was $11,941,700 for athletics to improve student-athlete welfare, recruitment and “enhancing the university’s brand”; it was $3.5 million more than last year’s request. 


UNM’s Film students & faculty stand with the strike

  In early May, the Writers Guild of America went on strike. The Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists Union soon followed, striking in early June.  As the 2023 fall semester begins at UNM, film students are looking at their future field without  regrets despite the strikes, senior Michael Madrigal – who’s in the Film Department – said. 


Trans and non-binary students report mixed experiences with SHAC

  Over the past two years, several trans and non-binary University of New Mexico students have reported mistreatment and lack of access to hormone therapy at Student Health and Counseling (SHAC), according to Juniper Reimagined’s outreach coordinator, Ophelia Aragon. This has resulted in a delay of medically necessary gender-affirming care. Juniper Reimagined is a Queer and trans student alliance at UNM amongst several LGBTQ student organizations on campus. Five student members of Juniper Reimagined have said they had a poor experience with SHAC, including trans and non-binary individuals who said they have dealt with being misgendered, Aragon said.

The Setonian

ICYMI: Summer Coverage Collection

With 6 new people on staff and summer classes in full swing, the Daily Lobo has spent the summer in the newsroom writing stories. Below is a sampling of some of the work that has gone out in the Daily Lobo email newsletter this summer. 

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Adderall shortage impacts Queer community at UNM

  The Adderall shortage continues to impact those on the medication, including members of the Queer community who are more likely to be neurodivergent. Multiple studies find a correlation between neurodivergence and Queerness. Adderall is the most commonly used medication for Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder; 50-70% of autistic folk have ADHD and the drug has faced a shortage since Oct. of 2022, forcing millions to go without their medication. “There is a link between certain neurodiversities and being Queer. They're also linked in that way where there is a disproportionate amount of people who identify as both Queer and neurodiverse in some way,” Tiziana Friedman said.

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