Students at the University of New Mexico shared their opinions on the upcoming New Mexico elections and what they expect from electing officials and the legislature, many agreed that it is important to hold officials to a high standard and expect transparency from those in the state legislature. Concerns over how city and state policies don’t always benefit the public as much as politicians claim were felt by Zee Winningham. They also expressed that subsidized housing for people struggling with homelessness should take precedence over standard institutionalized facilities. “What substance abuse programs are going to be funded, and how exactly are the funds going to be used for the homeless population?” Winningham said.
With early voting already started and the upcoming Nov. 8 election day rapidly approaching, the University of New Mexico anticipates the results of general obligation bond 3, which would allocate $89.2 million to UNM and a total $125 million to higher education across the state for capital projects if passed. A general obligation bond is money borrowed by the government to fund capital projects such as new facilities and improvements to old buildings and infrastructure. Bonds are paid for by the state and its property owners through property taxes — however, G.O. bonds do not cause an increase in property taxes.
On Thursday, Nov. 3, five days before election day, U.S. President Joe Biden visited Albuquerque to support New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham in the upcoming election against Republican candidate Mark Ronchetti as part of one of his last stops on the midterm campaign trail. The event had several speakers including Albuquerque citizens, representatives and Biden himself, all showing support to keep New Mexico a Democratic state and encouraging New Mexicans to go out to the polls. One of the speakers included Deb Haaland, the U.S. Secretary of the Interior, who urged those at the event to encourage others to vote.
On Friday, Oct. 28, Scribendi magazine’s 2022 edition was honored as one of 19 winners of the 2022 Pacemaker Award by the Associated Collegiate Press out of 45 finalists. Student magazines nationwide apply for this award, with 45 being named as finalists, according to the ACP. Scribendi is a literary arts magazine published out of the University of New Mexico’s Honors College. It is designed and created by honors students and accepts submissions from honors programs across the U.S.
Mentors, colleagues and friends honored the life of graduate student Muhammad Afzaal Hussain at a vigil on Friday Oct. 28 in Kiva Hall at the University of New Mexico. The vigil comes after Hussain was killed in August of this year. On the night of Aug. 1, 2022, while taking his evening walk, Afzaal Hussain was shot near his apartment in Albuquerque by Cornell and Garfield Avenues. This event happened five days after the passing of Aftab Hussein, 41, by the hand of Muhammed Syed, 51, who the Albuquerque Police Department has since charged for the murder of both men.
The Associated Students at the University of New Mexico commended retiring professor Peter Kierst during their full senate meeting on Wednesday, Oct 26. The senate also filled a vacant seat, approving Kareem Al Bayraqdar as the newest senator. The senate unanimously passed a commendation officially honoring Kierst, a political science professor, for his accomplishments at UNM and in New Mexico. Kierst will retire at the end of this semester after 17 years of being a full-time faculty member, according to the commendation. Kierst is known on campus for his law-focused political science courses and known statewide as the lead counsel in the litigation that saw same-sex marriage legalized in New Mexico, according to senator Jesus Sanchez.
On Tuesday, Oct. 25, Vice President Kamala Harris spoke in Keller Hall at the University of New Mexico about protecting reproductive rights. New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and chair of UNM’s department of obstetrics & gynecology, Dr. Eve Espey, also participated in the conversation. The talk at UNM comes as part of a series Harris has given around the United States about reproductive justice as the Biden-Harris administration began to speak out more heavily on reproductive rights after the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case was decided on June 24.
Early voting in the state of New Mexico is now in full swing ahead of Election Day on Nov. 8. This year, the ballot includes three state bonds and three constitutional amendments that voters will decide whether to approve or not approve.
On Thursday, Oct. 20th, non-violent protesters gathered outside the Student Union Building at The University of New Mexico to protest the Turning Point USA-sponsored speaking event “How Men Can Fight Fight For Life.” Riot police affiliated with the New Mexico State Police were eventually called in despite the gathering remaining nonviolent. Protesters faced physical force from police that resulted in bruising for some. Julie Bettencourt said she was bruised in the eye by the riot police while protesting that night. Anthony Wallace, acting president of Affordable Student Housing UNM, also told the Daily Lobo that multiple students present that night reported bruising to him and shared an image of bruising on the Instagram account he runs for ASHUNM.
Protesters gathered outside the Student Union Building at the University of New Mexico on Oct. 20 to protest “How Men Can Fight For Life,” a speaking event held jointly between conservative political organization Turning Point USA and UNM organization Students for Life. The event featured speaker Ian Haworth, a conservative and anti-abortion personality. Protesters were met by New Mexico State Police in riot gear, despite the protest remaining nonviolent throughout the night.
The Office of Native American Affairs in the city of Albuquerque, alongside support from other advocacy groups like the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center, will be hosting their Indigenous Housing Justice Summit at the Albuquerque Convention Center on Tuesday, Oct. 11. The summit will take place the day after Indigenous Peoples Day and seeks to address housing insecurity within Indigenous communities. Chenoa Bah Stilwell-Jensen, an organizer with the summit and a Communications and Journalism instructor at the University of New Mexico, said they were inspired to host the summit by voices throughout the Indigenous community and to address the ongoing housing crisis both in urban communities and traditional homelands — also known as reservation lands.
On Monday, Oct. 3rd, the Albuquerque City Council voted in favor of continued funding for safe outdoor spaces. The vote was to decide on an override of Mayor Tim Keller’s veto on an ordinance that would have reallocated the funds to supporting unhoused veterans. Safe outdoor spaces would be city-sanctioned locations of temporary occupancy for individuals who are experiencing homelessness to camp in tents or recreational vehicles. The spaces would include restrooms, showers and 24/7 security with monitored access. There also would be behavioral, mental and social support available, and all residents would need to be working toward finding housing, according to the City of Albuquerque.
On Thursday, Sept. 29, the Albuquerque Starbucks located off of Rio Grande Boulevard and Interstate 40 became the first location of the national coffee chain to unionize in New Mexico. The New Mexico Public Relations Board counted employee ballots ultimately siding in favor of unionizing in a 10-7 vote. Jacob Sherwood, a barista and lead organizer, said that they began the unionization process in May after having several issues with the company.
The Associated Students at the University of New Mexico senate passed measures to combat conflicts of interest this Wednesday, Sept. 29. They also approved over $43,000 of appropriations for student organizations. Student organizations may present an extraordinary funding request, known as an appropriation, to the senate finance committee, which makes cuts as deemed appropriate. The request then moves to the senate and, if passed, to the ASUNM president. Bills 4F and 6F passed unanimously while 5F passed 18 in favor and 1 against, with 19 senators present at the meeting.
One of the University of New Mexico residence halls, Santa Clara, experienced flooding on the first floor and basement during Sept. 17 and 18, causing disruption and concern for residents in the building. For some, the incident itself and response from UNM Residence Life and Student Housing highlighted a larger issue of vandalism in the hall that has led to frustrated students.
On Sept. 22-24, 18 acts from five continents gathered at the National Hispanic Cultural Center to perform at the “biggest party in the Southwest:” ¡Globalquerque!. The cross-genre global music festival has come back for its 18th year on a larger scale than ever before, according to festival founder Tom Frouge. ¡Globalquerque! was founded by Frouge and is produced under the nonprofit Avokado Artists, which seeks to promote cross-cultural understanding through the arts. To him, ¡Globalquerque! is the “physical manifestation” of the mission of Avokado Artists
The University of New Mexico Leaders for Environmental Action and Foresight held a global climate strike on Friday, Sept. 24 in front of the UNM Bookstore urging UNM to divest from fossil fuels and take action to combat climate change. Presenters also specifically highlighted the need for intersectionality in the climate justice movement.
As part of the University of New Mexico’s honoring of National Campus Safety Awareness Month, the UNM Women’s Resource Center hosted a safety planning workshop for students on Saturday, Sept. 22. The workshop was one of various campus’ events designated for UNM’s safety week which included the Seventh Annual Safety Walk, naloxone and fentanyl testing strip training, “When Disaster Strikes: Emergency Response on Campus” (Chalk Talk) and more.
Since protesters gathered at the Student Union Building on Sept. 15, the University of New Mexico has released a statement condemning actions made that night that caused speaker Tomi Lahren to leave early. The Daily Lobo spoke to 11 protesters — nine UNM students and two non-students — about their experiences that night, reinforcing that those protesting remained nonviolent. The protest was in opposition to the Turning Point-sponsored event “Talking with Tomi” that was held inside of SUB Ballroom B featuring speaker Tomi Lahren, a Conservative commentator. Protesters gathered outside and inside the SUB, chanting and speaking against the racist and hateful rhetoric Lahren has spread in the past.
With online dating more popular than ever, the queer population has been particularly piqued in interest by the allure of meeting digital strangers. In 2020, 55% of lesbian, gay and bisexual people surveyed reported using dating apps at some point in time: about twice the rate of straight populations, according to a study from the Pew Research Center. Still, many members of the LGBTQ+ community on dating apps struggle to make meaningful connections over the internet. One of the primary issues is the sheer difficulty in getting past the small talk phase, according to Amethyst Gallegos, a student at the University of New Mexico.