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GPSA passes resolution in support of United Grad Workers

The Graduate and Professional Student Association of the University of New Mexico showed their support for the United Graduate Workers of UNM through a joint resolution, which was adopted on Saturday, Oct. 29. Joint Resolution 1F advises UNM to tackle various issues that affect graduate students at UNM and are still in negotiation between the Union and the University. “For us, this means that we want to uplift the voices of our constituents. I believe as a minority-serving R1 institution, we carry a shared responsibility to support marginalized demographics in pursuit of Higher Education,” Shaikh Ahmad, GPSA president, said.

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UNM professor presents data on arrests of unhoused individuals in Albuquerque

The evening of Thursday, Nov. 17, Professor Ernesto Longa, a University of New Mexico law librarian, discussed the data he collected surrounding the frequency and circumstances of the arrests of unhoused individuals in Albuquerque. Dozens of community members gathered in the Student Union Building for a lecture held by Salt of the Earth School, in tandem with Students for Socialism. “The statistical summary and key points provided today are based on an inspection of nearly 2,000 misdemeanor felony cases which were filed against 867 unhoused individuals in 2020,” Longa said.


Students weigh in on social media’s impact on midterm elections

Social media became a point of high contention during the recent election, according to the Santa Fe New Mexican, The Daily Lobo talked to three students at the University of New Mexico and they all agreed that while not personally influencing their vote, it did impact the election, mainly leading to a disinterest in politics and a negative impact on their mental health. Brandon Montoya said social media did not influence his vote because of his preexisting knowledge of politics, but that he did believe it  could have influenced people who were undecided or less informed.

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UNM alumni presents a new approach to journalism at UNM

On Wednesday, Nov. 16, Gail Rosenblum, a journalist and alumnus of the University of New Mexico, visited the communications and journalism department to talk about a new form of journalism — solutions journalism — that Rosenblum has been incorporating in her work.  Rosenblum is currently the editor of the weekly “Inspired” section in the Minneapolis Star Tribune where she aims to focus on the hope, optimism and solution stories, according to The Loft. Solutions journalism is a way of approaching the news by focusing on the responses to social issues as well as the problems themselves. The topics can range from racial equity to climate change, according to Medium.

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Grad worker’s union pickets for better health insurance, higher wages

On Tuesday, Nov. 15, the United Graduate Workers of the University of New Mexico held a picket starting at the intersection of Las Lomas Road and Yale Boulevard in front of Dane Smith Hall at UNM and then marched to spread petitions across Scholes Hall. The Union called for the University to come to an agreement by their last scheduled bargaining meeting on Dec. 7 so they can finalize a contract. The Union has been at the bargaining table with the University since early May 2022. After recent bargaining sessions, the Union is working toward better healthcare coverage, raises and coverage of parking costs, among other topics.

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City Council: Tensions high over deferred proposal to end zero fare

On Monday, Nov. 7, the Albuquerque City Council unanimously deferred an ordinance which would end the current zero-fare bus program and replace it with a bus pass model. The ordinance will be heard again on Monday, Dec. 5. The proposed free bus pass model would require those who wish to ride on Albuquerque transit to present a photo ID or free bus pass with tracking information on it. Application for the free pass would also require photo ID, with a nonrenewable 30-day pass available to those without a photo ID. The new fare would be set at $1 for buses and $2 for the Sun Van Paratransit Service for those who do not or cannot obtain the bus pass.

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Raúl Torrez wins attorney general for New Mexico

Raúl Torrez will serve as the 32nd attorney general of New Mexico. Torrez defeated opponent Jermey Micheal Gay during the 2022 midterm elections. The attorney general is in charge of “enforcement of consumer protection and antitrust laws, prosecution of criminal appeals and some complex white-collar crimes, training, and certification of peace officers, and most natural resource and environmental matters,” according to the New Mexico attorney general website. Torrez was absent from the New Mexico Democratic Watch Party due to illness, but Taylor Bui, his campaign manager, was there representing him.

GALLERY: Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham reelected

Michelle Lujan Grisham reelected as NM governor

On Tuesday, Nov. 8, Michelle Lujan Grisham was elected for her second term as governor of New Mexico, beating out Republican opponent Mark Ronchetti with 52% of the vote. “We never forget who we are and we don’t turn our backs on people who are different from us. Tonight, I am so proud of New Mexico,” Lujan Grisham said. The governor race pitted incumbent Lujan Grisham against former network television meteorologist Ronchetti; he ran unsuccessfully for Senate in 2020, coming within six percentage points against Democratic candidate Ben Ray Lujan. 

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Maggie Toulouse Oliver reelected as secretary of state

On Tuesday, Nov. 8, midterms dawned on New Mexico, and Democratic candidate Maggie Toulouse Oliver emerged victorious in the 2022 secretary of state race over Republican opponent Audrey Mendonca-Trujillo. Toulouse Oliver has served as the secretary of state since 2016; this will be her second term. Toulouse Oliver was unable to be in person at the event due to her duties as the current secretary of state. However, her campaign manager Dylan McArthur was there to represent her.

GALLERY: Melanie Stansbury reelected

Melanie Stansbury wins race for New Mexico’s 1st Congressional District

On Nov. 8, Democratic candidate Melanie Stansbury was reelected to serve in New Mexico’s 1st Congressional District, beating her opponent, Republican Michelle Garcia Holmes. The 1st District serves the central area of New Mexico, including most of Bernalillo County, all of Torrance County, parts of Sandoval, Santa Fe and Valencia counties, and most of Albuquerque. This makes it the largest congressional district in New Mexico. At the New Mexican Democratic watch party at The Clyde Hotel, Stansbury celebrated her win and gave a speech for her supporters and fellow Democrats.

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Stephanie Garcia Richard to continue on as NM public lands commissioner

Democratic incumbent Stephanie Garcia Richard was reelected as New Mexico's commissioner of public lands. Garcia Richard was up against Republican Jefferson Bryd and Independent write-in Larry Marker. Garcia Richard was the first woman to hold the position and oversaw the growth of the budget during her last term, acording to Garcia Richard’s website. She pushed for the use of solar and wind for energy, and she has served in the New Mexico House of Representatives for District 43, before becoming the public lands commissioner. At the Democratic watch party in Albuquerque, Garcia Richard addressed the crowd before her race was called. She spoke about the public lands office's achievements and her excitement for Democrats in the state.

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GO bond 3 passes, securing $89.2 million for capital projects at UNM

On Tuesday, Nov. 8, general obligations bond 3, providing $215,986,000 toward higher education in New Mexico, passed with 61% of the vote. This money will be distributed among colleges, universities, specialty schools and tribal institutions across the state, with $89.2 million going to the University of New Mexico. With the money, UNM’s two main projects are the creation of a new children’s psychiatric center at the UNM Health Sciences Center and a new center for the arts — dubbed the Center for Collaborative Arts and Technology — on main campus. They also plan to make infrastructural improvements to the four branch campuses in Valencia, Gallup, Taos and Los Alamos, according to UNM spokesperson Cinnamon Blair.

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PREVIEW: District 18 state house candidates on upcoming elections

The state House of Representatives seat for District 18, in which the University of New Mexico resides, is up for election this November. The two candidates vying for the seat are incumbent Gill Chasey (D), and opponent Scott Cannon (R). The Daily Lobo reached out to both candidates: Chasey agreed to an interview, but Cannon refused to comment after multiple attempts to contact him. Cannon is a small business owner in the fire sprinkler systems trade and according to his campaign website, he supports lower government spending and support for small business owners.

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Environmentalists vote for a cleaner future

After a summer of wildfires — one of which was the largest in New Mexico’s state history, burning 341,735 acres of land — and the Rio Grande becoming dry for the first time in 40 years, the environment remains a point of conversation amongst candidates as election day approaches. Mona Blaber, the communications coordinator for the Sierra Club, a nonpartisan environmental advocacy group, and Kineo Memmer, the director of communications and outreach for the University of New Mexico’s Leaders for Environmental Action and Foresight, both emphasized the importance of these environmental issues and how they are showing up on the ballot on Tuesday, Nov. 8th.

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UNM students highlight vote-determining issues in midterm elections

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.

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GO bond 3 puts $215 million in higher education funding up for vote

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.

GALLERY: President Joe Biden visits Albuquerque in support of Campaigns for New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham

President Joe Biden visits Albuquerque in support of Michelle Lujan Grisham

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.

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UNM student publication Scribendi awarded Pacemaker Award

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.

GALLERY: Vigil for Muhammad Afzaal Hussain

Vigil held to honor former GPSA president Muhammad Afzaal Hussain

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.


ASUNM senate honors retiring professor, approves new senator

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.

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