For several years, it has been a dream of mine to visit South Korea. I was intrigued by the beauty of the country, the culture, the food, manners and the language. 

I didn't know if I would ever get the chance to visit, but earlier this year I learned about the University of New Mexico's association with Dongguk University and the international summer school they offered. I decided to just go for it and apply for the program, and somehow, a few months later, I've ended up in Seoul. 

Already, my stay has been filled with adventures, from getting lost and looking for my dormitory until 2 in the morning, to climbing the rooftops of 14-story buildings, to sharing homemade food with a friendly local church and to trying to communicate with people when we barely know each other's language.

I know this journey is going to be something I will never forget, and I am so grateful to have the opportunity to be here right now and to learn as much as I can on the other side of the world.

The idea of limpieza de sangre or being “pure blooded” is, simply put, outdated. 

In New Mexico, especially so in the northern part of the state, people subscribe heavily to their Spanish heritage, some even denounce any possibility that they could be part Native American. 

Limpieza de sangre dates back to early colonialism and was initially used as a way to create a social hierarchy, placing Natives at the bottom. 

Personally, I had the realization early on that I was not of “pure blood” and the reality is most nuevomexicanos aren’t either. Many who choose to identify solely with their Spanish heritage are a mix of Spanish, Indigenous and probably small amounts of other cultures as well. 

The Inspection of Public Records Act (IPRA) is a state law that provides the public with access to public information. As a part of New Mexico’s Sunshine Laws, citizens have the right to open access to state and local government information, with limited exceptions.

University of New Mexico students and other members of the community should feel encouraged to seek out public records information, as it allows us to keep a watchful eye over institutions and government entities. Full transparency between government and its citizens is not only important for those seeking out the information but also ensures governments are operating with honestly and with integrity. Keep ‘em accountable. 

At the Daily Lobo, we’re aiming to give the public the tools to best understand what’s happening at the University.

“Access to public records is one of the fundamental rights afforded to people in a democracy.”

This is the first sentence found within the introductory paragraph of the Inspection of Public Records Act (IPRA) compliance guide published by the office of the Attorney General for the State of New Mexico.

In an attempt to exercise this right, the Daily Lobo has actively requested many of these public documents as a recurring and crucial part of our reporting process. 

We published a story on Monday, June 23, where transparency advocates told the Daily Lobo that blanket redactions of letters between the Custodian’s Office and unknown requestors may have violated the law.

Column: Conference focuses on student residence life

Last weekend, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, between 2,000 and 2,500 college students congregated on the campus of Louisiana State University for the National Association of College and University Residence Halls Annual Conference. The NACURH Annual Conference focuses on student leadership within residence halls and offers as a place for students to develop as leaders to better serve their university. 

As the National Communications Coordinator for The University of New Mexico Residence Hall Association, I was able to experience the conference first-hand along with a delegation of nine other passionate student leaders and one incredible advisor. The conference presented us with many opportunities to find out who we are as leaders and how we could bring leadership skills back to Albuquerque to serve the residence community on UNM’s campus. 

Column: How seaweed could save the ocean from climate change

The late 1700s welcomed the Industrial Revolution, and while no one can undermine the importance of this cultural shift within every economic sector, it also planted the toxic seeds of humanity’s death. The enormous increase of production due to coal powered machines in the late 19th century, also enormously increased the amount of greenhouse gasses being released into the atmosphere.

Forward thinkers within the late 1800s started to notice, and document, changes seen within the climate, but it wasn’t until the 1950s that scientists saw an unusual increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Fast forward to today, an even a blind jester can see the effects of climate change. From the icecaps melting, to droughts intensifying, these events are new and undeniably caused by our own avarice of production resulting in pollution.

Column: ASUNM changes law based on hunches and assumptions

Last night, the Associated Students of the University of New Mexico voted to remove a law requiring them to advertise their elections in the Daily Lobo. The bill passed 13 to 6.

As editor-in-chief, I find the nature of the bill and the way it was introduced a little more than concerning. Frankly, the opinions expressed by those who supported this bill proved exactly why recent election turnouts have been at some of their lowest points ever. 

Firstly, one of the most baffling moments of the meeting came during a presentation Victoria Knight, Joint Council’s representative to ASUNM, made to the Full Senate. She said that President Becka Myers had asked the council how they would feel if they were in the Daily Lobo and this legislation was introduced?

Column: The root causes of homelessness

Early in the afternoon during the summer of 2017, 50-year-old Lou Molzhon was sleeping on a mattress under the Interstate 40 overpass at 12th Street. Described by friends and acquaintances as a kindhearted man who was quick to share a smoke, he had been living on the streets of Albuquerque for over a year.

Under the bridge downtown, Molzhon didn't give his life away — it was stolen from him. Police and witnesses say that two assailants soaked him in gasoline and set him on fire. Molzhon later died of his injuries at the University of New Mexico Hospital. His attackers have yet to be apprehended.

This is but a microcosm of the threats facing those experiencing homelessness in the United States, and the crisis is only getting worse. Homelessness has tripled in New York City since the turn of the century, according to the Coalition for the Homeless. A proposed homeless "navigation center" in an affluent waterfront neighborhood in San Francisco is facing immense backlash from residents, even as City Supervisor Aaron Peskin says the city's homelessness situation has reached a "boiling point".

Column: Mixed emotions about graduation

As I write this, in mid-April, amid allergy season, term paper season, and the middle of my athletics season, I probably feel a lot like you do — unreasonably tired and asking myself “am I getting sick or do I just need a Claritin?” So burnt out from schoolwork that I decided to pluck every weed from my mother’s lawn instead of writing my paper due this weekend. 

Also, like a good chunk of you, a thought that pervades through all of the stress and emotion is that of my looming graduation. 

A majority of you that are graduating this May absolutely cannot wait to do so. You’re posting senior photos, sending out graduation announcements and planning parties, anxiously and excitedly counting the days until you’re finally done. If you are one of these, congratulations. Your day is coming.

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