It was the summer of 2014. Karmeshia Gray was studying biology, with plans to become a doctor. The next step in that pursuit was applying for a job at UNM Hospital. But what began as a drive to get some experience for a career became a physical ordeal, a mental struggle and now, three years later, a story of motivation and strength. Gray was diagnosed in the summer of 2014 with tuberculosis, after an adverse reaction to an immunization caused a dormant form of the disease in her body to become active. She was in the process of getting all the required shots to work at UNMH, but the diagnosis turned her into a hospital patient instead of an employee.
Two weeks before the end of his term as Associated Students of UNM President, Kyle Biederwolf has a spotless desk. He’s wearing his characteristic cheery demeanor and an ASUNM T-shirt with a shade of red that almost blends him into the similarly-colored wall behind him. His suit jacket is draped over his chair. A year after being elected to his office, Biederwolf looks like he’s without battle scars, but anyone who’s been paying attention knows too much has happened — and continues to unfold — at the University for that to be the case. “One week, six days, 23 hours and 55 minutes,” is exactly how much longer Biederwolf said he has as president on the cold, rainy afternoon when I met him in his ASUNM office. It’s a humorous gesture more than a signal of someone who hasn’t appreciated the opportunity to serve as President, having also served two terms as ASUNM Senator.
On Tuesday, Associated Students of UNM President Kyle Biederwolf joined the student body presidents of five other New Mexico institutions to condemn the recent veto of higher ed funding for next year by Gov. Susana Martinez. “We firmly believe that access to higher education is more important than ever in New Mexico. We need to be investing in bright and innovative minds to tackle our state’s challenges,” the statement reads. “We are disappointed in those elected to serve us, as they have allowed such a critical issue to be caught in the middle of partisan political crossfire. Martinez chose to strike funding for UNM and other colleges across the state earlier this month, in an act of defiance against what she called a “wasted” 60-day session by New Mexico legislators.
On Wednesday, the ASUNM Senate will deliberate over its spring budget bill, which reflects the campus-wide financial strain on UNM as well as a continued trend of ASUNM and its related entities receiving the vast amount of student fees up for grabs. The Finance Committee, which proposes the budget each semester, recommended $689,652 total to be allocated to student groups and organizations, from $690,000 that was available from student fees. That number is right in line with the last two years, when around $691,000 was allocated to groups by ASUNM. Also, as with the last two years, Finance Committee members were forced to make cuts — at times drastic ones — across the board from what groups were requesting. Student groups were requesting about $1.14 million in funds, 165 percent more than the amount that was eventually allocated.
Junior economics major Noah Brooks never saw his ASUNM experience as a way to build a politically-centered resume. He simply wants to advocate for students in a way that is fair and comprehensive. That passion has now led him to be one of four candidates running for ASUNM president for the 2017-18 academic year. “Politics comes along with the connotation that there are different sides of the aisle,” Brooks said. “In student advocacy there is only one goal, and that is to make sure every student on campus is represented.”
Election season for the Associated Students of UNM is in full swing, with early voting for the next ASUNM president and vice president taking place on Thursday. Election Day is March 29, while senatorial elections will be held in a few weeks. The Daily Lobo reached out to the four presidential candidates on the ballot to find out what their priorities would be, if elected, as well as their previous ASUNM experience and their thoughts on UNM's current weaknesses and areas of improvement.
FBI director expected to provide answers on Russia, wiretapping allegations Fox News reports that amid a House investigation looking into potential Russian activities and involvement during the polarizing 2016 presidential election, FBI Director James Comey is set to testify on Monday. It is expected that Comey will provide at least some answers on Russian ties to the election, as well as the wiretapping allegations made by President Donald Trump.
Elections to select the next president and vice president of the Associated Students of UNM are fast approaching, and for the first time in at least 12 years, the undergraduate student population will have their pick of four candidates at each position to represent them. Monday was the deadline for students to officially file for candidacy, and besides the slightly higher number of prospective ASUNM leaders, there is also a wealth of experience across the board. Among those running for 2017-18 ASUNM president: Sen. Noah Brooks, Sen. Elena Garcia, former senator and current Lobo Spirit Executive Director Justin Cooper, and ASUNM Communications Director Gabe Gallegos.
Trump rolls out new anti-immigration policies New immigration enforcement procedures announced by the Trump administration this week show that Trump plans to be more aggressive when it comes to detaining and deporting those who are in the U.S. illegally, according to the New York Times. Among the provisions outlined by the Department of Homeland Security, the administrations seeks to, among other things, “publicize crimes by undocumented immigrants, enlist local police officers as enforcers, erect new detention facilities and speed up deportations,” according to the Times.
If “Lion” was a work of complete fiction, there’s no doubt it would invite skepticism over its unbelievable plot. The fact that this – a story about an Indian boy, Saroo, losing his family and finding them again decades later as a grown man – is a true story is astounding enough in its own right. But Garth Davis doesn’t simply rely on immense emotional appeal for his feature directorial debut. He works to make the climax as satisfying as possible, via two hours of compelling and superbly-written narrative that certainly earns its place in the Best Picture race. Chief among the things that elevate “Lion” from good to great is the decision to make the story linear, when it could have been told through flashbacks that would have detracted from its magnitude.
A rally attendee waves an anti-Hillary Clinton sign at the rally in which Bernie Sanders campaigned for the Democratic presidential nominee at UNM on Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016. Other anti-Clinton proponents and third-party supporters watched and made outspoken comments of their own outside the SUB.