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.
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.
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.
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.
Multiple students of color were denied entry at the Turning Point USA-sponsored “Talking With Tomi” event at the University of New Mexico Student Union Building’s Ballroom B on Thursday, Sept. 15. Students who were denied entry did have tickets but were turned away by Turning Point staff, according to Tyler Jacobs, one of the UNM students who was denied. Multiple witnesses at the event reported seeing students being denied entry. “Pretty much I was the first person of color to try to get in and then immediately after two white people came in and (the event organizers) said, ‘They look normal, they can go in’,” Jacobs said.
The Associated Students at the University of New Mexico granted over $16,000 to three student organizations during their full senate meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 14. The ASUNM senate sent three appropriations in total to the president’s desk while acknowledging that their budget for this semester is dwindling. “Our appropriation budget that we’re currently sitting at is roughly about $65,000 for the remainder of the semester,” Sofie Carillo, senator and finance committee chair, said. “I know for next week’s cycle we already have five appropriations submitted and one of them is up to $15,000 requested.”
The Associated Students at the University of New Mexico kicked off their first full senate meeting of the semester on Wednesday, Aug. 31. The meeting consisted of the passage of three bills, the appointment of a new senator and the approval of funding for a student organization. The first two bills, 1F and 2F, reduce the required open office hours to be held by senators from twice to once a week. Bill 2F would also add a weekly required visit to senators’ sponsored student organizations, with their total outreach hours increasing from 12 to 14 hour minimum.
Construction on the Student Residence Center stairwells has caused complaints from residents on the lack of advanced notice of the project and early morning noise pollution. The first stairwell repairs began on buildings D, F and G Dec. 20, 2021 and are scheduled to finish by May, according to project superintendent Manuel Jimenez of ESA Construction, the general contractor hired by UNM. The Board of Regents approved the three-phase repair project on Aug. 19, 2021 after an inspection found the stairwells to be “very deteriorated and in need of immediate attention for repair and replacement,” according to the Board’s meeting minutes from that day.
In over a year-long effort by the University of New Mexico to reconsider its racist building names, the next potential step forward is the formation of an academic team to write a formal report recommending the names to either be removed or not. The UNM Committee on Naming, which normally researches the honorees behind proposed building names, plans to suggest before August that President Garnett Stokes create the specialized panel to review and possibly recommend the renaming of campus buildings bearing the names of Spanish conquistadors.
The University of New Mexico’s Committee on Naming has reported to President Garnett Stokes that UNM should develop thorough criteria and an enduring, community-inclusive process for removing controversial names from campus buildings. After a counter-protester shot a man protesting the Juan de Oñate statue outside the Albuquerque Museum in June and the sign outside UNM’s Oñate Hall was vandalized, Stokes requested that the committee review the University’s building renaming policy. The committee reported their conclusions and recommendations in a memo sent to Stokes on Sept. 23. The committee reported their conclusions and recommendations in a memo sent to Stokes on Sept. 23.