The Associated Students at the University of New Mexico made their first deposit to the ASUNM Quasi Endowment Fund at the most recent full Senate meeting on Nov. 29. Student Regent Randy Ko appeared as guest speaker, discussing student access to basic needs throughout his appearance. Recently established this fall semester through Bill 6F during ASUNM’s Sept. 13 full Senate meeting, the ASUNM Quasi Endowment Fund will be a source of funding for the ASUNM senate. “Hopefully we will get to a point where the interest accrues to create scholarships and set ASUNM up for financial success,” President Krystah Pacheco said during ASUNM’s Sept. 13 Full Senate meeting.
As New Mexico United continues its search for a permanent home to host games, surrounding businesses and homeowners look towards the incoming crowds and form their gameplan. Currently, the City hopes to lease seven acres of land at Balloon Fiesta Park where New Mexico United would be able to build their stadium. The stadium itself would be funded privately and the team would be required to put down $30 million for it to be built, according to the City’s website. Jeff Jinnett, owner of the brewery La Reforma, spoke about his excitement surrounding the possibility of a new stadium.
Last week, Associated Students at the University of New Mexico held its fall elections with a total of 308 student votes cast. The results included the passing of Constitutional Amendment 1. The amendment “amends Article VII, Sec. 2 and 3 combining the Spring Senatorial elections with the President/Vice presidential elections,” as stated on the ballot. The final vote was 168 for, 66 against, 70 abstaining. The change in the amendment was originally presented during ASUNM’s full Senate meetings earlier this semester via bills 9F and 10F. These two bills would have worked together to amend Article VII Sec. 2 and 3. Both bills failed the Senate’s roll-call vote 6-14-0-0.
The Associated Students at the University of New Mexico passed the previously tabled Bill 19F during the Nov. 8 full Senate meeting. Bill 19F will place restrictions on senators when submitting appropriations and was originally tabled at the end of the Oct. 25 full Senate meeting. After the initial tabling and further discussion at the most recent meeting, the bill passed with a final vote of 12-2-4-2 (yes-no-abstain-absent). The bill itself will prohibit senators from having their names listed on appropriations for non-ASUNM organizations that are submitted to the student government.
The Vice President of Student Affairs, Eric Scott, appeared as a guest speaker at the most recent Associated Students at the University of New Mexico full Senate meeting. Scott addressed ASUNM through a presentation speaking the on Student Affairs’ mission and took more specific questions from senators regarding the Lobo Pantry. Scott brought up the possibility of needs testing for access to the pantry. The Student Affairs mission is, “creating infrastructure so that no matter who you are, and no matter where you’re coming from, you have the opportunity to be successful at the University,” Scott said.
With City Council elections around the corner, incumbent Isaac Benton will not be running for re-election and District 2 will welcome a new councilor to assume the role. District 2 is the City Center district. It includes Downtown, Old Town, and the valley east of the Rio Grande. District 2 also holds the highest number of homeless shelters of any other district in Albuquerque, according to a map released by The Family and Community Services Department. A common issue all three candidates share as a focus of their campaigns is how to address the size of the unhoused population in the City.
As COVID-19 impacted the food industry due to restrictions on in-person dining, a total of 5.5 million restaurant jobs were lost by April 2020. Matt Bernabe, who just opened doors at “Urban Hotdog Company” a year ago in Nob HIll, sought to give back to the Albuquerque community and the industry workers who faced unemployment in the form of “Project 86’d.” Leveraging one of his food trucks, Bernabe and his staff set out with the goal of giving away food to industry workers who were left without a job due the pandemic.
Mayor Keller presented future city plans and developments to the ASUNM Senate – offering information regarding Albuquerque’s unhoused population, mentioning shelter and treatment but not addressing permanent housing solutions. Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller appeared as a guest speaker at Associated Students at the University of New Mexico’s recent full Senate meeting on Oct. 11. The Gateway Center aims to be Albuquerque’s answer to fill the need for a 24/7 shelter and treatment facility. The facility is currently under work to take over the old Gibson Medical Center located near the intersection of San Mateo and Gibson and is planned to open in stages. “In the Gateway, this winter we’re expecting to open up a sobering center and a medical triage facility,” Keller said. Based on a feasibility report done for the sobering center, the initial staffing required would be 22 individuals, 15 being clinical staff.
Stress, anxiety and an existential crisis or two – feelings that college students are all too familiar with, Traye Holland said – a workshop leader and Mental Health Trainer & Development Specialist for Student Health and Counseling. As midterms approach, these feelings come crashing through campus once more. To combat these concerns, SHAC offers a free mental health workshop to students called “Surviving Midterms.” The workshop is “designed to teach students study skills and self-care tips,” according to their webpage. SHAC will continue to host free mental health workshops throughout the semester covering similar topics.