The University of New Mexico has postponed all spring convocations indefinitely, including its graduation ceremony previously schedule for May 16. Monday's announcement is the latest in a series of closures and cancellations — including in-person classes and on-campus housing — to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. As of March 24, there were 100 positive cases of COVID-19 in New Mexico, including 43 recorded in the state's most densely populated county, Bernalillo. UNM President Garnett Stokes said she regretted the measure, but insisted it had to be done. "I know that some of these decisions, particularly those related to campus housing, commencement ceremonies and the transition to remote instruction, may cause anxiety, frustration and disappointment," Stokes said, adding a promise to continue sending out updates over email.
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This year’s race for president of the undergraduate student government is a decade in the making. Adam Biederwolf and Mohammad Assed, both raised in Albuquerque, have known each other since elementary school. Now, heading into what is likely to be their final two semesters of university, they are running against each other to represent the undergraduates as President of the Associated Students of the University of New Mexico. The President is elected by a plurality of main campus undergraduates and comes with a $10,000 per semester salary and a scholarship for two semesters. According to the ASUNM constitution, the ASUNM President is responsible for the eight student service agencies of ASUNM, (this coming year) co-chairing the Student Fee Review Board, representing the undergraduate student body to the Board of Regents and enforcing the ASUNM Senate laws.
The next Vice President of the Associated Students of the University of New Mexico will have been a Finance Committee Chair. That much is clear. Whether it will be current Finance Chair, Holly Gallegos, or last semester’s Finance Chair, Madelyn Lucas, will be decided by the undergraduate student body during the election, which runs from March 24-27. The ASUNM constitution describes the role as “the president of and preside over the Senate, and shall have no vote except in the event of a tie. “ The Vice President also appoints Senators to committee chairs along with assigning senators to one of the three committees. Like the president, the Vice President also comes with a salary and scholarship.
From left: Regent Rob Schwartz, President Garnett Stokes, Regent President Doug Brown, Regent Kimberly Sanchez Rael, Regent Sandra Begay, Student Regent Melissa Henry and UNMH Chancellor Paul Roth during the March 9, 2020 Board of Regents meeting. The Regents voted to increase tuition for all students.
Former ASUNM Sen. Xavier Torres speaking against the proposed fee rise on Feb. 12. 2020. Torres, who supported a similar legislative package last semester, said he felt ASUNM should focus on outreach to students before raising their fees.