ASUNM: The unheard voice of UNM students

David Conway is in his third year serving with Associated Students of the University of New Mexico and is currently a lobby director with the organization. “I didn’t want to get involved at all and got pulled in,” he said. His sophomore year he won an outstanding senator award which was voted on by his peers. Like many UNM students, Conway commutes to school. “Being a commuter campus makes it feel like not much a community … ASUNM needs to be the driving force to stop that.” As a senator, Conway has dealt with students either not knowing or not caring about ASUNM. “We have to find ways to build community on this campus and that’s going to fight the apathy.”

One of the biggest things that ASUNM does as an organization is deciding how to spend student fees. “The ASUNM president is in charge of the Student Fee Review Board. It makes a pretty big recommendation to the president of the University and the Board of Regents on how much student fees should be charged and how they should be allocated.” That’s only the president’s part. The rest of the administration and senators serve on many different committees that work closely with UNM administration and help make key decisions that affect students. Conway served on a selection committee for new housing which chose the group American Campus Communities who plan to build dorms on south and main campuses. Members of ASUNM also meet with students from other student-ran organizations and talk to them about what they need. Conway met with students from EcoReps, a campus organization who is trying to promote sustainability and have students in the dorms live out sustainability as an example to the entire campus. Conway said, “EcoReps pointed that are an easy fix for ASUNM (financially).” One of the biggest goals of ASUNM is to help student organizations. “Not giving back to it (the University) would be an absolute crime; I’ve learned so much.”

On the surface, it seems like there are not a lot of candidates for ASUNM positions and that by having such a small pool to draw from, it would be automatic as far as who runs. But Conway said, “It’s very competitive and I’ve seen it get more competitive as we’ve gone along and I think it’s because of the quality of leaders.” There are about 30 students running in the upcoming elections in April. “It takes a lot of time and energy and there are a lot of students who want to do it despite a lot of the hardships; that’s what I love about this University.”

When students who aren’t involved say that they don’t care about campus politics, Conway says “Neither do I. I couldn’t care less about campus politics; it’s about serving the students. The minute it’s about politics is (when you need to get out).” ASUNM  aims to be the voice of the students. “There needs to be a connection you need to be able to feel pride for your university.”

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One thought on “ASUNM: The unheard voice of UNM students

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention ASUNM: The unheard voice of UNM students « Bailey Griffith -- Topsy.com

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