NMSU community rallies in protest for removal of President and Provost


Xavier Dominguez

Virginia Phillips, an NMSU student protests outside Hadley Hall on Nov. 16.

Students and faculty marched in protest to Hadley Administration on Nov. 16 to voice their concerns about the leadership of New Mexico State University under current President John Floros and Provost Carol Parker, who is on administrative leave.    

The protest began at 3 p.m. on the Corbett Outdoor Stage. This comes after the approval of both NMSU Faculty Senate’s Proposition 4-21/22 and the Associated Students of New Mexico State University (ASNMSU) 65th Senate’s Resolution 12 which are a resolution/vote of no confidence in the President and Provost.  

“We are demanding accountability for everything outlined in both resolutions and we’re here to get the student bodies’ voices heard to tie it all together,” Garret Moseley, an ASNMSU Arts and Sciences (A&S) senator and protest organizer, said. 

Senator Garrett Moseley speaks at student protest on Nov. 16 about the removal of NMSU President John Floros and Provost Carol Parker. (Ernesto Cisneros)

Laura Laemmle, an ASNMSU A&S senator who helped organize the protest, went on stage to speak to the crowd prior to the protest.  

“This is the first step in making people realize that we’re upset and we’re realizing the fact that all of the issues that we’ve identified like poverty wages for grad students, like lack of funding for the libraries and lack of journal access. For an institution that is supposed to be increasing the amount of research that we do, all of those things we have connected to a failure in leadership,” Laemmle said.  

Protestors carried posters marked with the words ‘Fire Parker’ and ‘Fire Floros’ in red while chanting, “Hey hey, ho ho, Floros has to go,” leading down to the International Mall walkway.  

Cole Vetter, an ASNMSU A&S senator and NMSU Model United Nations president, stated that the administration has not listened nor responded adequately to student and faculty problems, which is what inspired them to protest.  

“It’s really important for this protest to showcase to the students that we are in full support behind them and their issues, because various groups of students have expressed grievances towards the administration and the faculty express those as well,” Vetter said.  

Professor Jamie Bronstein, a sponsor for Faculty Senate’s proposition, explained the importance of NMSU students being able to organize the protest.  

“[The students] had the idea of the protest. They organized it amongst themselves. They worked together with faculty members, graduate workers as well as the undergraduate students,” she said.  

Dr. Andrés Pérez-Rojas, a member of Faculty Senate, said both pieces of legislation “raise some important questions” about leadership in the university. 

“I think that they [NMSU administration] have a lot to answer to, my question would be whether they think they have been effective and to what degree they can come explain that to the students,” he said.  

Interim Director of Chicano Programs Judith Flores Carmona, who also sponsored the proposition, stated the protest is a “pivotal moment” for the university.  

“I think their concerns and their petition need to be listened to,” Flores Carmona said. “I hope that NMSU leadership realizes that students have a voice. Without them, we wouldn’t have a university.” 

Undergraduate students came to air out their frustrations in NMSU and its leadership.  

“Our infrastructure is crumbling, our washing machines aren’t working, there’s mold in our dormitories and there’s no proper lighting for nighttime,” NMSU Sophomore James Madrid said. “We need to see a major change because we are paying a good amount of money to be here.” 

Adam Ortiz, a junior at NMSU, joined the protest in support of the President’s removal.  

“I don’t know why our tuition has been raised when he’s [Floros] just giving our money away to personal friends, that doesn’t feel fair to me,” Ortiz said. 

Chancellor Dan Arvizu came out of Hadley Hall to speak to the protesters and answered questions related to their concerns. He acknowledged both resolutions from Faculty Senate and ASNMSU and stated that the administration is taking the allegations with serious intent.  

“I think there are issues that we [administration] need to address and we will do that, but you got to be patient with us. Because one thing is important, and that is having the due diligence and do the due process before we essentially decide what the remedies ought to be,” Arvizu said. “To actually understand what the problems are and if in fact those problems, as alleged, are accurate. Nobody wants to be proven guilty before you’ve had a chance to actually make your case.”  

He also stated the Board of Regents (BOR) are developing an “independent review” of the allegations in the resolutions and will be shared “when the time comes” which he claimed could happen in the next few weeks.  

“There’s a couple of things that I would say we can, will do, better and that is transparency so that you actually see what we’re doing,” Arvizu said. “So we’re actually talking to you on a regular basis, understanding those issues you have and we can respond to them in a very appropriate and constructive way.”  

When a student asked about the allegations of nepotism that are included in the Faculty Senate proposition, Arvizu said he was “not aware” of them.  

There were students who told Arvizu about the lack of journals for research purposes. While he said he can’t give “an exact thing of what is going to solve the problem,” he “guaranteed” it will be fixed and have an answer “before the end of the semester.”    

Moseley said he applauded Arvizu for coming out and having a discussion with them. He stated the next steps rely on what happens with the BOR.

“Like the chancellor said, the BOR will take a deep dive into all the claims inside the Faculty Senate resolution and investigate them,” Moseley said. “But our voices have been heard and they know where we stand.”

Ernesto Cisneros
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