ASNMSU Senate hears remarks from President Madrid and Chancellor Arvizu, approves student club appropriations

Ernesto Cisneros

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Ernesto Cisneros

ASNMSU President Matthew Madrid during the Feb. 3 Senate meeting held on Zoom.

The 65th Senate of the Associated Students of New Mexico State University convened over Zoom due to the inclement weather on Feb. 3. Various student club appropriations were approved while ASNMSU President Matthew Madrid gave his state of the association address and Chancellor Dan Arvizu gave administration updates.   

Madrid delivered his state of the association address to Senate where he highlighted the accomplishments of the 2021 fall semester and celebrated the direction of the organization in response to its handling of the on-going COVID-19 pandemic.  

“Clearly COVID-19 has posed its challenges and through the 2020-2021 school year, we did I think a pretty good job of facing those head on and making some strides in terms of progress and improvement,” Madrid said. “I think I can speak for everybody when I say that ASNMSU is still very resilient in taking those challenges on and addressing them so that we can be an effective student government for our body.”  

During the fall semester, ASNMSU held more in-person events for the first time since the start of the pandemic. Keep State Great “was met with good enthusiasm” while the Kick-Back concert welcomed nearly 600 students in attendance. The growth of the Instagram platform was also being highlighted with the account officially surpassing 4,000 followers.   

“The current state of ASNMSU is that of progress. It is not all the progress that we need or that I may not have liked to have seen so far, but it is progress nonetheless and it’s progress that we should be proud of but as we move forward and as the spring semester kind of is thrusted upon us, I challenge each and every one of you in this Zoom room again to think about what you’re doing to improve the university not just for yourself, but for all your fellow Aggies that you represent.” — ASNMSU President Matthew Madrid

When it came down to Senate, Madrid emphasized how “there has been incredible pieces of landmark legislation” passed, giving record amounts of allocations to student organizations such as the NMSU Wind Symphony and the NMSU Esports team. He also thanked the ASNMSU Supreme Court for their work in handling the rise in parking appeals and their efforts to implement the It’s On Us Campaign.  

His optimism for this semester could not be held back and was shared by Chancellor Arvizu who echoed the same sentiment in his remarks to Senate.  

Among the topics Arvizu discussed, a few that stood out were the recent changes in organizational leadership and the findings of the independent audit which examined the allegations of nepotism and misappropriations as suggested by Faculty Senate last semester.  

“I was always a bit concerned that we had too quickly led to conclusions about what was accurate or not accurate,” Arvizu said. “Most of the allegations by the independent third-party auditor that the Regents commissioned found that those allegations were unsubstantiated.”  

NMSU Chancellor Dan Arvizu during the Zoom meeting of the ASNMSU Senate (Ernes)

One thing the audit did identify was deficiencies and a poor relationship between the administration and faculty, Arvizu noted. He went on to state that the administration is committed to improving that relationship, especially with the new organizational layout.  

“What I hope you will see is that there’s a little bit of a different tone at the top, we are committed to the success of this institution, we’re committed to a healthy and productive, constructive leadership between the administration and the faculty,” Arvizu said.  

Arvizu concluded by saying these changes will move the university forward in a positive direction.  

After Madrid and Arvizu gave their remarks, Senate delved right into passing legislation. Sub Bills 58 and 80 were passed, along with a few others.  

Sub Bill 58, sponsored by Sen. Andrew Pantoja, will reimburse $24,000 to the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers for past conference travel expenses while Sub Bill 80, sponsored by Sen. David De La Cruz, will give $11,000 to the NMSU Model United Nations team to attend their conference in New York this spring.  

The next Senate meeting will be held Feb. 17. An important resolution regarding meal plans for first-year students is anticipated to be discussed 

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