ASNMSU Senate funds Men of Color holiday event, adds funds to its emergency budget


Leah De La Torre

College of Engineering Senator Eric Gauthier expresses his views on Bill 136 during Thursday’s senate meeting on Nov. 10, 2022, in Domenici Hall.

The Associated Students of New Mexico State University passed two bills Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022, regarding the emergency fund budget and the Men of Color holiday event.

Bill 136, sponsored by Senator Sheldon DeLara, asked senate to allocate $60,000 of the contingency funds to the emergency funds.  The emergency fund has helped over 500 students since 2020, according to ASNMSU President Garett Moseley and is predicted to help many more.

Moseley said that the emergency funds were first founded during COVID-19 because that’s when financial hardship started to increase for many students. Moseley added that the students applying for the emergency fund are the ones most at risk for dropping out of college.

“We have students enrolling in our university coming from demographics who have never come to college before.  These are some of the most at-risk populations within our state where people are coming to college for the first time,” Moseley said.

Moseley listed a few of the common reasons that students apply for the emergency funds; risk of home eviction, food insecurity or student balances being too high to register for the next semester.

“It’s very imperative that we help these students because those are the students that are going to be homeless, those are the students that don’t know what they’re going to eat tomorrow, those are the students facing emergency situations,” Moseley said.

Senator Victoria Sandoval said that even though taking away the contingency funds for the next semester may make things harder for senate, the money would be important for the emergency funds.

“When it comes down to funding a conference or competition, I think it’s easier to ask your constituents to spend a bit more money on registration than it is to ask someone to try and figure out how to pay for their groceries or rent,” Sandoval said. 

Senator Annette Pettes said that it is worth it to transfer some of the contingency funds to the emergency funds because of its impact in funding the students that makeup student organizations..

“I believe our priority should be funding students to stay enrolled in classes before we consider funding other students to go out to attend conferences,” Pettes said.  “Of course, we love supporting students [who are attending] conferences, but it’s much more [important] that we support students staying enrolled in classes.”

Bill 117, sponsored by Senator Alicia Hicks, asked for $2,000 for the Home for the Holiday event, hosted by the Men of Color Initiative. The event will be held Nov. 23 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the Corbett Center Doña Ana Room. 

Hicks said that the event’s purpose is to give students a place to go for Thanksgiving if they cannot go home during the break.

“It’s just nice to have other people around for the holidays [so that you’re not] lonely and [the M.O.C Initiative] wanted to provide that for people,” Hicks said.  “We were able to get the money for them to do that for a second year and they’re expecting about 75 people this year.”

Hicks said that she thought it was extremely thoughtful of M.O.C. Initiative Advisor Patrick Turner to take time out of his own holiday for the students that might feel left out on Thanksgiving.

“It was important for me [to get this bill passed] because learning about it, I [realized] that they don’t have to host [this event].  I know a lot of students, even from student housing, that went and I’m sure that it helps the community come together more,” Hicks said.

Senator Adan Armijo speaks during Thursday’s senate meeting on Nov. 10, 2022. (Leah De La Torre)

Senator Adan Armijo shared his personal experience with having to stay at NMSU over Thanksgiving break. He said that it can be hard because you don’t really get to have the same break that most of the students get to have.

“Having a place for students to go and be involved in the community [over the break] is super important because it really does suck not having anywhere to go and having to stay super secluded on a holiday,” Armijo said.

Hicks added that this event will give many international students a place to go during the break and allow them to become more exposed to American culture.

“A lot of international students don’t know what Thanksgiving is and we were able to share this new thing with them, which is really exciting,” Hicks said.

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