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NMSU Round Up

The Independent Student Voice of NMSU Since 1907

NMSU Round Up

The Independent Student Voice of NMSU Since 1907

NMSU Round Up

ASNMSU Senate welcomes new senators, strives to improve previous habits

Leah De La Torre
Newly appointed senators, Isabelle Diaz, Regina Rodella, and Jackson Williams raise their hands while taking oath during Thursday’s senate meeting on August 31, 2023.

The 67th Senate of the Associated Students of New Mexico State University convened for their second meeting of the Fall 2023 semester on Aug. 30, 2023. Beginning with a fresh start, the senate is ready to set regulations to avoid going over available semestral funds, while still representing the students of NMSU.  

“The [senate’s] approach to effectively implementing memorandums and precedents to prevent a financial crisis is a responsible measure,” said Sen. Anayancy Campos. “We want the senate chambers to be a safe and comfortable place for all senators to freely speak their minds and that is something I saw at this meeting.”  

New senators, parliamentarian 

The senate meeting kicked off by welcoming four new senators. Sens. Isabelle Diaz, Regina Rodella, Jackson Williams and Jawaher Banihani were all sworn in to serve on the senate. When moving to appoint the new parliamentarian, Williams and Sen. Elida Miller were nominated for the position.  

“The position of parliamentarian is to discuss all questions regarding Robert’s Rules of Order,” Vice President Eddie Gallegos said. “While the bylaws supersede Robert’s Rules of Order, we need a decorum and if there are any questions regarding motions on the floor or motions to be made, the parliamentarian would answer those questions.”  

ASNMSU Vice President Eddie Gallegos and Pro Tempore Victoria Sandoval talk together. Aug. 31, 2023.

Once the nominees accepted their nominations, Gallegos called for both candidates to showcase their merits for the position. After both candidates presented their speeches, the senate elected Williams as the new parliamentarian for his credentials of practicing Roberts’s Rules of Order for almost a decade. 

“I believe my colleagues nominated and appointed me to the position is due to my skill sets and professional attitude,” Williams said. “The role is vital to the functioning of the senate’s traditional procedures, as Robert’s Rules of Order ensures all opinions have an equal opportunity to be voiced on behalf of their constituents. Furthermore, the rules protect the legality and integrity of the legislative process in maintaining the public’s confidence in the senate itself. My job is to help ensure these invaluable procedures are followed to keep the legitimacy of the senate intact.” 

Senate passes all bills, except one 

A total of 10 bills were proposed at the meeting. While there was slight controversy over some of the bills, the floor did not hesitate in passing nine. However, senators became reluctant when Bill 19 was brought to the table.  

Bill 19, sponsored by Sen. Alex Duran, asked for an appropriation to the account of Friends of Doctors Without Borders to provide funding for a group of seven students planning to conduct humanitarian service in Lima, Peru from Nov. 19 through Nov. 25, 2023.  

The bill originally requested $5,600 for the airfare, registration and program fees. This bill raised concerns with senators regarding the accuracy of the bill due to outdated information. During the meeting, the number of students was adjusted to only four students, which decreased the request to $3,200.   

The change in funding was not the only issue, some of the documentation that was supposed to be sent in with Bill 19, was mistakenly sent in with Bill 42, a similar bill. This documentation issue and change of information led to Bill 19 being deemed illegal.  

Senator Jawaher Banihani gets sworn in by Chief Justice Rafael Loera. Aug. 23, 2023. (Leah De La Torre)


While the amount was reduced, there was still confusion about the legality of the bill. A heavy debate took the floor when Victoria Sandoval, president pro tempore, voiced her opinion.   

“If we’re confused, why not just refer it back to Credentials and Archives, especially since it doesn’t happen until November,” Sandoval said. “That way, we have more time to look into it. We are not the previous senate; we do not have to run off of their prerogative. This is a new setting, and it is our choice with how we choose to run it.”  

Campos and other senators agreed with Sandoval, which concluded in Bill 19 not passing and becoming tabled. While this disappointed Duran, he feels the senate needs to be a collective and be cautious in determining rulings.  

“It is never fun when your bill doesn’t pass, but it is totally up to the senate,” Duran said. “Bill 19 is still tabled, so we will be proceeding with Bill 42 for the same purpose. The senate is in a growing period. Everyone needs to be logistical about the decisions they are making, realizing we’re here for the students of NMSU and to speak for the constituents we’re representing.”  

Sandoval said she is content with the new senate and explained there will always be arguments but that is the purpose of discussion.  

“There is always something new that comes up. We do set precedents, which will help in the future, but things do come up and we will just do what we do best, we talk about it,” Sandoval said. “You know we fight with each other, we argue, because we are all fighting on behalf of the students we represent. Overall, it went well, and I think it’s just going to get better.”  

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About the Contributors
Elizabeth McCall, Staff Writer
Elizabeth McCall is entering her first year with The Round Up as a Staff Writer. She is a senior at NMSU majoring in Journalism & Media Studies with a minor in communications. She was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico but grew up in Edgewood, New Mexico. Elizabeth discovered her love for writing in middle school, when her love for reading evolved. She became interested in journalism in high school, and since then it has become a passion. She spends most of her time reading and writing, but also loves music, playing with her dog, hiking, and spending time with her husband, family and friends. Elizabeth hopes to make a positive impact at The Round Up and grow as a writer and journalist.
Leah De La Torre, Multimedia Specialist
Leah De La Torre is entering her second year at The Round Up as a multimedia specialist. She will be majoring in Journalism and Media Studies. She grew up in El Paso, Texas. De La Torre has been making videos with her family and friends since she was in elementary school, and her love for the camera continued through high school as she became a member of the video and broadcast team. There, not only did she learn more about photography and video making but gained an interest in journalism. Her other interests include playing the cello, sowing, and listening to her favorite music artists like Her’s and The Strokes. Working for The Round Up, she hopes to continue doing what she loves, being behind the camera and contributing to making and telling stories about her community.

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