The Independent Student Voice of NMSU Since 1907

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

Senate adjusts graduate funding indefinitely to offset future budget crisis

“ASNMSU is here for the students. Without them, there would be no ASNMSU, but to help the most students possible we have to be prudent when it comes to our generosity.”
Reed Black
The ASNMSU senate discussing a bill on Sept. 14, 2023. Photo contributions by David Castañeda.

The 67th Senate of the Associated Students of New Mexico State University began its September by revising the current process for graduate students seeking money to cover the cost of going to conferences.

In past semesters, graduate students seeking funds would approach the senate to cover the expensive cost of attending conferences, which are often a necessity to their degree plans. The senate would then help cover these costs and make it possible for more students to attend these conferences.

Aside from senate funding, graduate students also have the ability to approach the Graduate Student Council to receive funds for conference costs. With the passing of legislature on Sept. 14, 2023, senate will now require that students first go to the GSC before they can be eligible for funds.

Bill 3, sponsored by Sen. Alex Duran, enforced a legislative change to the bylaws of the senate. It stated that graduate students who seek financial assistance from the senate must first go to the GSC and obtain either a denial or approval before students are authorized to approach the senate.

“I vehemently disagree that Bill 3 was intended to push grad students away. It’s intended to help grad students get the most money available to them,” said Vice President Eddie Gallegos.

This bill also comes after a recent financial crisis ASNMSU experienced last year.

ASNMSU reportedly ran out of money last year, which caused numerous issues within the organization. In contrast with ASNMSU, the GSC had an excess budget of $14,000. Since the GSC is funded through the senate, there was tension between the two organizations, which peaked when senate contemplated slashing funding for the GSC.

“The current executive [board] of the graduate committee was able to fight for the committee’s funding and preserve the funding for another year, should a need for it be demonstrated,” Treasurer Haleigh Haven of the GSC said.

Bill 3 was just one option that senate considered in order to avoid a similar situation to last year.

Bill 41, sponsored by Sen. Abdul Elaksher, set a “glass ceiling” for senate when approving funds for graduate students. The bill explains that graduate students are recommended to receive only $1,000 for the whole academic year.

“With probable cause, students can receive more, but that is up to the discretion of ASNMSU’s senators and finance committee,” Gallegos said.

With the passing of both these bills, graduate students are eligible to receive $750 from the GSC, according to Haven. Students are then allowed to ask the senate for an additional $1,000, bringing their allotted total to $1,750 per academic year.

According to Gallegos, these steps have been taken in order to help prevent another financial crisis from happening. He expressed that the last thing ASNMSU wants to do is turn away students at the end of the year because they have no funds to give out.

“ASNMSU is here for the students, without them, there would be no ASNMSU, but to help the most students possible we have to be prudent when it comes to our generosity,” said Senator Majd Mawla.

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About the Contributor
Reed Black
Reed Black, Staff Writer
Reed Black is entering his first year at The Round Up as a staff writer and sports intern. This is his first year writing for a publication of any kind. He is currently a junior at New Mexico State University studying journalism and water and soil sciences. He’s from Los Alamos, New Mexico, and graduated from Los Alamos High School. Since graduating he has lived in St. Cloud, Minnesota, Alnwick, England, and Portales, New Mexico. In his free time, he enjoys spending time reading and catching up on Grey’s Anatomy. He also has a passion for films so you can always find him watching movies with his roommates.

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