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The Independent Student Voice of NMSU Since 1907

NMSU Round Up

The Independent Student Voice of NMSU Since 1907

NMSU Round Up

Senate tables bill on committee live streams, argues about excusals

The+ASNMSU+senate+raises+their+hands+to+vote+during+last+Thursday%E2%80%99s+meeting.+Jan.+25%2C+2024.
Leah De La Torre
The ASNMSU senate raises their hands to vote during last Thursday’s meeting. Jan. 25, 2024.

The 67th Senate of the Associated Students of New Mexico State University convened on Jan. 25 for a subdued start to a semester that senators expect to be busy. 

A third of the senators were at a conference in Santa Fe with student government officials from around the state. This created miscommunication between senators and slowed down the passings of some bills. But for the rest of the semester, senators hope to pass more reimbursement bills than they did last semester. 

Sen. Rahaf Ben Ali explained that the senate was cautious with their money last semester in order to avoid a situation like that experienced by the 66th Senate. 

“This semester was different because all of us were aware of what the previous senate had done,” Ben Ali said. 

Their financial responsibility has led them to have more money for the spring semester. Senators hope to use this money to support more students and organizations. 

“We’re going to be doing a lot more reimbursement bills this semester for sure… I’d say a lot of us feel like it was lacking [last semester]. There were a lot of comments saying we needed to start doing more reimbursements,” Sen. Kolby Thomas said. 

Senators dissent on excusals 

The Senate voted on a round of routine excusals for certain senators which allowed them to arrive late to meetings due to having class at the same time. The first excusal was met with opposition but once it passed, the others followed suit. 

ASNMSU senators stand to recite the Pledge of Allegiance at the beginning of their meeting on January 25, 2024. (Leah De La Torre)

Some senators still feel that the those excused should step down because missing part of every meeting would leave them uninformed about what’s going on. 

“I would really rather it be somebody who’s more aware of what is happening and them being late to all of [the meetings] felt weird,” Ben Ali said. 

However, others say they understand the need for Senators to put their education first and pointed out that excusals of this kind were made last semester as well. 

“It’s understandable. We did the same excusals last semester for two students. That excusal was very just because at the end of the day [they’re] students,” Taylor said. 

Bill 95 tabled 

Bill 95, concerning a law book change that would require committees to livestream their meetings, was tabled per the author, Ben Ali’s request. 

The bill was written to help senators who are graduate students and have schedules that don’t allow them to attend every committee. Having committees livestream their meetings would allow the senators to catch up on what they missed. 

“They really wanted transparency since a lot of them can not come to committee meetings and by the time the come to Senate meetings, the bills are very different,” Ben Ali said. 

Putting committee meetings on livestream would also be in accordance with the Open Meetings Act in New Mexico, which requires that government actions be open for public viewing. 

“It is according to state law. That is a state law that all committee meetings and senate meetings need to be streamed,” Taylor said. 

However, Ben Ali decided to table the Bill for now. She cited miscommunication between her, public relations, and other senators

Senator Ala Alhalholy stands to voice her thoughts to the ASNMSU senate. Jan. 25, 2024. (Leah De La Torre)

as her reasoning. 

“It was just a couple of situations that were happening at the same time, miscommunication, and then a lot of people are in Santa Fe currently,” Ben Ali explained. 

Senators and Justices sworn in 

The senate welcomed two senators and two associate justices. Regina Rodella was sworn in to represent the College of Health, Education, and Social Transformation. Benedeck Szalai was sworn in as a senator for the College of Arts and Sciences. Kienna Rodriguez and Jose Rodriguez were sworn in as associate justices. 

“My goal is to fulfill my job to the best of my capabilities. I owe that to the student body in general, to be as human as possible and to perform the things we need to do,” Rodriguez said. 

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About the Contributors
Elizabeth Anne Andrews, Staff Writer
Elizabeth Anne Andrews is starting her first semester with The Round Up as a Staff Writer. She is currently a freshman at NMSU, majoring in Journalism & Media Studies. She grew up in a military family so she’s lived all over the US and Germany. Ever since she was young, Elizabeth Anne has always been curious about everything around her. It comes from experiencing different cultures and being homeschooled, both opportunities which allowed her to grow in her independence and creativity. In her free time, Elizabeth Anne enjoys writing poems, listening to music, or hanging out with her three siblings and cat.
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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