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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 votes against lowering campaign max cap, overturns veto on reimbursement bill

Perla Carrillo Arias
The 67th Senate of ASNMU congregated on Feb. 22, 2024 to discuss a variety of bills.

The 67th Senate of the Associated Students of New Mexico State University discussed changes to the max cap on spending for political campaigns and overturned the president’s veto on a reimbursement bill for a graduate student on Thursday, Feb. 22. 

About an hour after the meeting started, Vice President Eduardo Gallegos advised senators not to eat the food, which had been provided by Sodexo. It was later confirmed that there were worms in the rice. Sen. Jaden Moore, the Sodexo Student Culinary Council representative for the senate, said he plans to meet with Sodexo on Friday, March 1, to communicate senate’s concerns. 

“My goal is to either, you know, tell them that they need to increase the quality food and decrease the price or attempt to kind of weasel out of this forced deal where we have to go through them with food,” Moore said. 

Senators listen to various campus associations requesting funds on Feb. 22, 2024. (Perla Carrillo Arias)

Bill 128, presented by Sen. Alex Duran, received a do-not-pass from senate. The bill, if passed, would have lowered the max cap on the amount of money students can spend on political campaigns. 

Duran explained that his reasoning behind the bill was to make campaigning more accessible for students, especially those without a lot of money. 

“Let’s just try to make it more accessible for all students on campus rather than just a select few …the cheaper it is, the more accessible it is to everybody,” Duran said. 

Many senators noted that they had won their campaigns without spending anything. The statement “you can win a campaign with zero dollars” was thrown around throughout discussion. Opponents of the bill also argued that campaigning through word of mouth works better in student government campaigns than spending money does. 

“Word of mouth works so much better than actual money. I haven’t spent a single cent on both of my elections. I have won both of those. So I don’t think money really matters,” Sen. Rahaf Ben Ali said. 

Some senators questioned the timing of the bill. With campaign season coming up, they wondered whether there was a conflict of interest at play. 

The ASNMSU Senate is now using clickers to cast votes on bills. Feb. 22, 2024 (Perla Carrillo Arias)

“I think the timing of the bill is interesting. To me, it seems maybe a little conniving, because we’re really close to an election. Had this been presented last semester, I’d maybe be a little more open to it,” Moore said.

Other senators argued that the timing was irrelevant. 

“Well, I don’t really think it matters. You know, I think when he comes up with things, he’s doing it for the betterment of everyone,” Sen. Kolby Graham Taylor said. 

The last bill of the meeting was Bill 124, presented by Sen. Shashank Dharba. The bill was vetoed by President Citlalli Benitez previously and the senate overturned the veto. 

Bill 124 was written to reimburse a graduate student for attending a conference. Benitez vetoed it because the reimbursement went $500 above the recommended expenditure for graduate students. 

NMSU’s Model United Nations appealing for funds for their upcoming trip. Feb. 22, 2024.

“We definitely should be supporting our grad[uate] students in whichever way in which we can,” President Benitez said, “but it would establish a precedent, just as a senator on the floor had mentioned. Later on in the semester if we do reach a point where we don’t have those funds and a graduate senator or graduate student comes and asks for the same thing, [the senators] would have a hard time keeping that precedent.” 

The senate met the 2/3 majority needed to overrride the veto. Dharba expressed that he believes this will set a precedent of putting student needs first. 

“The only precedent it is setting is that ASNMSU has a heart and if students really require it, it is willing to provide more funding for those students who really put their heart and soul into their work,” Dharba said. 

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About the Contributors
Elizabeth Anne Andrews
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.
Perla Carrillo Arias
Perla Carrillo Arias, Photojournalism Intern
Perla Carrillo Arias is entering her first semester at The Round Up as a photojournalism intern. She is a senior at NMSU, majoring in Business Marketing with a focus on Advertising and a minor Social Media Management. Perla was born and raised in Santa Fe, New Mexico. A passionate traveler and avid reader, Perla finds inspiration in exploring new places and immersing herself in diverse experiences. Perla’s love for photography and videography sprouted when she was a just little girl. She reminisces going through hundreds of photographs her mom has captured and having the realization of how important it is to have memories. When she’s not behind the lens, Perla can be found indulging in her love for literature, spending time with her family, or tuning into thought-provoking podcasts that ignite her curiosity. Perla is looking forward to acquiring knowledge from the team and further developing her photographic skills at The Round Up.

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