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

Student Advocacy Board lobbies for multipurpose field changes, proposes additional legislation

Photo+courtesy+of+Alicia+Hicks
Photo courtesy of Alicia Hicks

With the start of a new year, the Student Advocacy Board of New Mexico State University got to work in Santa Fe, in an effort to deliver improvements to NMSU’s intramural fields and add a rehearsal upgrade for the Pride of New Mexico marching band.  

Every year, a team from within the Associated Students of New Mexico State University’s governmental affairs office visits the New Mexico State Capitol to lobby legislators on issues that are important to students.  

This year’s team included: Director of Governmental Affairs  Anisa Sanchez, Assistant Director of Governmental Affairs Alicia Hicks, ASNMSU President Citlalli Benitez, ASNMSU Vice President Eduardo Gallegos, Chief of Staff Xavier Dominguez, and Chief Justice Rafael Loera.  

In 2024, the SAB’s main priority was its capital outlay project, which included artificial turf upgrades to the multipurpose field, as well as a new band watchtower, which would be used for marching band rehearsals.  

Sanchez mentioned the band tower installation would give the pride band a dedicated practice space and move them out of the Horseshoe, where the group currently rehearses. 

“We wanted to give [the marching band] band a more permanent practice space,” Sanchez said.  

Documents show both projects will cost just over $2.2 million. The team requested $2.4 million. Documents also showed that the multipurpose field upgrades would give the band about 57,600 square feet of usable space, 81,000 square feet of usable space for rugby activities, and over 117,000 square feet of usable intramural soccer space. 

The Student Advocacy Board hopes to bring substantial changes to the multipurpose intramural field for organizations. Feb. 27, 2024. (Carlos Herrera)

The field project will also include painted lines for football, soccer, and rugby activities.  

“I think one of the biggest impacts is being able to give [back to] students, helping them feel more of a sense of Aggie pride,” Sanchez said.  

Alicia Hicks said the intramural field project will also support the many groups on campus, as well as bring the community together.  

“It is open to anyone, it’s not just restricted for the band or rugby, although they do have first priority of that,” Hicks said. “It going to open up a lot more opportunities as well, along with keep with the people who are involved in those activities safe, much safer than they would be on the current intramural fields.”  

Sanchez stated that while there is not a planned date for the project to begin construction, the team hopes for a summer start date. The project has been in the works for the last three years.  

“This is something that my team and I were so passionate about,” she said. “We know the effects its going to have on students, and this is just so important to have. Like I said, we are all Aggies at the end of the day, so implementing this field will have a great effect on everybody.”  

Hicks mentioned that the upcoming project also shows that the University wants to support other programs on campus like rugby and band, in addition to athletics.  

“It puts a new message that we are supporting band and rugby,” Hicks said. “It shifts our focus away from athletics for a while, and then we can put it on other organizations that may have been seen in the back.”  

The team also focused on ensuring funds for the

Photo courtesy of Alicia Hicks.

New Mexico lottery scholarship program, graduate workers compensation, as well as lobbying for anti-hazing legislation.  

The anti-hazing legislation that the team lobbied for was tabled within committees. Sanchez said while the anti-hazing bills are not dead yet, she hopes they will be brought back up in the next legislative session.  

As for the renovation plans that the Student Advocacy Board lobbied for, both Sanchez and Hicks mentioned that it is still up to Gov. Lujan-Grisham if she wants to sign off on the projects. Sanchez said the governor has until March 6 to decide, but the team was confident in their efforts.  

“As far as we know, the governor and lieutenant governor were in huge support of our project, so we really have no doubts of it passing,” Hicks said.  

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About the Contributors
Noah Apodaca, Staff Writer

Noah Apodaca is a junior at New Mexico State University, where he is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Media Studies with an emphasis in broadcast, as well as a minor in government. This is Noah's first year with The Round Up. 

Born and raised in Las Cruces, New Mexico, Noah got his start in the media industry in 2022, when he joined KRWG-TV's News22 program as a writer, reporter and anchor. With News22, he has covered a wide range of topics, including traveling to the 2023 Conference USA Championship game in Lynchburg, Virginia. 

In addition to News22, Noah has worked with NMSU's journalism department’s online news publication, Kokopelli, KFOX14 in El Paso, Texas, and U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich.

In his spare time, you can catch Noah at the gym, at the airport fulfilling his love of travel, or at home streaming some Disney+ alongside his five dogs. He is ecstatic to join The Round Up team this year!

Carlos Herrera, Multimedia Specialist
Carlos Herrera is entering his second year at The Round Up as a Multimedia Specialist. He is currently a senior in his undergraduate degree in Information Communication Technology. Carlos is looking forward to this year in expanding his love for graphic design and perfecting his photography while capturing "those big Aggie moments". He enjoys being active in everything he does, and also enjoys spending time with those important to him in his downtime.

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