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

NMSU Esports make high-dollar requests, senators hesitant

Leah De La Torre
Sen. Anayancy Campos addresses NMSU esports members at the ASNMSU senate meeting on March 7, 2024.

The 67th Senate of the Associated Students of New Mexico State University discussed two costly allocation requests made by the Informational Communication Technology department for the NMSU’s esports program. The requested funds sparked some heated debate between senators on the floor.  

Senate bills 204 and 205 were top of the agenda at the ASNMSU senate meeting on Thursday, March 7. Both bills came directly after ASNMSU President Citalli Benitez touted her administrations accomplishments from the year, including the lobbying efforts at the New Mexico legislative session and the associations efforts in financially supporting student clubs.  

Senate bill 204, which requested $10,000 from the association, was passed unanimously. The bill will help cover fees and other operational expenses for the esports program and be used to purchase jerseys for members. The bill will provide funding in these areas for one academic year.  

Senate bill 204 and 205 were discussed back-to-back, but the evening’s top slot for debate arose when bill 205 was brought to the table. The main concern for senators was the cost.  

NMSU esports members and supporters filled the senate chambers on March 7, 2024, to show support for Bills 204 and 205.

 It requested $33,000 from the association, which was one of the biggest single allocation requests made this year.  

The bill would provide funding for facility and equipment upgrades, such as computers and other types of accessories that members would need to remain competitive. NMSU esports head manager Aidan Leon, said the funding would go to benefit not just the program, but also the NMSU community.  

“This is for all students on campus,” Leon said. “Supporting this bill is supporting all students on campus.” 

Nicholas Hernandez, a junior gamer from Gadsden High School, as well as the president of the Gadsden esports club, spoke to senators and said gaming helped him find a place where he belonged.  

“Thank the lord I found esports my freshman year,” Hernandez said. “Esports helped give me that sense of belonging.”  

ICT planning officer and director of student technology and planning, Randey Bamford, also mentioned to senators that the success of the NMSU esports program, compared to other schools, is unmatched. Applause from supporters erupted after this comment from Bamford.  

“NMSU esports is now the premiere e-sports organization in the state of New Mexico,” Bamford said. “UNM calls themselves a flagship university, [but] when it comes to e-sports, those little wolf tails turn down.”  

When presentations finished, senators went into discussion. Sen. Alex Duran was one of the main supporters of the initiative. He

NMSU esports placed several pieces of equipment outside the senate chambers for viewing on March 7, 2024. (Leah De La Torre)

was met with some criticism from several senators, who said Duran and the club did not give enough time to the finance committee to look over the bill and its respective costs. 

Duran refuted that. 

Other criticism came from the sheer size of the allocation request. Senators voiced their opinions on the idea of being fiscally responsible, and not wanting to put ASNMSU in a position where they once again could run out of money.  

Sen. Aya Al Sheikh, who sits on the finance committee, said this bill represented 10% of ASNMSU’s entire budget in allocation and reimbursement efforts. She believed passing bill 205 would be financially irresponsible given that the senate has several more meetings this semester. 

Sen. Duran said that ASNMSU should always continue to be fiscally responsible, but that this investment would follow the association’s mission statement. 

“ASNMSU is more than just a reimbursement process,” he said. “Let’s do something beyond the reimbursement.”  

 Hesitancy among senators did not lie in not wanting to support the program, but rather in ensuring that there would be an equitable amount of funds for other student organizations to access. Sen. Anayancy Campos said the association must keep all students and organizations in mind.  

ASNMSU President Citlalli Benitez clears the air on her opinions on senate bill 205. March 7, 2024. (Leah De La Torre)

“We’re just trying to figure out money wise, what is best for everyone,” Campos said.  

The back-and-forth debate continued for well over an hour before a roll call vote was called. Six senators voted in favor, and 15 voted against bill 205. However, senators encouraged the club and ICT to come back towards the end of the semester.  

Following the vote esports advisor and liaison, Ryan May, where he said he understood the senators concern with the cost, but the funds would be used for all students.  

“I absolutely support them with that decision and with that in mind, because there a lot of students that they serve, absolutely, but to segway into an equally fine point, is, this is serving many students,” May said. “We’ve partnered with multiple organizations all the time so they could utilize the facility, we understand though absolutely, on behalf of NM State Esports, we understand the senate’s decision, and definitely respect that they want to be fiscally responsible.”  

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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!

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, sewing, 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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