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Interview with ASNMSU President Kevin Prieto

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Albert Luna

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August 10, 2017

The Round Up recently sat down with ASNMSU President Kevin Prieto to discuss what his staff has been getting done this summer including comments on the tuition increase, last year’s financial down point and what he is looking forward to for his term. Prieto is entering his first full school year as ASNMSU President after being elected in late April of 2017. Prieto, a Senior, is a Business Management major and has been involved in ASNMSU during his entire time as NMSU. Below are some of his most prominent responses:

In recent years, ASNMSU has developed a bit of a reputation of being run by the same group of people and hardly having outsiders come in and make decisions, why do you think that is?

“There is a stigma that ASNMSU is run by the more elite students and they have that nepotism within them to where they only elect their own but to that I would say that anyone can really run for it [positions]. I would tell those people to just go out and do it, no one told me that I couldn’t so I just went out and did it and I’m President now. I have plans to put in our law book an all new position that is focused on outreaching to students and getting their feedback through surveys and polls. With that also, we are planning to do open houses and events where people can come meet me and I can pick their brain and they can pick mine and have open forums. I just want to be totally transparent this year”

What are your thoughts on the decline in enrollment being steadily increasing each year to where the University has gotten significantly smaller?

“I think the decline in attendance is actually going to help out the University. It made us all kind of look around and see what we were doing and how we were operating and now we are more efficient than we have ever been. Unfortunately, we had to lose some people [firings or terminations] but it was kind of like hitting the reset button on all of it and I think we are going to come back stronger. We’ve have already turned the corner, last year was one of the worst years we ever had but I think the numbers of the freshmen that we have are looking really high and that’s exciting to see; I think we can only go up from here”

As you mentioned, last year was very rough with the over $10 million in cuts that the University saw, in your opinion what contributed the most to many of these cuts?

“This is a conversation I’ve had with many economists and one of the things is that the state of New Mexico is a low-income state that’s very poverty-ridden so we are already one of the lowest of all 50 states in a lot of statistics but financially these cuts were largely due to the oil prices being so low which is a huge economy here. You also look at the statistics around the nation and people are going to college a lot less now. You look at a lot of these things, and there’s not a ton of things the University could have done to stop this.

This Summer, the Board of Regents voted on a tuition increase, talk about what side you were on for that issue and what the biggest effects can be from it 

“Tuition did increase and the state lottery did go down. Some people view that as a lose-lose but with the tuition increase I think it is so necessary and we needed it so I spoke in favor of that. It’s not a lot more, about $100 more per credit and it’s going to help out the University a lot. Another thing is you look at other schools in the state and other Universities and their tuition has been rising consistently for years and years and our has not. It was gratifying to see that vote go through because it was like a vote of confidence in that everyone was thinking and saying that we are going to be fine”

What can students look for that ASNMSU as a whole is during different this year and some of the projects you have been working on?

We are going to be out there a lot more tabling and trying to give out as much promotional items as we can. We are working a lot on dual programming this year also by combining efforts with different entities to come together and not have to duplicate efforts. We’re trying to get some different services that can hopefully be pretty big for students and can hopefully come in the next couple of years. I also want to get a bike share program started – it’s been talked about but never acted on. Ultimately, I want students to enjoy their college experience and that we [ASNMSU] are doing our job and we are held accountable”

A full recording of this podcast can be heard on the multimedia tab.

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The Independent Student Voice of NMSU Since 1907
Interview with ASNMSU President Kevin Prieto