By Billy Huntsman
The time is once again here for students to elect the next president of the Associated Students of New Mexico State University.
There are two candidates this year, both government majors: Matthew Bose and Lawrence Josh Hittle.
Bose is a member of NMSU’s Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity, and has been involved with ASNMSU all of his college career.
“What qualifies me is my experience the last three and a half years,” Bose says. “I started off as a Roadrunner intern in the fall 2012 and I’ve just worked my up to my current position of attorney general.”
Bose says he has worked with incumbent ASNMSU President Dustin Chavez “to advocate for students on a daily basis.”
“I’m on the Associate Deans Advisory Committee,” Bose says. “They create policy for students and I give the student opinion because I’m the only student that serves on that.”
Bose says with NMSU’s current budgetary limitations, as well as with the impending budget cuts and tuition increases in the upcoming school year, it’s important ASNSMU stay “fiscally responsible.”
“The more executive stuff (ASNMSU) does, the less money there is for (students’ interests),” Bose says. “So finding that perfect balance between the two (is important).”
Bose says, as president, he will strive to make the working relationship between the executive and senate branches of ASNMSU better.
“Senators believe that what they’re doing is more important, executive believes what they’re doing is more important, what we really need to do is unify as an organization,” he says.
Working as attorney general this year, Bose says, he has created good relationships with senators, which, he says, will benefit ASNMSU and thus students if elected president.
He has been endorsed by ASNMSU Associate Justice Corey Stevens.
Hittle has also worked with student government, though in a different capacity.
“I served as the vice president for the Resident Hall Association last year,” Hittle says. “And president this year. And RHA is the second-largest student government on campus (after ASNMSU). We have a budget upwards of $80,000.”
Hittle says he wants to continue to improve the lives of NMSU’s students, which, he says, he can best do by going from president of RHA to president of ASNMSU. He says RHA has officially endorsed him for ASNMSU president.
“The biggest issue that my campaign is running on right now has to deal with the CALL,” Hittle says.
The Crisis Assistance Listening Line (CALL) was a suicide prevention hotline, as well as a “warm line,” run by NMSU’s Wellness, Alcohol and Violence Education (WAVE) program. People who were contemplating suicide or who were just “in a hard place” could call for emotional support and local resources to help them.
The hotline was funded by state, federal, and municipal grants, while NMSU only ever provided space and personnel pay. Last year, the hotline was discontinued last year as a result of insufficient funding.
“From 2008 to 2015, 3,000 NMSU students took advantage of this service,” Hittle says.
As president, he says, he would work with ASNMSU Senate to reallocate $12,000 to restart the CALL.
Hittle would also work to better understand the issues NMSU’s Greek Life has.
“I would appoint a liaison,” Hittle says. “An ASNMSU member who is not affiliated with any Greek chapter to attend the general meetings for the PanHellenic Council and Interfraternity Council and they would relay information and help ASNMSU better understand the needs of Greek Life.”
Hittle, who is not part of any fraternity, says he does not believe his non-involvement in Greek Life puts him at any disadvantage of being elected president.
“I think people who are involved in Greek and people who are involved in student organizations all have a passion for what they do,” Hittle says. “And even though I may not particularly be involved in their student organization, we share the love and passion for an organization and that is something that is universal around the campus.”
This shared love and passion, Hittle says, helps him connect to all voters, regardless of their organizations and affiliations.
Hittle says he would also improve NMSU’s “environmental sustainability” initiatives by also reallocating $50,000.
“I want to work with increasing the number of recycling bins on campus and the number of bottle-refilling stations,” Hittle says.
$6,000 of this reallocation would be set aside for labor costs.
Hittle has been endorsed by NMSU’s Organization of Aggie Students Inspiring Sustainability (O.A.S.I.S.) Club.
He says he would also make ASNMSU “more transparent to the student body.”
“If elected president, I would hold four town hall meetings per year, one every quarter,” Hittle says.
All students would be invited to these, Hittle says, and encouraged to “voice their opinions.”
Voting will take place March 28 through April 1. To vote, visit vote.nmsu.edu.
Maria Estrada contributed to this article