A letter from The Round Up Editor-In-Chief Albert Luna

Editor-in-Chief Albert Luna puts The Round Up in perspective for the 2015-2016 academic year.

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Dear Readers,

      Don’t come here for mediocrity. Not here, not this year.

      Don’t come here if you expect a student paper that focuses on “food, fitness, and fashion,” instead of political events, human interest stories, and hard hitting journalism.

     Don’t expect to only hear from us once a month, and in some instances longer because we simply couldn’t communicate with someone in an office just 15 feet away.

      Don’t pick us up in print, don’t look us up on-line, don’t download our new app, if you expect last year’s poor showing to resemble anything that we will be doing this time around.

       We are no longer “playing it safe,” no longer hiding from critics, and certainly no longer being called “Oncore.”

        I credit Billy Huntsman, my predecessor at this position, for keeping The Round Up afloat last year despite so much adversity, people will never know how vital he truly was.

        Our student news organization is not like most Universities.  We don’t have the luxury of having a professor full time at our disposal. We are truly run by the students and for the students.

       The staff we have assembled for the 2016-2017 academic year (“The Dream Team” as one of us put it) is exactly what the doctor ordered. We have care for our work, we discuss every detail, and most importantly: we have a passion for this. We will be working hard this year to restore the integrity and the relevance that countless individuals before us have worked so hard at for over a century.

       We have a lot to live up to, and we recognize that. We know we are not here to make friends in this business, and we will once again bring back the watchdog mentality, keeping students informed.

      I am more confident in Billy’s final article with us, titled “The Round Up Can and Will Recover from Oncore” than ever before, and I am positive that the students of NMSU will echo that in their interaction with us.

       I truly wish everyone a great start to their school year.  Keep your ears to the ground for any news, and as always, continue to write your own story.

Best of luck,

Albert Luna 

Making Sense of NMSU’s $12.1 Million Cuts 

 

By Aaron Stiles

This year has already been shaky for NMSU, to say the least, and it’s not hard to see why. There are 12.1 million elephants in the room when discussing the University right now, or more appropriately, a lack thereof 12.1 million. Evidently, this is alluding to the budget cuts, which were decided while we were away for the summer, in order to balance our budget as a University.

The cuts, which was approved by NMSU’s Board of Regents and President Garrey Carruthers, outlines $12.1 million worth of slashes, ranging from employee positions to complete shutdowns of some programs including the former Employee Health Center. In a controversial move, it was also announced that the Equestrian Team would have 30 days to find alternative funds for the program, or be eliminated. One week, a massive public outcry, and a GoFundMe page later, the University backtracked and said they would be supporting the team for one more season, but they were on their own after that.

The Round Up recently sat down with ASNMSU President Matthew Bose, essentially to make sense of it all. Bose, who is in his first term in office after being elected in May, explained that the budget at NMSU is divided into two parts: Instruction and General (I & G) money, which funds the School’s Education and Sports departments, and student fees.

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The I&G dollars are funded by tuition, which due to the recent decision not to raise the price to attend the University, resulted in the need for cuts to these funds. Student fees, however, put a dent in a budget as they continue to go down, in sync with NMSU’s declining enrollment, coupled with its low retention rates.

“Some departments have a blended budget,” Bose explained. “They get some money from I & G, and some money from Student Fees and they try to make it work.” One such budget is the Activity Center, which evidently lost I&G funding due to the recent cuts.

Bose mentioned that the administration of his predecessor, Dustin Chavez, was able to stay under budget last year, returning a substantial amount to ASNMSU’s reserves. ASNMSU currently has enough funds to carry forward for the near future. However, he explained that when a department has a lot of reserve funding, they tend to get less money in the subsequent years after. Because of this, Bose explains it is a good idea to use some of those funds.

Student fees are allocated by the Student Fee Review Board, which Bose is the chair of, along with Vice President Kevin Prieto having an automatic spot, and Senate being guaranteed a slot as well (usually represented by their Pro Tempore). The last member of the board is an at large student who is usually apart of ASNMSU.

“This year, I wanted to do something differently. I wanted to put out an application process out so that the general student body can apply for this [Student-at-large] position.” Bose explained. This is in an effort to involve the general population of students in their student government process by helping to decide where student fees are allocated.

Additionally, when addressing plans for some of the upcoming state senate sessions, Bose said that one major topic that will be coming up is the issue of the distribution of state lottery scholarship. Bose hopes that ASNMSU will be focusing on lobbying to back load lottery scholarships at the 2017 state legislation. Back loading refers to applying the scholarship to 25% of freshman’s tuition, 50% of sophomore tuition, 75% of junior tuition and 100% of senior tuition. This is in an effort to stretch the remaining funds of the lottery scholarship because it will see a drop from 98% funding to 60% funding in 2017.

“Last year’s Santa Fe legislative session was a 30 day session, the primary focus was on budgetary matters, so there was not an opportunity to discuss back loading the scholarship,” Bose said. The 2017 session will be a 60-day span, which gives ASNMSU the needed time to lobby for this, Bose explained. Back loading will also provide incentive to students to stay in school in order to receive the full lottery scholarship. ASNMSU will also be focusing on bringing in a gap year as well, allowing entering freshman to take a year off from school between high school and college without losing the lottery scholarship. Many believe that student unpreparedness is a main reason for retention, and this would be a way to combat it.

Looking forward into the coming year, Bose says that he would like to have a good working relationship with President Carruthers and the Board of Regents, “If they can see my point of view, and see where students are coming from, it’s only going to benefit students.” The ASNMSU President also alluded to his mentality during potentially difficult times: “When push comes to shove I’m going to stand up for students and what for I believe in, even if that hurts our working relationships.” Aaron Stiles may be reached at TruLegal@NMSU.edu

Freshmen Required to Live On Campus + Reaction 

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By: Luigi Finston

In past years, NMSU has been very liberal in its approach towards living accommodations. In most scenarios, students have been given the freedom of choosing whether or not they wish to live in the campus dorms. Neighboring apartment communities such as Casa Bandera, Country Crest, and The Verge have, as a result, been popular locations for students to live. It seemed to be a healthy balance of an on-campus community and another world for the off campus students. That balance, for freshmen at least, is now coming to an end.

The Board of Regents announced in mid-July its decision that in essence requires freshman to live on campus for at least the first year of their college time, starting with the fall of 2017 newcomers. Specific details of the rules and regulations will be announced at a later date but it is generally thought to be a choice of living quarters that include Garcia, Pinon, and RGH dorms.

So is this a wise move from the NMSU administration?

Some believe so. From an experience point of view, this move will enable freshmen to be to have easier access to the University and the facilities, professors, student activities and organizations it entails. Living on campus would also hypothetically help with tardiness to class.

ASNMSU President Matthew Bose explained that he was a little bit unsure of his own viewpoint on the proposed policy when it passed. This was due to the fact that most of the groundwork was laid by the previous administration, yet to him, it didn’t seem like a policy that students wanted.

He says that now, looking at retention rates that still seem to be falling, he believes that the University and students should try this new policy to see if it works in raising these rates. Bose explained that when Senators expressed skepticism of the policy, “I told them I would look favorably upon setting up a resolution to review it in 3-5 years, at that point, we will have the statistics to see if it improved retention or not.”

Steven Garcia, a senior and history major at NMSU, believes that living on campus will also improve graduation rates in the long run. “There are a lot of social aspects as well” he said. “Some people you meet as a freshman share core classes with you, being able to study together in study group’s helps things go much faster.” Along with being potentially socially rewarding, Garcia, who lived in the now demolished Monagle Hall as a freshmen, also believes it can help with educational results as well, “On campus means direct access to help, more help means better results in the long run” he explained.

Additionally, the requirement could also give students a better perspective as to what college life is about. Many freshman arrive with a set mentality of one way they believe their year will go and suddenly they are thrown into sometimes a harsh reality.

Freshman are also a major focal point at the beginning of each semester for many on campus entities. Countless clubs and student organizations are trying to recruit new members in order to ensure their respective groups live on.

Student organizations and Resident Housing have experienced a major cut as Matthew Baca, a Hall Council member and Pinon resident last year, described. “RHA [Resident Housing Association] suffered a

huge budget shortfall last year” he said. “With more students living on campus it gives us the opportunity to be there more for them and we are able to organize more events for students as well.”

But is living on campus such a good idea? Opponents of the policy are worried that it will cause a drop in enrollment, but President Bose thinks that it is a reasonable sacrifice to improve keeping students in school. “What we’re doing isn’t working; enrollment is going down and you simply have to take a chance sometimes.”

Families are always concerned about the type of conditions that their son or daughter will be living in. Not all dorms are in great condition, clearly, and dorm life has for the most part been the opposite of “luxury”. Issues of sanitation, vermin, temperature, maintenance, and cost have been major questions that parents ask. Do you really get what you pay for?

Tori Null, a sophomore and animal science major who lived in the RGH dorms last year, thinks so and she said things really are not unbearable from a student point of view. “It’s a dorm, so you’re not going in with high expectations” she explained. “There’s a few things here and there but nothing terrible. It helps expose you to life on your own and is a great transition from high school to college”. Luigi Finston may be reached at TruAcademic@NMSU.edu

Opinionated Editorial: Being Greek 

 

By: Salina Madrid

After a relaxing summer, college has found its way back to us. With long days, classes, new professors, it is important to get involved. Especially for the entire incoming freshman, starting at a new school is scary; it is like a whole new world full of changes and new responsibilities.

But I have something that will make this transition a lot easier, and that something is Greek Life. College students who take membership in Greek life are equipped with skills that can be used in future careers. It is a rewarding and unique opportunity to interact and become involved with other people who have the same values as you. With that being said, it is finally time for sorority recruitment.

Growing up, I’d see movies and shows about sorority girls and all the stereotypes. Now, I cannot even imagine what my college experience would have been like if I wasn’t introduced to Greek Life.

Two-years-ago, I stood outside the doors of the sororities on campus. As I went through every house over the course of a couple days, I found where I was meant to be, where I was supposed to be. That is when I knew, that Greek Life was something I wanted to be apart of.

Since that very day, I have given and dedicated my heart to Greek life, it has changed my life forever, it is where I, in essence, found my second family.

A lot of people tell me, “you’re just paying for your friends.” If I really am, then I’m not paying enough. These woman, who are my sisters and best friends, hold a very special place in my heart that I wouldn’t change for the world. These past couple years, I have made memories that will last a lifetime.

Greek to me isn’t just about wearing those letters that you cherish so much, but more about sisterhood, lasting friendships, academic support, encouragement, philanthropy, and leadership. Being Greek means that I am never alone and that I will always have a support system. It is about being apart of something bigger than you. It has shaped me as a person, and has pushed me to be a better person every single day.

This is why you should Be Greek. Recruitment week is one that you will remember forever, it is the week that you will gain another family, a home away from home, and friendships that will stay with you till the day you die.

Don’t miss out on a life changing opportunity like this, you won’t regret it.

For more information, or to sign up for sorority recruitment, go to greeklife.nmsu.edu/sorority-recruitment

Introduction to Cultural Section 

 

Salina Madrid

My mission is simple: write articles that you can connect with as a college student at New Mexico State University. My name is Salina Madrid. I am the new Cultural Editor for the Round Up. I am a Journalism & Mass Communications major and Spanish major, minoring Public Relations. I am very involved here on campus and have given my heart to the sorority Zeta Tau Alpha, which has made my college experience more than I could have ever imagined. I am excited to write about clubs and organizations here on campus that people hold dear to their heart as well, and am ready to share those experiences with you. People always ask me, what is your key to success? Without hesitating I always say, to inspire people and make people smile, which is what I intend to do. My vision is to not only empower my readers, but to have an impact on their life one way or another. If you ever see me on campus, don’t hesitate to say hello. And if you have any story ideas, I am always open to new things! I cant wait to bring you along on this journey with me!

Black Lives Matter 

 

By: Salina Madrid

With the controversy going on in the country regarding “Black Lives Matter,” an organization here on campus is taking strides towards something that they believe in.

The Black Students Association at New Mexico State University was charted in the late 1960’s and promotes African, African-American, African-Caribbean, and African-Latino culture on campus.

Christopher Love, a former President of the organization, is inspired by the diversity of the group and advocates for their purpose and mission.

“I love the close bond that the members have with each other. We keep a warm and family atmosphere in our organization. We are very multi-cultural even though our mission is to promote Afro-culture. We have Asian, Caucasian, and Hispanic members,” said Love.

It is important for them to embrace, no matter what someone’s background is, they are welcome into the organization, to explore their potential.

Statistics show that NMSU’s African descent makes up 3% of the total University. The Black Student Association says that their goal is to educate and show the University their cultures and the significance of them. While doing this, they want to make sure that the School stays diverse and equal. This is something that they strive for, especially with the recent incidents that have occurred around America.

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The School has a wide variety of ethnic backgrounds when it comes to student culture. Because we are so close to the borderland, and being a less expensive school with many benefits, you will definitely have a diverse group of people within your classes.

“We try to make our organization diverse by welcoming people into our group of all ethnicity’s, genders, religion, sexual preference’s, etc,” said former president, Love. “We try to stay active on campus and encourage our members to branch out and get involved in the things that NMSU offers.”

The group voiced that some have been subjected to police brutality and blatant racism before, within their community. As a result, they want to make sure that NMSU stays equal and diverse.

“A lot of us members were saddened and outraged by both the shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, as well as the killings of the police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge,” said the members of the Black Students Association.

The media and movies have promoted stereotypes of people from different places and cultures. They have branded law enforcement to be racist and to have favorites towards dissimilar people.

Because of this, the Black Student Association wants to block out stereotypes and maintains a strong relationship with police, especially NMSU police.

“As members we understand and respect that most law enforcement officers are model citizens and they risk their life to protect all of us,” said Love.

College students are our upcoming CEO’s, leaders, business men/woman, and rising successors. It is important that students here at NMSU take strides to break barriers and rise above any stereotype.

The Black Student Association wants people to know that they are open and care about their members and the student body. They want to encourage members to stay social with one another, no matter what color they are.

For more information on the Black Student Association at NMSU and to get involved, you can contact them at (575)-646-4208, or email blackpro@nmsu.edu.

NMSU Ranks Amongst the Best

 

By: Luigi Finston

New Mexico State may not be as large in population, or be a household name such as schools like Ohio State, UCLA, or ASU, but when it comes to getting your money’s worth for an education, NMSU ranks right next to them. NMSU, known for its cheaper tuition compared to other schools in the surrounding areas, has found its niche as a formidable alternative. Some of the degrees that have a large student population enrolled in them include Journalism, Nursing, Engineering, Education, Criminal Justice, Agriculture, and Health & Social Services.

According to a U.S. News Education report, NMSU’s in-state tuition and fees are $6,729, as of the 2015-16 school year, and its out-of-state tuition and fees are $21,234 in that same span. Room and board estimates total about $7,572. A full time in-state student attending NMSU will be paying approximately $4,088 per year while a full time out of state student will be paying around $14,254 per year. At NMSU, about 66% of undergraduates receive some kind of financial aid. The average need based scholarship or grant award is $6,576.

NMSU has been recognized as a “top-tier university” in the latest Best College Rankings by U.S. News & World Report. It is the third time in four years that NMSU has held this distinction. Eleven of NMSU’s programs have been recognized as a part of the top 150 programs in the nation according to U.S. News & World Report’s Best Graduate Schools- 2017. These rankings are based factors such as assessment of excellence, graduation and retention rates, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, graduation rate performance and alumni giving.

One thing that makes NMSU so unique is its diversity. Being so close to the border with Mexico and with the city of El Paso, only 30-45 minutes away, opens to door to a large population of Hispanic and Latino students at NMSU. NMSU was also recognized by The Hispanic Outlook for Higher Education, essentially suggesting the University for prospective Hispanic students in the United States. In the Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education’s Top 100 Colleges and Universities, NMSU ranks 24th in total bachelor’s degrees granted and 22nd in graduate student enrollment, making the School a leading university for awarding degrees to Hispanic students.

Additionally, NMSU ranks seventh in bachelor’s degrees in education, 25th in engineering and 28th in business management, marketing and supporting services, evidently, for minorities, the School provides a solid education, and opportunities, at a cheaper price.

Undergraduates can choose from a variety of nearly 90 bachelor’s degrees, and graduate students can pursue more than 50 master’s programs. Some of the Master’s programs offered include those in the Colleges of Business, Engineering and Education. NMSU also offers freshmen who are eligible for honors programs to take specialized classes called “Journeys of Discovery.”

New Mexico State University also a number of student services such as tutoring, a women’s center, placement service, day care, health service, and health insurance. NMSU also offers campus safety and security services. These include things such as 24-hour patrols, late night transport and escort service, lighted pathways and sidewalks, and controlled dormitory access, which is only accessible with key or a swipe card.

The University has undoubtedly set up students for successful tenures while attending school, not only academically, but even socially as well. These rankings inly further backend the point that NMSU is continuing to make strides for its students, both inside and out of the classroom, while also keeping costs down for their most valued customers.

Getting to Know Academic Life 

 

Luis “Luigi” Finston

My name is Luis Finston, but everyone addresses me by my childhood nickname Luigi. I’m a Senior majoring in Journalism & Mass Communications and a Minor in Spanish and Public Relations. I am a member of the Kappa Sigma fraternity, a Team Member and Anchor for News22, and a Student Campus Minister for the St. Albert’s Catholic Newman Center. I’m also a professional DJ and have a weekly show with KRUX 91.5 FM Student Radio here at NMSU.

As Editor for Academic Life, it is my responsibility to shed some light on the events and changes that transpire at NMSU and expose students to what is happening around them. We come to college to establish connections, make friends, join clubs, excel in our classes, and most importantly gain independence and mature as a people. My goal is to connect you to the school you are attending. We’re all here for a reason.

Having made it to my Senior year, I have learned that the best way to enjoy your college experience and time here, is to become involved, communicate, and learn about your surroundings. I am honored to be representing our school at The Round Up, and being the person to “break the ice” to my readers, so they may know more about the school and everything it entails. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns. I extend a warm welcome to all incoming freshman, transfer and international students, and everyone returning to school. I am excited to build a relationship with you through writing.

God Bless, Success to us All, and Welcome to NMSU…Home of the Aggies!

NMSU’s Whale Den Advocates, Despite Distance 

By: Salina Madrid 

A new organization at New Mexico State University is ready to help out an environment that is widely different from the one students are accustomed to here in Las Cruces.

Whale Den, a student association that was chartered last fall, has been recruiting members for the past year in an effort to bring awareness to whales and their environments.

Whales face more threats, harsher conditions, and challenges today than ever before, as an offset of global warming and illegal hunting, among other detriments. Whale Den is taking strides to help fix this problem.

“Even though we are in a dry state that isn’t close to any bigger organizations related to our cause, we can still make a difference,” said Alexis Tiefa, a member of the club.

The goal of the organization is to not only educate, but bring awareness to NMSU students, and the surrounding Borderland, about whales, their environments, and the oceans around the world.

“The ocean life affects all of us, so to bring awareness for it in a place like Las Cruces, where people don’t know a lot about it, is a great feeling,” Tiefa said.

The group is passionate about raising awareness for this cause because of how important whales are to our environment and how they are an essential part of the ocean ecosystem.

These animals also help the economy, which is another important reason why people should cherish them.

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Additionally, from a tourism standpoint, boosts local economies, and helps businesses. This is a result from the growing trend of “whale watching”, which is essentially being taken out in the open ocean and observing these animals in their natural habitat.

The International Whale Commission (IWC) reported an estimated $2 billion worth of revenue from the whale watching business just two years ago. 13,000 jobs were created as a result of this, with 7,000 being generated domestically.

The group at NMSU only has around 18 members, but say that growing the organization is a key to helping to educate more people.

“We are passionate students that want people to know about all the marine life around the world, we may be a new club buy our hearts for it are big,” said Tiefa.

For more information on the organization, Whale Den, and to serve apart of the whale right activism group, call (575)-646-4251 or email owatkins@nmsu.edu.

NEW MEXICO LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE: INVESTING IN NEW MEXICO’S FUTURE 

 

BY: COREY STEVENS, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, THE ROUND UP

Investing takes many forms, whether it’s investing in the stock market, real estate, annuities or even corporate and governmental bonds. Dan and Katherine Burrell, founders of the prestigious New Mexico Leadership Institute, invest in something a bit more extravagant; the lives of young New Mexicans. The New Mexico Leadership Institute (NMLI) was founded in 2012 with the objective to build tomorrow’s leaders, today, and has inducted 3 classes thus far. This private scholarship and everlasting leadership conglomerate offers students the financial, educational, nourishment and leadership skills that will allow them to flourish in the state of New Mexico and beyond. The scholars go through an intensive interview process when they are only Juniors in high school and once selected, attend a Summer Academy at New Mexico State University to learn from top-notch faculty in the state, from both UNM and NMSU. Once they complete this academy, they are required to complete a community service project throughout their high school Senior year, enriching their respective communities with the skills they obtained in only one week of intensive leadership curriculum. After their senior year, they attend a second Summer Academy at The University of New Mexico where they showcase their senior projects and gain even more exceptional leadership qualities as they prepare for their college careers. The Round Up had the chance of following the new NMLI Cohort around the NMSU campus this summer, and as a NMLI Scholar myself, I was honored to witness the program’s success through a different perspective. As 20 high school rising Seniors came into the program blind, the progress, personal development and leadership skills that were developed in just one week is in one word: extraordinary.

Dr. Gabriel Sanchez, Professor of Political Science at The University of New Mexico and the Executive Director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Center for Health Policy said, “The New Mexico Leadership Institute really means investing our best and brightest in hopes of keeping them here in New Mexico after they are trained.” He followed by saying, “once you hear the mission of the program, you almost can’t say no.” One of his colleagues from UNM, Angelo Gonzales who is the Associate Director and Research Assistant Professor at the Center for Education Policy Research said, “I think this program is aimed at not only getting students ready for college, but also their careers which is an important piece of it and we want these students to have a sense of purpose in life.”

During the Cohort’s first Summer Academy they attend multiple workshops, lectures, volunteer work and hands-on learning classes that are crucial to their leadership training and also shape their educational experience. During the academy the scholars had the opportunity to work with children from the Boys and Girls Club in El Paso, Texas, ate lunch with political leaders, interacted with business owners and community leaders and learned from some of the state’s most prestigious professors. NMLI Scholar Zachary Ortiz of Moriarty High School says, “I feel

like I have made connections with people from around the state and these connections will last throughout college.” When asked about the NMLI curriculum he said, “I like it, it’s hands-on. You get to see how other people think and it’s very eye opening, because you learn by doing it, not just being told ‘that’s what it’s for’.” Zachary plans to major in Agricultural Business and Animal Science at New Mexico State University. Speaking with the scholars throughout the week was very interesting. These students are very capable and have extremely bright futures. Juliana Cervantes of Las Cruces High School, attending UNM, told me, “So far, I think it (NMLI) has brought a lot of exciting challenges and it is exciting to know that we are all on similar paths and will have these friends going into college, as well.” “The faculty is really encouraging”, she said.

Another scholar from Jemez Valley High School, attending NMSU, may have summed it up best. “My favorite saying is ‘Bullfight critics ranked in rows crowd the enormous Plaza full; but he’s the only one who knows—and he’s the man who fights the bull’.” When asked what that meant to her in terms of NMLI, she said, “No one really knows what it’s like to be a leader unless you actually lead; there can be critics from the outside but they don’t know because they don’t essentially fight the bull.” (Bullfight critics ranked in rows, poem by Domingo Ortega)

The New Mexico Leadership Institute has two fully trained classes so far and are working on their third. This program attracts some of the best and brightest that The Land of Enchantment has to offer and they are devoting their skills and expertise to our state; now that is pretty special. When I asked the NMLI faculty, from NMSU and UNM, a couple words that describe every single scholar that goes through the Institute, the majority of them said “passion” and “hope”. I don’t know about you, but passion and hope are two things that seem limited in today’s culture and I am excited to see students share that trait among future leaders within our seemingly underwhelming society of “play now, pay later”.

The New Mexico Leadership Institute is one of a kind and I hope it continues to change the course of statewide leadership, talent and expertise as these scholars dive off into a world of endless possibilities.