By: Albert Luna
The Round Up recently sat down with ASNMSU President-Elect Kevin Prieto, just days after his narrow victory in the run-off election for the Presidency. Prieto, the outgoing Vice President, was sworn into office on Thursday, April 27, during ASNMSU’s Senate Session. However, for University payroll purposes, he technically does not assume office from a budget standpoint until May 16. The Round Up asked President-Elect Prieto how he thinks his term will go, what is first objectives will be, and where he sees student media going as a whole headed towards next year. Here are his responses.
What was your initial reaction when you found out you had won the Presidency?
“First thing was a sigh of relief since I didn’t have to campaign anymore. Then I reached out and thanked my opponent on a great race. Then almost immediately started to think about hiring people and just start getting to work and making sure that we will be ready to go. It’s basically a break for a couple of minute’s then right back to work”
Although your basic agenda was laid out during campaigning, once you assume office, what are the main points you want to act on? Where do you want to start?
“I want to start with introductions and being able to go out and meet all of the people and positions that I will be working with and building up those relationships as quick as possible. I want people to know who I am so they feel comfortable in me as a leader and also so they can come talk to me. The second thing is just to hire a great staff and make sure that we get a good pool of applicants”
Once you hire a new staff, what will be the main message you give them initially in terms of what you all want to accomplish in your time here?
“I think it starts with positive energy and a positive culture. I want a positive office so that the results can show to students to show that we are happy doing our job and we love our job. We also need to make sure that we are efficient with people’s time and people’s money and also that we are open and people know what we are doing as well as listening to the people. I think reminding people [the staff] who they work for is the biggest thing and that is the students”
How has transition with outgoing President Matt Bose been?
“I wished we would have talked a lot more during our terms [2016-2017 school year] but our schedules were always so different, but he’s been great he congratulated me [via text] right away after he found out I won. He took me the next day and we synched up calendars to where I am going to all of his meetings he is going to and he has been introducing me to everyone, he has really made it effortless. It helps that we are really good friends and so it is almost like we are having just another normal conversation when we are talking about it [the transition].”
While you are transitioning to the Presidency, you are also helping the new Vice President, Emerson Morrow, transition to what will now be your old office. Along with helping him transition into his seat, how do you see yourself now working beside him as your Vice President?
“I think it is just getting comfortable and building those communications. Both of us are from Las Cruces which is a benefit, although we did go to rival high schools; I think that really helps, we will be here during the summer most of the time working together. Our goals are already set and I think that we are ahead of schedule and I am excited”
How do you see this summer playing out with the forthcoming budget cuts as well as more than likely tuition increase with just the economics of the University and ASNMSU?
“I think we have to be ready for anything. We should have an open mindset and say ‘what can we do and how can we work within our means’. Yes we can fight and complain about what we are going to get, but ultimately we don’t have enough time to complain we just have to keep the work on. A big issue we see is a lack of creativity, we need to work within the budget and get creative. I will be expecting to hope for the best but be preparing for the worst”
How do you see the Department of Student Media [Both the Round Up and KRUX 91.5 FM] and their welfare going forward during your time?
“I think it’s just collaboration and communication. I would more than love to do a partnership deal with you all [Student Media] such as doing a tabling event and just combining forces and let people know ‘we [ASNMSU] are your Student Government and this is your Student Media’. We are separate entities which is a great thing to have but we also work with each other and support each other and ultimately achieve the goal of both of us letting the students know we are there for them. That’s the goal.”
One thing you want to tell any students that will be either incoming or perhaps did not vote for you coming into this next school year?
“I would like to say thank you to everyone that went out to go vote. It’s not about supporting me but the fact that you went out and voted, we had a record turnout for voting for this year which is more than ever before. If we can keep that excitement up from the campaign, we can do amazing things, let’s get the engagement back up and make sure we are passionate about the school that we are going to. I want to be the means and the voice for students to enjoy their four years here”