The Battle to Graduation

By: Jianna Vasquez

As another semester comes to end, it is time to say goodbye to another group of seniors.

Ashlerose Francia will walk across the stage inside the Pan Am on May 13 to receive her diploma.

Francia’s road to graduation hasn’t been easy, but it will be worth it because she will be the first in her family to graduate from a university.

Francia was adopted at a very early age and lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico for the first seven year of her life. Growing up, Francia admits that her family was low-income, but it was a factor that has contributed to her pursuing her education from a young age.

“My mom pushed me to work hard in school,” said Francia. “She was always active in my childhood.”

At the age of seven Francia and her family moved to Rosewell, New Mexico. Francia mother, Rosemary Matta, enrolled her in a charter school for her middle school years.

“My mother was always making sure I got the best schooling,” said Francia. The charter school provided Francia with many resources, put her in gifted programs and made sure she was on track for success. Francia admits that this school was another factor in helping her on journey to graduation.

Although, Francia was on the right track for several years that all changed when she was in high school.

“When I went to high school I didn’t want to do it anymore,” Francia admits. “I wasn’t doing my homework and I had bad grades.”

Francia was drained and tired of school. Francia’s mother continued to push her in academic’s even if Francia wasn’t doing too well.

“My mom was mad at me all the time telling me I needed to get it together,” said Francia.

Toward the end of her junior year in high school, Franica took her ACT and got a high score. Because of Francia’s high scores she was given a full-ride scholarship to NMSU.

“I was super excited I would be going to college,” said Francia.

In the fall of 2012, Francia attended her first semester at NMSU, but the setbacks continued.

Her parents were getting a divorce and she wasn’t adjusting to college, she failed a class and lost her scholarship.

Francia’s determination to get an education kept her striving for success. She got a job at Wal-mart and began to work over 40 hours a week so she could pay for her school.

“It was so hard,” said Francia. The following semester Francia met with a scholarship advisor that help her put things into prospective.

After meeting with the scholarship advisor Francia decided that her education was the most important thing and she needed to continue to push towards getting her degree.

“I wasn’t doing as well as I would have liked,” said Francia.

Francia got her scholarship back and after the spring of 2014 and started taking online classes to get back on track.

From the fall of 2015 Francia has maintained a 4.0 GPA and began to join many clubs and organizations around the campus that have helped her make it to where she is today.

Although Francia admits that it hasn’t been an easy journey to graduation she knows that she isn’t the only student who has struggled to making it to graduation.

“You are your first priority and if something isn’t working for you, change isn’t necessarily a bad thing,” advises Francia.

Francia will receive her degree in Criminal Justice and Government with a supplementary major in Law and society, this May.

Being the first in her family to graduate not only makes her proud, but it also makes her mother and 11-year-old sister, Alex, proud.

Francia’s mother sends her a message, “Myself and Alex are proud of you and we love you very much.”

Commencement ceremony for NMSU will be held Saturday, May 13. For any information you can call 575-646-7382

Aggies Against Violence

By: Jianna Vasquez

WAVE will host its annual Aggies against violence week April 24 – 26.

The annual event originally started as “Take back the night” which focuses on eliminating sexual violence in all forms. Colleges, Universities, women’s centers and rape-crisis centers around the country sponsor this event.

NMSU’s WAVE has expanded “Take back the night” to a three-day event. These days will be full of events that will aim to educate and bring awareness to the NMSU community about sexual abuse, sexual assault, domestic abuse, domestic assault and other related topics.

“The idea is to take back the ability to feel comfortable, to feel safe and secure in your own community,” said the Program Specialist for WAVE, Meg Long.

According to the National Sexual Violence Resources Center 1 in 4 college women have a chance of becoming a victim of sexual assault.

WAVE wants to raise awareness and let the NMSU community know that sexual violence is an issue that occurs everywhere, even on the NMSU campus.

“When we do the student lifestyle surveys we ask the students if they have ever been sexually assaulted as a student at NMSU, and 6.5 percent of students report that they had,” said Long.

A part from bringing awareness to the community, WAVE also want the community to become educated on sexual assault so they can take action against these issues.

“We want students to start realizing that it’s their place and it’s their responsibility to make sure our community is safe,” said Long. Students can play their part against Violence by staying active, seeing things and saying something or simply sticking up for a friend when situations like this occur.

Aggies against Violence week will include motivational speakers, a photo booth, a screening of documentary that focuses on sexual assault on college campuses, NMSU campus sexual assault and prevention response panel, and will close off on Wednesday with “Take back the night.”

There will be different events so each student can find an activity that will spark their interest.

WAVE not only hopes to raise awareness to the issue, but they also want victims of sexual assault to know that they are not alone, and that there are resources around the community for them to use.

Broadcasters Club

By: Isaiah Silva

NMSU has a lot to offer. It is a unique university where many determine what they want to do with their lives. There is one thing that NMSU offers that many universities don’t – a student-run, live newscast.

News 22 is a legitimate news broadcast that is completely student-ran. There are some professionals that help with the functions for the newscast, but for the most part, students run it. There are students running everything from the production to the cameras, and the on-screen talent.

The students involved and more gather into what is called the Broadcasters Club.

“Really, we’re just kind of a loose group of students that try to meet with professionals in broadcast news, so; radio, television, multimedia, and stuff like that,” Rebekah Baca, Broadcasters Club President said.

A big thing that the Broadcasters Club does is bringing in guest speakers that share their experiences in broadcast journalism with students and provide an opportunity for networking.

“We really just want to prepare ourselves for when we get ready to graduate and meet new people, It’s really great because our professors that are involved in the club, they have a really good network of past students that have done a lot with their careers and that’s mainly where we get our guests from,” Baca said. “So, it’s really great to see people that have gone through this program, been a part of Broadcasters Club and News 22 and have gotten really far.”

In addition to networking, the club also has a lot of fun together. They, like many other organizations, do philanthropy events and take trips to conferences. Earlier this year, the club took a trip to Salt Lake City, Utah.

“We went to Salt Lake City this year to the Society of Professional Journalists regional conference. They got to meet professionals from around the country, they got to tour a television station in Salt Lake City, and some students had their resumes and portfolios reviewed by professionals,” Dr. Roger Mellen, advisor for the Broadcasters Club, said.

Above everything else, being in the club brings friendships. Many of the students are studying the same thing, so they all have a lot in common.

“I know for a fact, a lot of the people, a lot of the students that I’m currently working with are people that I’m going to be able to count on for a long time, even after I graduate,” Baca said.

If you’re considering Journalism as a career field, the Broadcasters Club highly encourages you to join. They are welcoming to all facets of journalism.

“Even if you’re mainly photography, or print, or whatever, just the people you meet here, even just the students are really great,” Baca said.

Dr. Mellen also echoed what Rebekah had to say.

“Anybody interested in broadcast should come and meet some of the interesting guests we have,” Mellen said.

This coming year Nick Miller and Hugo Perez will advise the Broadcaster’s Club. The club meets every other Tuesday at 7:15 in Milton Hall.

Religious Organizations Hold Special Place Students

By: Luis “Luigi” Finston

Religions groups on NMSU campus are growing every semester. Students unite for one common reason and gain friendships with people who have similar interests.

There are several religious student organizations on campus: Christian Challenge, RUF, and Alpha Chi. Each unique and offering a place to worship for their particular religious beliefs.

Jake Barnett is an Engineering major and member of AFC (Aggies for Christ). He describes AFC as a place where he feels welcomed and where the enthusiasm for meeting new people never ceases. “In college, we are all here to grow and mature into better people”, he says.

“It encourages you to become intellectually better and spiritually better. It’s a group of people that is striving towards God and invites others to join.”

Barnett explains that every Wednesday night AFC has a worship night. The organization makes every effort to put together retreats for students as well as game nights. Earlier this year AFC hosted a food truck fiesta and at the end of the year they will be hosting a Luau for the students.

“AFC, for me, is about involvement”, he said.

“For me, AFC is an organization that brings you with like-minded people. I know I can call anyone at AFC and I know they have my back and we’ll make time for each other, no matter how busy we are”.

Barnett firmly believes that if he wasn’t involved in AFC he wouldn’t have as many engagements with other people.

“Being with AFC was the first time that I felt a “fire” for God”, he said.

“It took me from a passive stance with religion to having the ability and the drive to bring others to God, and shine a light upon things.”

Evan Connor describes his experience in a similar fashion. Connor is a member of CRU. He has been a member since his first semester of freshman year.

“I would describe CRU has a community of students that really care about the spiritual being of the campus”, he said.

“Throughout the week we have different bible studies which we call “live groups”. There is one that is specifically designed for freshman and there are separate ones for men and women. Our weekly meetings commence on Thursday’s and after we usually go out as a group to eat somewhere and socialize and connect with each other.”

Like Barnett in AFC, Connor says that if he hadn’t joined some type of religious organization, his college experience would have been drastically different.

“I don’t think I would have a solid understanding of the Gospel. I probably also would not be active in my faith without CRU.”

Several religious organizations have been a part of the NMSU campus for many years. The St. Albert Newman Center, or as it’s known today; NMSU Catholic, has been a part of the university since 1930. It is one of the oldest religious student organizations on campus.

Anissa Wright is a ministry team servant leader who has been a part of the servant leadership council at NMSU Catholic for the past year.

“I believe that the community at NMSU Catholic quite is welcoming”, she said.

“For a lack of better words, it’s a very “judgment free zone”. The community strives to get people to be a part of the organization regardless if they are catholic or not, which makes it unique.”

“It’s given me something bigger than myself. When I first got to college I was looking for something to be a part of and kind of give me life and give me motivation. I wanted to find a group of people whom I could call a family. I joined Greek Life and I realized it wasn’t for me. Once I went to Aggie Awakening, which is NMSU Catholic’s primary retreat, I knew I had found everything I had been searching for since my freshman year.”

Wright said that for her, having a religious student community behind her has not only made her a stronger and more confident individual, but has helped her find her place in a busy and hectic college environment.

“I think I’d be following societies culture, and doing more of what our generation thinks is the “cool thing” to do. With NMSU Catholic I’ve learned a lot of my morals and beliefs and being surrounded by people who have a similar mentality.”


By: Jianna Vasquez

Aggies activity council will host the third annual AggiePalooza on Saturday, April 22, 2017.

AggiePalooza is an event for students, faculty, staff and the community to come together and lift up the Aggie spirit on campus.

With many changes happening to NMSU, Aggies Activity council wants to remind the community that NMSU still has a lot to be proud of.

Organizations across campus will also be collaborating with Aggies Activity Council to bring a night of music, food, fun and good vibes at AggiePalooza.

SAE will have Monster Energy products that they will be giving away at the event and the fraternity Pike will be giving away Rockstar Energy merchandise.

Aggies Activity Council will be giving away special edition “Chug mugs” that will only be given away at AggiePalooza along with free shirts and other merchandise.

Aggies Activity Council Director of Marketing and Social Media, Andrew Monedero started off AggiePalooza so Aggies can come and blow off some steam.

“This event is right before finals and summer start so we want everyone to come and destress,” said Monedero.

“We want to provide a fun, carefree atmosphere for the students to come and have a good time,” said Aggies Activity Council program director, Michaela Van Wormer.

Aggies Activity Council wants the NMSU community to come and destress, enjoy AggiePalooza and most importantly come to have a good time!

AggiePalooza will take place Saturday, April 22, from 4-8 P.M at the NMSU horseshoe and is an event that is free and open to the public.

For any question about AggiePalooza contact Aggies Activity Council at 575-646-4957

Diversity Matters

The Round Up recently went around campus and asked readers how they feel NMSU has done in being a diverse campus, as well as how they have seen that play out in their day-to-day lives. Here are some of the best responses TRU received:

Screen Shot 2017-04-10 at 3.30.43 PM

“I think NMSU has done this very wonderful because I’ve never experienced anything that makes me feel like I belong to a different group or a minority group. Wherever I go, or whoever I talk to, I feel like I’m being mixed with them. They receive me very well, they talk to me very well, and I’ve been here for the past three years and have walked to different places and departments here on campus and everywhere I go it’s a wonderful reception. I’ve never felt that I belong to a different group or that I’m separated, it never feels anything like that.”

Screen Shot 2017-04-10 at 3.30.50 PM

“I guess being a minority you can definitely feel a difference because of course there’s other minorities here on campus, but I think that there’s not a lot of clubs that are really related to my ethnicity as an African-American. But I guess moving forward there is a lot of talk about NMSU providing tutoring for diverse students, rather than just telling us that it’s available, instead they’re coming to us and bringing us in.

Screen Shot 2017-04-10 at 3.30.59 PM

“I definitely feel different. I think people actually know it when I tell them, other than that I’m mistaken to be a Mexican so other than that I feel like the Native-American population is super small, like really small, here on the NMSU campus which is okay. I also feel like they have accommodated Native-Americans pretty well even if we’re a small percentage here because we have our own center and lab and stuff like that. And I feel like compared to most universities that I have visited before I came here they have some pretty good stuff for us Natives. So I actually feel okay. I think they’re diverse to others too and are trying to do their best to accommodate.

Screen Shot 2017-04-10 at 3.31.08 PM

“NMSU has provided not just me, but all types of color that walk this campus at a chance at opportunity and a pathway toward success. Not only have I grown as a student but I have also furthered my development as a person with an enhanced sefawareness, social development, real world training and a better look of who I am as a person. I was given a chance like many students here to further my education and pursue my purpose in life.”

Screen Shot 2017-04-10 at 3.31.16 PM

“They’re doing what a university can. It goes down to how people react to different beliefs and diversity. I think NMSU is welcoming, it’s just that sometimes the student body isn’t very welcoming of diverse beliefs. But I mean the school can only go so far and I think they’re doing what they can do accommodate in however they can.”

American – Indian Week at NMSU

By: Jianna Vasquez

NMSU’s American Indian program (AIP) kicked off their annual American Indian week on April 3rd. The organization showcased a variety of events throughout the week, which included native dances, art, discussion panels and tacos.

The week-long event is organized by student-run organizations: American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES), United Native American Organization and Native American Business Student Association(NABSA) with the support of AIP.

Members of the American Indian program want to share who they are and where they come from with the NMSU community. It is also a week to recognize the many American-Indians that attend NMSU.

“There are so many cultures that we want to share with the whole university,” said AIP member, Shawn Aragon.

Lanirae Padilla, who is a part of the Navaho Nation Tribe and is the Current NMSU Miss Native American for the 2016-2017 year, said that American Indian week isn’t only a week for Native Americans, but it’s also a week for Non-natives to come together and encourage each other different ethnicities.


“Being here makes me happy to see how everyone comes together to get educated on each other’s culture,” said Padilla. Padilla’s roommate and escort for the day, Taryn Smith agreed with her and said that this week gives her an opportunity to learn about her friend’s culture.

“As someone who did not grow up Native American I have learned so much, not only from this week, but by living with my roommate,” said Smith.

American Indian week offered a variety of different events for the community to attend and learn about the American Indian Culture.

Wednesday, April 5, the organization held its annual taco demonstration.

“The taco is basically a staple in all our communities,” explained Aragon. “It’s just called different in every nation we have Apache tacos, Navaho tacos, Indian tacos.” “Everyone just loves tacos.”

Indian Tacos are much like traditional tacos except they are on an open-faced fried bread. Indian fry bread is made up of: Flour, salt, baking powder, water and is fried in Vegetable oil. The fried bread is then topped with meat, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and onions to make up what is known as the Indian taco.

The taco demonstration was accompanied by performance from the Cibecue Crown Dancers from the Southwest Apace tribe. The Cibicue Crown Dancers performed some of their traditional dances.

The Miss Native American NMSU pageant also took place during American Indian week. Padilla will give her crown to the winner of the pageant on Thursday.

Contestants of the pageant are judges on four categories which include: a traditional activity, public speaking, an impromptu question and overall presentation. The winner of the pageant will ultimately serve as an ambassador of NMSU’s Native American community.

American Indian closed out with an arts and crafts fair on Friday where members of the community will learn how to make traditional art and a story tellers concert.

The finale of American Indian week will be on Saturday where there will be another arts and crafts fair and one last chance for the community to purchase Indian tacos and see Jemez Dancers perform.

The American Indian program hopes that American Indian week has given the NMSU community a chance to embrace and learn about their indigenous culture and beliefs.

For any question on the American Indian Program you can call 575-646-4207

Packing Tips

Let’s face it, Spring Break is a perfect traveling excuse. Whether you are hitting the beach this break or simply visiting family in some colder places, we have a few tips to keep in mind and you get ready for your one week getaway. For a full list of packing tips, as well as other spring break ideas, be sure to check out TRU Online – for a full list of on-line exclusives.

Oven Mit

For your straight iron and curling iron

Dryer Sheets

Keeps clothes fresh

Shower Cap 

To keep your shoes from getting your clothes dirty


Stuff your socks inside your shoes to make more room

* Always carry extra ziplock bags just in case you need to put loose items in them

Plastic wrap all your liquid so they don’t leak on your other belongings 

Global Warming: How it affects New Mexico

Photo Courtesy: NOAA

By: Derek Gonzales

Global Warming has been a topic of concern for country leaders for the last 25 years. There is no way around the fact that temperatures are rising in the United States and worldwide, but has it impacted the State of New Mexico? Per the National Centers of Environmental Information, the average annual temperature has increased 2 degrees in New Mexico since 1970. Historically unprecedented future warming is likely and droughts in the region will likely increase, while snow-pack accumulation should decrease.

Dr. Dan Dugas, a professor at New Mexico State University in the Department of Geography since 1996, is familiar with the southwestern climate, believes that climate change is upon us and is much more than just warmer days.

“Certainly one can say from the scientific community and the vast general consensus is that global warming is happening we are experiencing climate change,” Dugas explained. “The reason for that is amongst the scientific community, there is belief that humans have had a role to play. The increase in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases allow for there to be higher levels of energy from the Sun, so it’s not just a temperature thing. It’s an increase of energy from the Sun that influences droughts, floods, hurricanes, and ocean temperatures.”

The average monthly high in February in Las Cruces is 64 degrees but the temperature cleared the 70 degree plateau a record nine times last month (twice reaching 80 degrees). Precipitation varies from year to year, but the driest eras in New Mexico were in the early 1950’s and the 2010’s. Because of this recent trend of below-average yearly precipitation totals, the Elephant Butte Reservoir water levels have steadily declined.

The lack of rain also shakes up the ecosystem of the Chihuahuan Desert. Extreme drought causes grasslands to die, and the grasslands were a food resource for wild livestock. Increasing temperatures also causes evaporation in moist and vegetated surfaces.

“Climate change is just so much more than being able to bust out the tank tops and shorts earlier than during Spring Break,” Alex Montoya, a 23-year-old Environmental Science major said. “I actually went on an internship and lived in the Gila National Mountains for a summer and saw first-hand what hotter-than-normal temperatures do to insects and animals. They are engineered to do certain things once the climate starts acting a certain way, and when it doesn’t get cold when it should, coyotes and bears for example will begin to starve because they cannot find the resources they would usually find.”

Projections predict that during the spring season, which is already dry, New Mexico will see even more of a decline in rainfall. Coupled with warmer temperatures, this harms snow-pack rain. Less snow, which melts quicker, means less water in rivers during the summer months, when farmers need that water for crops like cotton, pecans and chilé. Changes in irrigation would need to be made even if there was not a decline in snow, because the hotter temperatures cause the snow to melt before it usually does.

Climate change is here according to the statistics and scientists, and it will be up to this generation to slow down what could permanently harm our only home forever.

Gender Diverse Aggie

By: Jianna Vasquez

One-hundred percent of Americans use the restroom, but only one percent of the population face the issue of which bathroom to use.

As of Feb. 22, President Trump rescinded protection for transgender students that had previously allowed them to use restrooms corresponding with their gender identity. President Trumps decision will not affect many Americans, but to the one percent of transgender people this decision will affect all of them.

“I feel like now is the most important time to speak out and to speak up to protect people’s rights, all different people who are subjected to their rights being taken away,” said Agricultural Extension Education Major and President of Gender Diverse Aggies, Max Meyer.

The transgender community around America has been battling the “restroom issue” for over a year.

Screen Shot 2017-03-07 at 1.54.48 PM

Last May, former President Barack Obama, had instructed public schools to let transgender students use the bathroom that matched their chosen gender identity. Schools who did not comply were threatened to have their funding withheld. Transgender people around the nation took this as a big step towards social equality and victory for their civil rights.

Although, President Trump has rescinded the bathroom guidelines that were in place, the Supreme court will have the final say as to whether Title Nine –part of the nations educational amendments— not only covers sex discrimination in schools, but if the amendment also extends to gender identity.

Gender Diverse Aggies (GDA) is a student group promoting gender diversity and the expression of all genders. GDA has mapped all gender neutral restrooms on the NMSU campus and are working actively to convert these to unisex stalls.

GDA not only wants to bridge the education gap that most people face when it comes to the subject of transgender people, but they also want to ensure that the campus is safe for everyone.

“We’ve been working on closing that gap and making sure that people have the correct information,” said Meyer.

Meyer, a California native, arrived in New Mexico in 2015.The lack of resources Las Cruces had for the transgender community prompted him to help start up the organization.

“It was shocking and frustrating,” said Meyers. GDA was built from the ground up. In two years since starting up the organization, several doctors in Las Cruces now care to the transgender community and prescribe them with hormone replacement therapy.

Not only has the transgender support grown within the NMSU campus, but it has also grown in the Las Cruces community. The transgender resource center of New Mexico has also established a support group here in Las Cruces. The support group has have helped many transgender people have a sense of belonging within the community.

Along with the transgender community making themselves known in Las Cruces, GDA has also made many accomplishments on the NMSU campus.

“We’ve come very far in the past couple of years,” said Meyer.

The organization has established the name change policy. This system was put into place so that transgender student would be able to change their name on myNMSU and on the class rosters. Teachers must use students preferred name.

Go to the LGBT+ programs to ask about more information about this policy.

The Campus Medical Center has also trained their staff on LGBT issues and how to respectfully address transgender students and can also be used a resource for any transgender medical needs.

Transgender people have a high suicide rate, and high depression. About half of the transgender population will attempt suicide, but GDA wants the transgender community to know that there is support here at NMSU.

During these times when many new decisions are being put in place for our country, GDA will continue to promote the protection and serve the transgender community at NMSU.

“If anyone else would like to help us in this fight then come to Garcia Annex, Thursday’s at four,” said Meyer.

For more information on Gender Diverse Aggies you can contact them at GDA@nmsu.ed