UNM is Dreaming of a White Male Administration…Just Like the Administrations They Used To Know

UNMREGENTS

***Current UNM Board of Regents and President Frank***

Yesterday, Governor Susana Martinez announced her picks for three new Regents at the University of New Mexico. As per usual, none of the Regent selections were people of color.

That makes a Board of Regents at UNM that is completely lacking in diversity and does not accurately represent the student body. (Oh yeah… Regent Koch resigned, but was reappointed to fill Regent James position. Let’s not forget that 482 out of 492 faculty member’s voted no confidence in Regent Koch in 2010)

This should not come as a surprise to anybody. Just a few months ago, UNM’s first InnovateABQ board was selected and…you guessed it…none of the members were people of color or women. They were a bunch of older white males.

The public was outraged and UNM was forced to “expand” the board from 6 members to 11 members. One of the old white guys on the original board was furious and actually resigned his position. (He claimed that an 11-person board would be ineffective)

Now, you need to understand the process of getting selected for the InnovateABQ Board to understand why white males were selected in the first place. The Board of Regents reviews applications and makes the selections. So is it any surprise that a non-diverse Board of Regents selected a non-diverse InnovateABQ Board?

The University’s old, white, male President Frank is so excited about the expansion of the Board (maybe it has something to do with the city threatening to withhold $2 million unless the Board is expanded). He stated, “This makes up for our lack of diversity the first time…” Wow…I guess we should be grateful that they considered diversity after they were forced to do so.

This is just the tip of the non-diverse iceberg. There has never been a Hispanic, Black, or Native American Student Regent (in 20 plus years) and there are very few people of color in faculty positions. This total lack of diversity is sickening when you realize that 56% of New Mexico’s population is people of color and over 50% of the student body is people of color.

The sad fact is that the old white guard continues to control the establishments of America. They are not going to give up control easily. Racism, sexism, exploitation of the poor, and brutality (by the police and military) will continue as a means to retain power.

New Mexicans Unite Across the State to Protest Police Brutality & Racism on 12-13-14

Protest Uptown

***ABQ Uptown Mall***

The Movement has begun. Today, all across the country, tens of thousands of people marched against police brutality and racism. The time to dismantle the unjust system and create something better has arrived.

em121214eProtest Santa Fe

***UNM Medical students hold die-in***People unite in Santa Fe***

In New Mexico, over 60 UNM Medical students held a die-in on UNM North Campus today; 50-100 people gathered in Santa Fe and marched down Cerrillos road; and roughly 30 people “shut down” the ABQ Uptown Mall in Albuquerque.

The numbers of people answering the call for action in New Mexico may not be as overwhelming as some other places, but that does not matter. Any action is better than no action at all.

It is disheartening to hear people say hateful/ignorant comments. It is disheartening to know that the police will mobilize in force to protect consumers and property. It is disheartening to think that people love “flash mobs” in a mall when they sing and dance, but become angry when a group of people attempt to bring awareness of injustice to the public.

At the ABQ Uptown Mall, consumer’s yelled comments like:

“Get a life”

“You are breaking the law…this is private property”

“If Black lives mattered so much, why aren’t there any black people with you?”

“All lives matter…not just black ones”

“All of the shootings were justified”

“Get a job and get out of my way”

“Go protest at the police department, not here”

These comments are typical. They show how little the general public seems to care about racism or injustice. They believe that nothing is wrong with the system. It shows how much they buy into the belief that property rights are more important than human lives. They are more concerned about a few minutes of their commute rather than showing solidarity for a few minutes.

Come on People, get your heads out of your asses. Do I have to be black to believe that black lives matter? Am I only supposed to care about my own race? I know that all lives matter, but the reality is that our system is designed to prey on people of color. It is a fact, not just a fun talking point. Educate yourselves.

protest commute

 “Inconveniencing” consumers by blocking traffic for 5-10 minutes is not done to punish anybody. It is done to force people to take time out of their day to reflect on issues that are important. Does anybody remember the bus boycotts or a woman named Rosa Parks? I will bet people were pissed off at them for “inconveniencing” their commute as well.

protestuptown2

***APD is deployed against peaceful protestors to serve as a private Army for Corporate America***

 The action at the ABQ Uptown Mall was originally supposed to be a die-in at Coronado Mall. Unfortunately the police were tipped off and were surrounding the meeting area. They were ready to arrest anybody who disrupted the capitalistic monster from consuming. Public tax dollars were used to stop people from lying down on the floor for a little while. There were multiple APD officers and cars all around the Mall.

police-militarized1

 The simple fact that the police were there is screwed up and amplifies the distorted truth of our injustice system. The Mall is “private” property; the police are supposed to serve and protect the “public”. They were deployed to the Mall like a private Army for the elite. The “militarization” of the police continues and must be stopped. They should not be at the beckon call of those who have money.

The struggle must continue. The People must have the attention span to keep building this Movement. Although protests are important for creating social awareness, the Movement will be created through organizing, educating the public, and time. People need to know the truth and be educated on why this is important. It has gone on for way too long!

Today was a just the ripple of a social wave that is growing. It doesn’t matter how many People participated today, it matters how many People participate tomorrow and every day after that.

 

Injustice is Inevitable

fergusonprotest1

                          *New Mexico State Police wait in riot gear on Central & Girard

It is time for me to admit it; some things in life are just inevitable. This morning I woke and was mesmerized by the golden rays of the sun penetrating the New Mexico horizon. The colors of the New Mexico sky can be one of the most beautiful experiences in the world. It made me think about the natives and how they saw the same colors in the sky since time immemorial. The sun rising and setting has happened since the beginning of the earth and will continue to its end. It is inevitable.

fergusonprotest2

The fact that Officer Wilson will not be indicted was also inevitable. Really…how many people really believed that he would stand before his peers in a court of law? A grand jury is not a trial; it is a process that determines if there should be a trial. There is no way that the state (who is the prosecution and is the only side that gets to present a case in a grand jury proceeding) will give a 100% effort when presenting its case against a cop. The system is flawed.

I was even more disturbed when I read comments about the marches that occurred around the country in response to the announcement. I read comments like:

 

“Those who think that an injustice was done do not know the facts or evidence of the case”

 

“The liberals had their feel good moment, now they can go back home and sleep safely in their beds knowing that they are protected”

 

There were hundreds of comments similar to these. I could not believe the hatred and anger that these commenters directed at their fellow citizens who were exercising their 1st Amendment rights. I could not understand how they could be so blind as to believe that the system is not broken.

fergusonprotest3

The protests were not about the Ferguson case alone. They were a response to uncontrolled police brutality across the country, racist sentencing guidelines in our one-sided court system, the militarization of the police force, prison systems that are overcrowded with people of color, and a court system that sends innocent people to jail.

I will agree with the commenter who states that people do not know the facts or evidence in the Mike Brown case. That is why this should have gone to trial. That is where both sides will present the facts and evidence to a jury of Officer Wilson’s peers. Let them decide his guilt or innocence, not the commenters on Facebook who think that they know everything somehow.

No matter what an individual thinks about the Ferguson case, they have to admit that our system is broken and needs to be fixed. The decision not to indict a cop should not be the inevitable outcome every time.

****I would also like to apologize to my readers for the long delay between posts. It will not happen again****

WTF? Is UNM President Frank Really Considering These 2 Stupid Ideas?

 

Yosemite Frank

 

How many stupid ideas can the UNM administration come up with this year? Here are 2 absolutely moronic ideas that top the list for 2014. I know that President Frank may not be responsible for all of them…but our story needs a villain and he is it. (PLUS, #WhatTheFrank sounds really cool)

STUPID IDEA #1: Hurting underrepresented & low income students

Recently, NMSU decided that raising admission standards to a 2.75 GPA is a good idea. For some stupid reason, UNM is considering making the exact same change to its admission standards.

Don’t get me wrong, I realize that there must be some type of admission standards in place at major universities. But, by utilizing both a higher GPA and standardized test scores, many minorities/ lower-income students will not be able to attend UNM.

In 2009, UNM admitted that GPA’s alone are sufficient in determining academic ability. In a report to the LESC, UNM testified:

“The high school GPA increase is the preferred choice for improving preparation as opposed to utilizing a minimum score on a standardized college entrance exam such as ACT or SAT. Not only is the high school GPA considered more predictive of college success but the de-emphasis of test scores in favor of curriculum and GPA assists the University in maintaining a strong commitment to access and diversity since this approach has less of an impact on underrepresented populations.

So…if they want to increase GPA requirements, they MUST get rid of ACT or SAT score requirements. In the same report, they brag:

“The University of New Mexico has admirably resisted implementing a minimum test score requirement to be admitted.”

It’s funny how bureaucrats change their tune so quickly. How was a bad idea a few years ago now considered a good idea? I know…Money talks.

King Frank

STUPID IDEA #2: Making it difficult for the AVERAGE New Mexico child to be admitted

In the report, UNM testified that:

No New Mexico beginning freshman will be denied admission to UNM”

To begin with…that is absolutely hilarious! According to the PED and a complaint filed by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) the average ACT score in New Mexico is 17 as opposed to the national average of 25.

On top of that, the test adversely impacts minorities: 78% of New Mexican Caucasians met the college readiness benchmarks in English while only 49% of Latino, 28% of Native Americans, and 53% of African American students did.

Currently, UNM “requires” students that are accepted who score below 17 to enroll in the Early Start Program. The students are required to take 6 credit hours the summer before Freshman semester starts. If they do not complete the 6 hours, they will not officially be admitted into UNM.

The program is not covered by the Lottery scholarship and is not fully funded. Many of the students go into debt to take the classes.

UNM plans to require students who score a 19 or lower on the ACT to enroll in Early Start beginning in 2015.

Therefore, the “AVERAGE” New Mexico student will only be conditionally admitted to UNM if they get a slot in Early Start (which has limited slots available).

So…it seems that almost ALL “average” New Mexico students will be denied admission to UNM!

Dumb,Dumber & Dumbest

These 2 ideas are stupid and we need to speak up. How can the “average” students in New Mexico be held responsible for a failing educational system?

As UNM admitted, the ACT/SAT tests adversely impact minorities and low-income students. Yet they have gone back on their word and decided that they are important for some reason. Do they care about New Mexico students or are they more concerned about their US News College ranking?

They need to focus on what is important to our children…not their paycheck size. If you have any other stupid ideas that you know about concerning any of New Mexico’s Institutions of Higher Education, Tweet them to @DailyLoco or use #WhatTheFrank

 

 

Why Does UNM Love Drunk Drivers and Money?

c01_jd_26jul_saavedra-120x120

Does the screwed up moral compass of UNM bother anybody else? UNM President Bob Frank was “saddened” when the UNM lobbyist, Marc Saavedra, who has endangered the lives of multiple people by getting behind the wheel of a car drunk, was arrested and charged with his 3rd DWI. On flip side, he believes that a faculty member, Prof. David Correia, who stands up for the rights of people facing abuse by the Albuquerque Police Department, is not in line with the high standards expected of UNM faculty.

What is wrong with this world? President Frank was so upset by Prof. Correia’s actions that he said the university will “monitor” the situation. Maybe he should have monitored the high paid lobbyist ($156,000 per year) who promised to seek help and quit drinking after his 2nd arrest in 2006. Maybe he should have monitored that same lobbyist after he ran away after he refused to pay $28 for a taxi ride for him and a lady friend.

So why would President Frank speak so highly about Marc Saavedra and be “truly sorry” to see him resign? Probably because he was effective at bringing in big money from the state legislature. UNM Regent Jamie Koch said that Saavedra would be “hard to replace” because he knew more about state finance and how the legislature works than anybody. I guess “high standards” are not expected of UNM lobbyists if they know how to get money for the university.

This situation highlights the degraded mission of higher education. A professor who walks the walk is frowned upon for being “radical” and not worthy of praise. That is because he does not bring in the money that Saavedra does. Prof. Correia gets news coverage that corporations and state legislators are afraid to associate with. Although he was doing something honorable and respectable, it threatened the money supply of the beast. On the other hand, drunk driving and stiffing a taxi driver out of $28 is acceptable as long as Saavedra keeps the money flowing.

In the end, Marc Saavedra resigned from his position while Prof. Correia received tenure. The outcomes were both exactly the way they should have been, but the fact remains that UNM has some really screwed up morals and is guided by greed.

Why New Mexicans Should Fear Conrad James

Conrad James

The battle for the New Mexico House of Representatives is shaping up to be a battle for the ages. Republicans have an opportunity to take control of the House for the first time in decades. They are foaming at the mouth and throwing money around the state in rapid-fire fashion. House District 24 pits Democrat incumbent Elizabeth Thomson against Republican Challenger Conrad James. Conrad James must not win the election.

Conrad James was the state representative for District 24 from 2011-2012. He lost his re-election bid to Rep. Thomson by less than 300 votes. During his time in office, Conrad James waged a war against state workers, women, and undocumented immigrants. He believes that social programs should not be funded by income redistribution and that industry should be deregulated.

War on Children and Women

In 2011, Mr. James irresponsibly sponsored HB 380, No School Health Center Reproductive Services. This bill would have prohibited all advice or health care related to contraception, abortion, sexually transmitted diseases or reproductive process and functions!

Was he out of his mind? New Mexico has the highest rate of teen pregnancy in the country. According to a Legislative Finance Committee report, teen pregnancy costs New Mexico $590 million per year. Children born due to teen pregnancy have an increased likelihood to be incarcerated or live in poverty.

Here are some startling statistics from hhs.gov:

  • 68% of teenage parents in New Mexico are Hispanic
  • 5% of New Mexico girls have had sexual intercourse before the age of 13
  • 11% of New Mexico girls have been physically forced to have sexual intercourse
  • 87% of teenage pregnancies occur out of wedlock
  • The teenage abortion rate in New Mexico is 17 per 1000, which is lower than the national average of 18 per 1000
  • 11% of female and 18% of male high school students have had sexual intercourse with 4 or more partners
  • 15% of New Mexico teenagers chose not to use protection during their last sexual intercourse

Many of these children do not have anybody to turn to for help or advice concerning sexual intercourse. Their only option to get help is at school. If Mr. James believes that sexual education and advice is evil or immoral, he needs to wake up! New Mexico has been ranked as the worst state to raise a child even under the best of circumstances.

War on State Workers

State workers are the only people Mr. James seems to hate more than teenagers, immigrants, and the poor. In 2011, Mr. James sponsored a bill to prohibit payment for accumulated sick leave for state workers.

Wow! This would save the state of New Mexico millions of dollars right? Wrong! Most state workers are authorized paid sick leave every year. To reward workers for attending work, the state passed legislation that would allow workers to cash in sick leave if it was unused. It was an incentive to come to work and be productive.

By taking away the cash-in option, Mr. James’ bill would force state workers to use all of their sick leave and miss work. This would dramatically reduce the already pathetic efficiency of state government. Why should a state worker let the sick leave accumulate if there is no incentive to do so? The bill was idiotic and shows a lack of understanding of state government.

On top of that, he voted for a bill to increase the retirement age of state workers. Apparently, he believes that people should be forced to work until they die to get any type of benefit.

Undocumented Immigrants

Obviously, a man who grew up in Ohio, lives in a predominantly white district, and makes ridiculous amounts of money has very little sympathy for immigrants who risk their lives to make a better future for their families.

He voted to restrict driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants. It seems strange that a man of African-American decent would vote to restrict the rights of a people who are marginalized, discriminated against, and treated as outcasts of society.

On top of that, he is a member of the Board of Regents at the University of New Mexico. He is in control of the academic future of many undocumented immigrants and students who have family members that are undocumented.

War on the Poor

Mr. James believes that “Tax policy should not be used to redistribute wealth, choose economic winners and losers, or to engineer society. Taxes should be kept low, simple, broad, and predictable.” That should be translated to say that state- run social programs to help the poor should not be funded! This is a typical economic ideal of someone who resides amongst the societal elite. Their rallying cry should be “Don’t take our money to pay those lazy bums in the South Valley and rural New Mexico.”

It is nice that Mr. James has money to put food on his table, hire a nanny, send his children to elite private schools, and live the life of his dreams. Unfortunately, the majority of New Mexicans cannot. People need food stamps, subsidized child care, school funding, and other programs to survive. How does Mr. James propose that we pay for these programs? My guess is that he does not have a plan to help the poor.

The status quo of the elite and powerful will be safe as long as he gets elected. It is unfortunate that somebody like this is on the Board of Regents at UNM. Many of his students come from families who are poor and rely on social programs.

Environmental Assassin

The title of this category is a little harsh, but not unwarranted. Although Mr. James has not directly passed or sponsored any environmentally dangerous bills, his record shows that he favors deregulation. His official stance is:

“Regulation policies should be focused on protecting citizens and the environment and not used to punish/reward particular industries or micromanage the private market. I will continue to work to ensure that more energy is safely produced in New Mexico.”

It is funny to read that he wants to “protect citizens and the environment.” Mr. James is funded by multiple out-of-state oil and energy companies who are salivating at a chance to cash-in on New Mexico. On top of that, he received a $1000 campaign contribution from Monsanto! I will not go into an in-depth analysis of how wrong it is to accept money from Monsanto and still claim that you want to protect people and the environment.

Just Say No!!!

These are just a few of the reasons to make sure that Conrad James loses his election bid. They even call into question his position as a Board of Regent member at UNM. He is supported by the NRA and is a prototype Koch Brother clone. He must be stopped! Take some time to look at his campaign contributions and his legislative history. It should shock you. He has clearly demonstrated that he is out of touch with the realities of New Mexico and does not understand those who are not amongst the elite. His ignorance should not be a complete surprise considering the fact that District 24 is 60% Caucasian. He should stick to what he is good at…working for Sandia Labs.

The UNM Video Proposal for the New College of Social Transformation!

#OurUNM holds symbolic Die-In to give students a voice

OurUNM Die In Group 5

The #OurUNM Student movement held a symbolic Die-In in front of Zimmerman Library on Wednesday, May 7th. The event was designed to allow students to express how the system has failed them. Students outlined each others silhouette with chalk and then placed a message inside to represent their symbolic death. The Die-In last for almost 2 hours and hundreds of students either witnessed or participated in it.

The messages covered a wide variety of concerns and many of the onlookers were inspired to ask questions. They did not know that so many systematic problems existed. No matter how many people actually chalked, the reality is that the event sparked conversations that may have never been brought up to some students.

OurUNM Die In IgnoredOurUNM Die In law student ratio

Some of the messages directly addressed racial inequality and bias on campus. One student wrote that they are the only black student in their class and they feel like they are ignored. It is difficult for a young person to have nobody else in a class that looks like them. Another student pointed out that there are only 4 African-American students in the UNM School of Law (out of 330). It makes me wonder how we can have a fair system of justice if the only law school in the entire state of New Mexico only has 4 African-American students.

OurUNM Die In HomelessOurUNM Die In FoodOurUNM Die In housing

One student pointed out that he was homeless while another was concerned the they did not have enough money to buy food. Last year there were over 400 homeless students at CNM and many more at UNM. These students do not have a permanent place to live while they attempt to better their lives. That is unacceptable. To make matters worse, full time students are not eligible for many public benefits. Students cannot get SNAP (food stamps) or commodities.

OurUNM Die in Police Brutality

Students discussed mounting debt and sky high tuition rates. Others were worried about the Bridge and Lottery Scholarship, poor academic advising due to a 800:1 student to advisor ratio, and police brutality. The list goes on and on. It is clear that the system is broken. Students do not know who to turn to for help. They are hungry for change and will force the system to react.

#OurUNM Greeted by the Police at their Candlelight Vigil

#OurUNM Banner

Police officers lined the streets and news cameras were ready to roll as #OurUNM approached President Frank’s house on Tuesday. The student movement had slowly made its way across campus, linking arms in a show of solidarity. As they crossed the street to set up a candlelight vigil in the President’s front yard, the police officers snapped to attention and prohibited the group from leaving the sidewalk. The officers did not care that the land was located on public property or that the student’s tuition paid for the luxurious home of the mighty President Frank. They were there to protect the Privileged and to persecute the People.

Police power

Police officers stand guard to keep these radicals off the lawn

The Movement was peaceful and the students did not have any intention of harming the President or the taxpayer property on which his tuition paid home was located. They were there to hold a candlelight vigil in remembrance of every student, faculty member, or community member that the system has tragically failed. They were there to tell personal stories that illustrated the point of the Movement. They gathered in front of President Frank’s house to make a statement and to encourage him to engage with the students.

Apparently President Frank had other ideas. His personal security force, also known as the UNM Police Department, formed a perimeter of safety around his fortress. He wasn’t going to stoop down to the level of these radical leftist students who do not represent his “real” student body. He had more important matters to attend to that evening. He had dinner guests to entertain and he couldn’t ignore that obligation. At the end of the evening, he made sure to ignore the mob on the sidewalk while he walked his distinguished guests to their car.

President Frank

President Frank and his guests (apparently more important than the students on his sidewalk)

The police officers must have been ordered to allow the Privileged onto the property. During the vigil, multiple students cut across the President’s front lawn without a peep from the police officers. They were not about to stop “real” students from exerting their privilege. They were there to keep the criminals and radicals on the sidewalk.

Channel 7 News seemed to have more important issues to cover and left. They weren’t going to waste time actually listening to what the students had to say. They wanted action and violence. That was newsworthy, while a peaceful and respectful gathering of students was just plain boring. Mainstream media does not have time to care about real issues; they need excitement to keep their advertisers happy.

On the other hand, Univision stayed for the entire vigil. The reporter was involved and really interested in the student’s stories. Univision really cared about the issues and the people involved.

Despite the obvious systematic discrimination taking place, the evening was a success. #OurUNM continued to show that they stand for peace, respect, inclusion, and equity. Students were drawn to the vigil and shared some very emotional stories with the group. Community members joined in and expressed solidarity with the Movement. Children played and made sure that all of the candles remained lit. Poets spoke beautiful and powerful words to inspire the group. It was an amazing moment in time and is a sign that something special is happening.

OurUNM Alter

President Frank may think very little of the Movement and mainstream media may not care, but a small group of students and community members are determined to change UNM. One of the students put it best by quoting Margaret Mead:

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

Enough said. Please join the Movement and change the world! https://www.facebook.com/ourunm

 

#OurUNM and the New Student Movement

OurUNM unity

To paraphrase a famous quote, the wind of change is blowing through New Mexico. Whether they (those in power) like it or not, this growth of community consciousness is a political fact. The gentle breeze of unrest has rapidly increased into a typhoon of outrage and disgust. Citizens across New Mexico are organizing to fight political corruption, police brutality, inequality, and injustice. In the same regard, students at the University of New Mexico are organizing to demand accountability, transparency, equity, and inclusion.

A student and community group called #OurUNM has emerged as the voice of the students and has forced the administration to listen. #OurUNM gathered in front of the UNM Bookstore on Wednesday, April 23rd and conducted a rally in which over 100 students attended. The group had multiple speakers address the crowd concerning multiple university related issues. After an hour of rallying, the group decided to respectfully march through campus, the Student Union Building, and to UNM President Frank’s office.

Contrary to some reports,the march was peaceful and respectful the entire time. The marchers maintained a quiet tone while marching through the SUB and made very little noise in the President’s office. Once they packed into the office, they hand delivered a list of demands for equity, accountability, transparency, and inclusion to the President’s Chief of Staff.

OurUNM Packs Office

On Friday, April 25th, #OurUNM students attended a Student Fee forum conducted by the UNM Student Body President and the Graduate and Professional Student Association President. The forum focused on President Frank’s broken promise to give students a voice in how student fees are allocated. President Frank removed all student input from the student fee allocation to athletics ($4 million) and libraries ($780,000). The only voice that remains for the students will be in the remaining student fee allocation that must be split amongst every other organization in the university.

OurUNM MannyOurUNM Chris

Multiple media outlets attended the forum and interviewed students from #OurUNM. Apparently, the media attention caused a panic in the administration which forced President Frank to release a statement that afternoon:

Dear students –

Student engagement in shared governance is critical to the success of any university, especially to a public research university such as UNM. During this spring semester, in particular, I have heard from a number of formal and informal student organizations, as well as individual students, that we need to find additional ways to ensure that all voices can be heard in order to maintain an accountable, inclusive and transparent community.

I believe in continuous improvement. We can always do better and commit ourselves to finding solutions rather than providing excuses. In order to hear more student voices, the Provost and I propose the creation of a student cabinet as an additional way to engage with students. This cabinet would facilitate communication with a broader cross-section of our students, both undergraduate and graduate. It would act as a forum for discussion on campus issues important to students, such as academic affairs, student affairs,  financial and other critical issues, with the goal of bettering our institution.

 The Student Cabinet is in no way intended to interfere with the operation and structure of our Student Governments, and will not replace the current formal representation from our elected student leaders.  However, it will allow for an additional sounding board for students and the administration to communicate on all aspects of the student experience.

 Over the next week, we will be announcing the process for nominations and applications for the Student Cabinet. I am looking forward to improving the level of student engagement and would like to thank our students for their passion and involvement in our university.

Go Lobos!

 Robert G. Frank,

President

On top of his condescending email to the students, President Frank went on to conduct more damage control in the media. He minimized and belittled the student Movement on KOAT News. He stated that the Movement only consisted of 2 small official student groups and a few students who are part of an unofficial student group. In his mind, “It is only about 1000 students being vocal, while the other 31,000 [students] are going to class.” President Frank went on to “clarify” that the students are just “confused and misinformed”. He took the opportunity to tout his “brilliant” idea of a new “Student Cabinet” with which he will meet 2 times a semester to get student input.

He was also kind enough to do an interview on KRQE News in which he said that there are “more important stakeholders” than the students. Once again, he took the opportunity to pat himself on the back and announce his “Student Cabinet” idea. According to KRQE ,President Frank said “even though he won’t be going through the Student Fee Review Board for athletic and library fees,” he’s “put together a new student cabinet.” Therefore, “I’m going to get more input from more students so, I think the concern that they’re not going to get input is wrong. I’m going to get more input from more students about this.” http://krqe.com/2014/04/25/unm-president-cuts-student-input-for-some-fees/

Amazingly, KOB News focused on the student perspective, but President Frank provided a statement to them in which he once again mentions his wonderful idea of a “Student Cabinet”. http://www.kob.com/article/stories/S3413316.shtml?cat=500#.U1vNLl5X9g0

It is clear that President Frank thinks very little of student input, student Movements, and believes that he can make it all just go away with a “Student Cabinet”. The idea is ridiculous and to make matters worse, students were not consulted at all. How can a “Student Cabinet” exist if students did not create it? How can students expect to be heard if they were not involved in any aspect of this idea?

Obviously, President Frank sent the message out after the forum to have evidence and talking points when he addressed the media. He wants the public to believe that he has been thinking about the situation for a long time and has developed a well thought out solution. It is pure propaganda and proof that he will never care about the students as much as the “other stakeholders”.

Students and community members will come together and show President Frank and the media that this Movement is not just a few confused students being vocal. They will reject his “Student Cabinet” idea and demand that he sit down at the table for negotiations with them. THE STUDENTS AND THE COMMUNITY WILL NOT BE SILENCED AND WILL CONTROL HOW THIS PROCESS MOVES FORWARD.

The winds of change are at typhoon strength and must continue to blow. #OurUNM is not going to roll over and play dead just because of a ridiculous proposal by President Frank. Take back our university and demand real change. Join the Movement and find us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ourunm

Also, please read this positive article about Student Movements across New Mexico: http://www.abqjournal.com/389924