2024 ASUNM Legislative Priorities

Capital Outlay — $1.15M

Cornell Mall Lighting Improvements  $750K (LCS ID: 1819)

Reimagining Cornell Mall through installation of string lighting to encourage positive use of space. 

Outdoor Ampitheater Plan & Design $300K (LCS ID: 1822)

Planning and designing an outdoor ampitheater with a stage to host campus programming.

Sleep Pods — $100K (LCS ID: 1826)

Installation of sleep pods throughout campus for student use.


Anti-Hazing Legislation

Support of the "Anti-Hazing Act" to protect New Mexican students and combat hazing in campus communities.


Campus Safety

Support and funding of safety improvements to campus infrastructure, including additions and expansions of safety equipment and access control.


Student Well-Being

Support and funding of programs that address student well-being, including basic needs and mental health support.


Opportunity Scholarship Letter of Support

"As the elected student leaders at our universities, we understand the importance of affordable, equitable, and accessible education. In a state where far too many of our students have to work and take out loans to secure their spot at our universities, unencumbered access to higher education is all the more essential. New Mexican students work hard in and out of class to get their education. It is with this understanding, and with the collective experience of our students over this past year, that we praise the Opportunity Scholarship for further expanding access to affordable higher education in this state. In addition to the Lottery Scholarship, the Opportunity Scholarship has allowed more students than ever to focus on and prioritize our education.

As student leaders, we see first-hand the challenges students must overcome when faced with financial difficulties while pursuing a college degree. It is not uncommon for a student to disenroll simply because they do not have the means to sustain themselves financially. New Mexico has historically faced systemic challenges, including poverty, high crime rates, and a consistently low K-12 national ranking in education. These challenges contribute to the unique student demographics in our state, where many students are first-generation, Pell Grant-eligible, or underprepared for higher education coursework. The best way to break this cycle is through education. This makes the Opportunity Scholarship one of the most impactful pieces of legislation in recent history when it comes to alleviating these areas of concern. In New Mexico, any student who wishes to follow their dream and work hard enough to obtain a college degree should be given that chance– the Opportunity Scholarship provides us with that chance.

Since its enactment in the Fall 2022 semester, the Opportunity Scholarship benefitted over 36,000 students and has contributed to an increase in enrollment of an additional 6,700 students, nearly a 7 percent increase over the course of two years. Respectively, comprehensive four-year universities, branch community colleges, and research universities and tribal colleges saw 5.6 percent, 5.0 percent, and 3.2 percent increases in enrollment from 2022 to 2023. Just one year after the Opportunity Scholarship Act’s signing, New Mexico had the second-highest one-year increase in overall enrollment nationally — shifting from historical trends of declining enrollment. New Mexico continues to lead in enrollment growth. This accomplishment must be met with continued investment and support for our students.

Although the Opportunity Scholarship is still in its infancy, we already see the short-term benefits to our students. Through continued investment in the coming years, we are confident that our universities' deep commitment to student success, paired with financial support from the legislature, higher education institutions will continue to see positive trends in enrollment,retention, and graduation rates.Based on its tremendous impact, we urge New Mexico Legislators to continue supporting full funding for the Opportunity Scholarship at $146 million and Governor Lujan Grisham’s additional budget recommendation of $11.9 million for FY25. These figures ensure all students who are eligible for the scholarship pursuant to the act can receive funding. The benefits of a robust Opportunity Scholarship for New Mexicans are twofold: short-term assistance for our future leaders and long-term investment in education to improve our future workforce.

Regarding holistic student support, we would also like to draw attention to our respective university priorities, such as Capital Outlay Requests, Research and Public Service Projects, and Special Appropriations. As we make significant strides towards increasing enrollment across our state, items such as these ensure that retention and graduation of New Mexico Students remain at the forefront of our institutions and support the ultimate goal of the Opportunity Scholarship. Further, these vital aspects of our institutions aid efforts to advance the economic development of our state as they preserve our younger demographic.

As individuals who have seen firsthand the profound life-changing effects scholarship funding has had on thousands of lives, we want to sincerely thank the New Mexico lawmakers who have already invested in New Mexico’s future through the Opportunity and Lottery Scholarships. Together, we implore lawmakers to further invest in the future of New Mexico by fully funding the Opportunity Scholarship."


Krystah Pacheco — ASUNM President

Mikenzie Chessman — ASUNM Vice President

Citlalli Benitez — ASNMSU President

Eduardo Gallegos III  — ASNMSU Vice President