ENMU students lobby legislators for projects
Published: Wednesday, February 16th, 2005
Eastern New Mexico University students are on a crusade to convince legislators to fund a renovation of the anthropology facility and to upgrade the lighting in the theater building. Members of the school’s five-person student lobbying committee spent time two days in Santa Fe earlier this week talking with area legislators about the projects. Student committee chairperson Rae Gross said two members of the group made a trip to Santa Fe on Sunday and met with senators and representatives on Monday. Gross said Sen. Stuart Ingle (R-Portales) is sponsoring bills on the senate side, while Rep. Keith Gardner (R-Roswell) is sponsoring them on the house side. Student body president Brett Trembly said another trip will be made to Santa Fe in a couple of weeks to lobby for the funding. “The legislators are curious as to how we are spending the money,” Gross said. “They were very happy to see how involved we are. They’re very busy with committees and I’m glad they made time for us.” Gross said the anthropology facility is in bad shape and unable to meet EPA guidelines. Gross said the $65,000 being requested would go toward insulation, fire-proof doors, acid-free paper and fire-proof cabinets. Gross said the theater department needs $65,000 for new lighting equipment. She said the light fixtures are good, but they need to be updated. “The theater program is a big part of the university,” Trembly said. “It’s one of the best theater programs in the state. Updating the department can also be used as a recruitment tool.” Trembly said he also understands how busy legislators are and it’s a career he would be interested in after he graduates in May. Trembly said he is applying at law schools and would some day like to serve in a public office. ENMU President Steven Gamble is also doing lobbying in Santa Fe, but for different projects: $500,000 for a fire sprinkler system for Bernalillo and Lincoln Halls, $500,000 for instructional communications equipment for the new broadcast center and more than $500,000 for athletic facilities for men’s and women’s soccer, softball and baseball teams. Gamble said that during the legislative session, he is usually at Santa Fe for three weekdays lobbying and in Portales the other two. “We talked about it before they (students) went up there,” Gamble said. “Legislators are happy to see students representing their school.” Gross said ENMU pays for fuel and lodging costs, but that being a committee member or a lobbyist is not a paid position.
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