On Tuesday, Nov. 16, NMSU students gathered outside on the Corbett outdoor stage and marched to Hadley Hall in protest of NMSU administration, particularly President Floros and Provost Parker. Students carried signs that said, “Fire Floros” and chanted, “President Floros has got to go!”
The protest was in support of the NMSU Faculty Senate’s recent vote of no confidence and against the current pay of graduate students, as well as recent hiring and budget decisions made by the administration.
NMSU senior Illiana Viscarra said the mismanagement of funds by the administration is what personally concerns her the most. “We’re paying to be here. We’re giving this institution our money, and for it to be mismanaged, for it to be not utilized how the students see fit, especially how the faculty see fit, it’s really just a disservice to the students,” Viscarra said.
The protest was also met by support from faculty members including Professor Jamie Bronstein, who is vice chairman of the Faculty Senate and was one of the main spearheads in the vote of no confidence. She expressed that she is proud of the students protesting and voicing their needs and concerns to the administration. “It’s wonderful to see that the students are really engaged and involved and paying attention and we want to help,” Bronstein said.
The students who attended the protest were only encouraged by the number of students who showed up to protest President Floros and the provost, as there were upwards of 60 students who showed up to march together. Leader of the ASNMSU Senate David De La Cruz said, “I have never been prouder to be an Aggie.”
At the beginning of the protest, students heard from student leaders from the Student Senate and the graduate student union. Laura Laemmle got thunderous applause from the crowd when she said, “They [the administration] work for us, and for the community and for the taxpayers. We do not work for them!”
Once the students marched to Hadley Hall, they were met by NMSU Chancellor Dan Arvizu, who was there to answer questions from the students. This appeared to be the first time that Arvizu was made aware of some of the concerns that the students expressed to him and asked that the students remain fair and patient with the administration stating, “Nobody wants to be proven guilty before you have the chance to make a case.”
It is anticipated that this will not be the last protest held by NMSU students. The head of the graduate student union Bryson Stemock said in his brief speech: “This is not the end all be all solution, this is just a step in the right direction, because it doesn’t end with the university … this is not the only time that we’re going to get together and have to do this.”