The melting pot; Diversity grows among student body

By Jonathan Baca, Copy Editor | Graphs by Rene Thompson and Jonathan Baca

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Diversity is one of CNM’s most important gifts, giving our stu­dents, faculty and staff the opportunity to learn from a wide range of cul­tures and backgrounds, and to share our own unique views on the world, said Achievement Coach Monika Monje.

The Chronicle gath­ered data from official CNM sources to give our readers a snapshot of what our student body looked like in 2012, and how it has changed since 2002.

Monje is part of Inclusive Excellence, a group of CNM staff members whose goal is to promote, educate and encourage diversity among students, faculty and staff, she said.

“I think diversity is great because it brings dif­ferent perspectives, either to the classroom or to any conversation or dis­cussion. It also provides a safe place for students to feel comfortable, I think it is very important and it’s something that should be recognized across CNM,” Monje said.

Monje is not only interested in promoting tolerance and understand­ing among our diverse stu­dent body, she would also like to see more diversity among the faculty as well, she said.

In 2012, 45 percent of the school’s student population declared themselves Hispanic, and 34 percent declared them­selves White, according to the CNM fact book statistics.

In comparison, 19 per­cent of the faculty declared themselves Hispanic, while 70 percent of them were white, according to the CNM fact book.

Monje said that encourage the recruitment of more diverse faculty, which she thinks would better reflect our student body and increase the number of learning oppor­tunities for everyone.

“We want to make sure that students feel more comfortable here, that this is their community. We want them to feel that this is a safe zone…that they can represent any flag, anything that they want to represent for themselves or whatever group they’re in. And I don’t know if that is present right now,” Monje said.

Monje said that the current faculty and staff receive regular training on diversity issues, and are encouraged to pro­mote tolerance and sensi­tivity among their varied students.

Achievement coaches have been trained on how to better create a safe atmosphere for LGBT stu­dents, and have also been schooled on state bill 582, or the DREAM Act, leg­islation that was passed to promote higher educa­tion for undocumented immigrants, and offers many students a path to citizenship through col­lege education, she said.

“We are moving towards having the staff trained across the board on diversity issues so that they are more aware of student issues, proper lan­guage, all of that stuff,” Monje said.

Another group that helps immigrant students is MEChA (Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán), which is a national organization that promotes education and tolerance of Chicano and all other ethnic and social groups, local President and Family Psychology major Oriandi De La Rosa said.

MEChA seeks to “open the doors of higher education (for our com­munities) and strive for a society free of imperial­ism, racism, sexism, and homophobia,” according to

“For me diversity is about getting involved and sharing where you are from with dif­ferent people,” De La Rosa said.

Although many of the immigrant stu­dents MEChA helps are Hispanic, De La Rosa said that the group works with people of any nationality, providing them with legal information and direct­ing them to other helpful resources.

“Having opportunities is great, but also hearing the opinions of differ­ent people can teach you a lot, and also give you a different perspective from where you’re at and where other people are,” De La Rosa said.

As the CNM student body has grown in the last ten years, our diversity has grown as well, with more Hispanics, more students who are 18 years old or younger, and a closer male-to-female ratio since 2002.

Monje said she hopes diversity of all kinds con­tinues to grow, among stu­dents, faculty and staff.

“We are already making strides and moving in a positive direction,” Monje said.

Rust Fund saves the day one scholarship at a time

By Jonathan Baca, Copy Editor | Photo by Jonathan Gamboa

Lisa McCulloch, Executive Director of the CNM Foundation, discusses the record-setting $3.2 mil received from donors.

The Rust Opportunity Scholarship provides emergency assis­tance to students who are in danger of dropping out of school due to an unforeseen expense, Lisa McCulloch, Executive Director of the CNM Foundation, said.

Through the Rust scholarship, students are eligible to receive a gift of up to $800, once a year, to help pay for any­thing from a rent pay­ment to an electric bill, McCulloch said.

Students can receive the benefits in as little as 48 hours, she said.

“A student might experience a financial hardship that they weren’t anticipating. Maybe a spouse lost their job, or their child care payment went up. For many stu­dents this can cause them to abandon their plans to pursue higher education, and we don’t want that to happen,” McCulloch said.

The scholarship was set up in 2005 by Jack and Donna Rust, with a gift of $500,000 to the CNM Foundation. According to the Foundation’s literature, the fund has been used for childcare expenses, vehicle repairs and emer­gency bus passes, health­care expenses, testing and certification fees, and daily living expenses such as grocery bills, as well as school related expenses like books and equipment.

McCulloch said the Rusts understood that students are usually on very fixed incomes, and that any unforeseen cost could disrupt a student’s life and cause them to drop out of school.

“A lot of times, it’s the little things that break the camel’s back,” Donna Rust said.

The gift was given to the CNM Foundation, which is a 501 c3 nonprofit organization set up by the school to raise private funds for students. The Foundation offers more than 75 different scholar­ships, McCulloch said.

“The sole purpose of our organization is to raise the extra financial assistance that students need to be successful,” McCulloch said.

The Foundation also funds CNM Connect, which works closely with students in need of Rust benefits, she said.

Students who want to apply for the Rust scholarship need to fill out an application at Financial Aid, and need to bring a letter of sup­port from an instructor, she said.

“We ask that they do that, so that we can get a reference from an instructor about what kind of student they are as far as their commit­ment to their education,” McCulloch said.

Students then need to meet with an achieve­ment coach from CNM Connect, so they can receive assistance with their issue, par­ticipate in a screening analysis, and receive financial coaching to ensure that their academic plans are sustainable, she said.

Although some of the CNM Foundation’s scholar­ships are paid directly to the student, the Rust scholarship benefits are made out to ven­dors, McCulloch said. Students must bring a copy of the bill they cannot pay, and show why they are unable to pay it, in order to get the money. The check is then made out to the company or person who made out the bill, she said.

“The student needs to give us proof that it is an unforeseen financial obstacle,” McCulloch said.

After receiving the schol­arship, students are asked to continue meeting with an achievement coach from CNM Connect, she said.

“Building a relationship with an achievement coach can help students be more successful in the long run,” McCulloch said.

The Rust scholarship was created in 2005, when Jack and Donna Rust attended a fundraising event put on by the CNM Foundation.

“We have an annual donor appreciation dinner every year, to honor the folks who have contributed to the Foundation,” McCulloch said.

At the dinner, sev­eral students told sto­ries about how their lives were changed when they received scholarships given by the Foundation. After hearing these stories, the Rusts were inspired to help, McCulloch said.

They were told that the Foundation was in need of funds that could be given to students who run into hard times, or are forced to leave school because of outside financial burdens, she said. They decided to help by giving a gift of $500,000, for the sole purpose of helping those students for years to come, she said.

“They are really pretty amazing people,” McCulloch said.

More than 2,000 schol­arships have been awarded since the Rust fund’s incep­tion, and according to the CNM Foundation, more than eighty percent of students who receive the scholarship finish out the semester.

Abortion measure could change Albuquerque as we know it

Editorial, By the Chronicle Editorial Board

The late-term abortion ballot measure has been fueled by out-of-state and out-of-touch anti-abortion activists, who have no vested interest in the values or daily lives of New Mexicans, and should be stricken down with a steady hand by true Burqueños.  Two of the major players in these groups, Bud and Tara Shaver, moved to our city for the specific reason of drum¬ming up anti-abortion regula¬tions, nothing more.  These groups call our city “the abortion capitol of the United States,” saying hundreds of people flock to Albuquerque to get late-term abortions.  In reality — as in, the real world — according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, New Mexico hosts less than half of the abortions that our neighbors Arizona and Colorado do, and less than a sixth of the number Texas does.  Out of the comparatively small number of abortions that are performed, only five per¬cent are performed on people who come from out of state.  In light of these facts, the title bestowed upon us by these propagandist groups seems less than fitting.  These groups falsely claim that abortion is dangerous to women.  In 2008, the most recent year for which this information is available, only 12 women died out of the more than 825,000 who received an abortion, according to the CDC.  That’s a 99.9985 percent safety rate; according to the FDA that is a higher safety rate than ciprofloxacin, a common antibiotic widely considered safe and widely prescribed for urinary tract infections.  The fact of the matter is that the arguments against abortion largely trends toward those of a moral and religious standing, and if one’s beliefs lead them to view abortion as wrong, so be it; that is one’s own personal conviction and decision to make.  That does not mean, however, that laws should be enacted to reg¬ulate a personal and heartbreaking decision — particularly not when the people who are leading this charge are more concerned with the politics of the issue than with the people who would be affected by this abortion ballot is passed.

Achievement coaches do care

Editorial, By the Chronicle Editorial Board

If a student has an issue with an instructor, is struggling to pay bills at home or just needs a little help to do better, the best place to get help with these issues is with individual department achieve¬ment coaches, who go above and beyond to help students to succeed.  Achievement coaches can help students with an array of issues, but most of all they help them to get through the issues that life can bring and can makes a student’s goals seem unattainable at times.  They not only help with schol¬arships such as the rust fund men¬tioned in The Rust Fund front page story, but if students are feeling trapped in a class or are not getting the help they need, an achievement coach can let students know their options, and what they can do to get past the difficulties that can occur while taking a tough class.  Sometimes it may feel as if the school, faculty or administra¬tion does not care about the needs of individual students, but these coaches are there for this exact reason, and after meeting with an achievement coach one might change their minds, because they have helped many students over-come their individual problems.  So, if students are feeling as if they are trying their best and are still struggling, there are always options here at CNM, and the Chronicle suggests going to see one of these achievement coaches in individual departments and see exactly what options there are, and take advantage of these great resources here at our school.

Argument for the ban

By Daniel Montano, Managing Editor | Photo from PROLIFEWITNESS.ORG


President of Students for Life UNM, Samantha Serrano, said one thing is at stake with the proposed ballot measure: the lives of children.

Serrano believes that life begins at conception, even if the child is not able to survive outside of the womb at that time, and that abortion ends a human life, she said.

“If we do not win this election, babies are dying,” she said.

The term that is used when a fetus is capable to live outside the womb is “viable” and for Serrano, the magic number is 20 weeks old, she said.

The conceptual basis of viability provides a frame of reference for the larger philo­sophical question of when a fetus becomes a person, and for those in favor of this ballot measure, it is undis­putable that a fetus is a living human being by five months, Serrano said.

Although the number is up for debate and has been said to be anything from 20 to 28 weeks, 20 weeks is the time when Serrano said a pre-born human can begin to feel pain.

For supporters of the ballot measure, knowing a human being can feel pain, subjecting that human to pain and ending its life is inherently morally wrong, Serrano said.

“By allowing for abortion in the later terms of preg­nancy, we are basically saying we acknowledge this is a human being, we just don’t care,” she said.

Serrano said she is also a part of Project Defending Life, a local pro-life ministry headed by Father Stephen Imbarrato.

Imbarrato believes that in addition to saving the lives of children, he is working for the health and well-being of the women in question, he said.

“Abortions are not safe. They’re potential risks to women, especially when you start getting into late-term abortion,” he said.

Imbarrato said he is pushing for reform to give women “real options” when it comes to pregnancy.

As part of his ministry, Imbarrato provides counsel­ing services to women with unexpected pregnancies, providing housing assis­tance, access to pre-natal care, such as ultrasounds, and assistance receiving social services, he said.

“Women have abortions, not because of choice, but really because they feel they have no choice. They’re in a desperate situation,” he said.

For Imbarrato, the ques­tion should not be whether or not one should have access to abortions, but why a woman would feel as if she needs to get an abortion in the first place, he said.

Being a catholic minis­try, Project Defending Life provides these services under the guidance of the church, counseling women on the teachings of the Bible, he said.

Serrano however, does not take that approach with her outreach efforts, she said.

She believes it is impor­tant to include people of all faiths in her discussions, so she approaches the topic from an academic perspec­tive, she said.

“We may not agree about religious beliefs, but we can find common ground in biol­ogy and philosophy,” she said.

With this approach, Serrano said she has found success when discussing late-term abortion procedures, which account for about 1.5 percent of all abortions, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a sexual and repro­ductive health non-profit organization.

However, her and Imbarrato’s goal is to com­pletely ban all abortion, regardless of how far along the pregnancy is, she said.

“From a pro-life point of view, I think that this is a stepping stone toward ending abortion all-together, and that is the ultimate hope,” she said.

For Serrano, there is no difference between having an abortion at two weeks or five months, and killing a child two years into life, she said.

She said she believes the motivation is the same.

In response to the argu­ment that abortion is a pri­vate medical and moral deci­sion, and that there should not be laws regulating such decisions, Serrano thinks that certain private decisions do require legal regulation, she said.

Just because a woman has a right to make private decisions, does not mean she will always make the right decision, both morally and legally, she said.

“Women can make pri­vate choices to prostitute themselves; the law says that’s wrong. Women can choose to drink alcohol while pregnant, but the law says that’s wrong,” she said.

Albuquerque has become a battleground state in the legal abortion debate in part because of the Southwest Women’s Options clinic, one of only a handful of clinics nationwide that will provide abortion services throughout the pregnancy, which has led supporters of the ballot measure to dub Albuquerque “the late-term abortion capi­tol of the United States,” Imbarrato said.

The most recent avail­able data, from 2009, shows 5 percent of all abortions in New Mexico are performed on women who come from out of state, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“People come here from all over the country, and other places outside of the country, come here, to Albuquerque, to get an abor­tion,” Imbarrato said.

Battle of the ban; The late-term abortion issue heats up in Albuquerque

By Daniel Montaño, Managing Editor
With one week left until the votes are done being cast in Albuquerque’s contentious late-term abortion ban ballot measure on Nov. 19, campaigns on both sides of the argument are working harder than ever to get people out to the polls.
The Chronicle spoke with representatives from both sides to shed a little light on the argument.

For the accompanying articles, go to for the argument for the ban, and for the argument against the ban.

Argument against the ban

By Daniel Montaño, Managing Editor | Phot Courtesy of

41Because there are so many varied opinions and personal motivations within the group of people opposed to the upcoming ballot measure, Respect ABQ Women has taken an eclectic approach to lead the charge in striking the ballot down, Micaela Cadena, Respect ABQ Women member and policy director at Young Women United, said.

Respect ABQ Women is a coalition of local groups, including men and women, the young and the old, reli­gious or not, families and individuals, dedicated to protecting women’s right to make private medical deci­sions regarding their own body and, Cadena said.

“For us, it’s really about each family being respected and trusted to make the best decisions for them­selves,” she said.

The real issue at stake for Cadena and other groups opposed to the ballot mea­sure is not an issue of abor­tion, but one of personal responsibility and the right to have one’s own personal life and health free of govern­ment interference, she said.

Cadena said that regard­less of one’s personal opin­ions on abortion, there should not be a law forcing anyone to fall in line with a particular belief.

“It’s not actually a debate between pro-choice and pro-life. It’s about accurate information and respectful conversations, because our families, for many reasons, don’t believe in government interference in our private lives,” she said.

Julianna Koob, a local Attorney who works with Planned Parenthood of New Mexico, which is also part­nered with Respect ABQ Women, echoed Cadena’s sentiments, and added that the people within this coalition are New Mexico natives, who care about what happens within their home state, she said.

Koob’s comment reflects some of the contro­versy surrounding how the petition that this ballot mea­sure is based upon was started — by groups of anti-abortion activists who came to New Mexico from other states specifically to lobby for a ban here in Albuquerque, she said.

“We’ve been protecting women’s access to reproduc­tive healthcare for genera­tions. We’re invested in New Mexico, and we’re not going anywhere after the elections,” Koob said.

Both Koob and Cadena also hold issue with the lan­guage of the ballot measure itself, they said.

“This ballot is com­pletely misleading and biased,” Koob said.

The language of the proposed law does not allow exceptions for cases of rape, incest or complications, forc­ing women who are in these circumstances to carry the resulting pregnancy to term, Cadena said.

The law also does not allow for exception in the case of fetal anomaly, abnormalities or diseases that are found with the fetus in utero, meaning if this ballot passes, women will be forced to continue a pregnancy that would end with a child that could not survive outside of the womb anyway, Cadena said.

The way the law stands now, in cases such as these the woman in question has the option of ending the pregnancy, reducing the chances of complications and infec­tions that can threaten her life or cause problems with future pregnancies, Cadena said.

“Many times these are wanted pregnancies, fami­lies are excited about the new beings that they’re going to bring into their family, and they have no options. These can be pregnancies that may never be viable outside of the womb,” Cadena said.

Some women do chose to complete the pregnancy even in the case of fetal anomaly, and that is exactly the freedom of choice that Respect ABQ Women and opponents of the ballot like Cadena are seeking by strik­ing down this bill, she said.

“We cannot stand in a woman’s shoes. We cannot make those decisions for her. I can’t imagine what it would be like to be in this situation,” she said.

Although the ordinance would allow for an abortion if the life of the mother is “endangered,” the language is vague and indistinct, Cadena said.

Respect ABQ Women representatives took the lan­guage of the ballot measure to Albuquerque physicians in order to determine if doctors could make a viable medi­cal decision while keeping within the limits of the pro­posed law, Cadena said.

The physicians agreed that the language is so vague it effectively eliminates the possibility of ending a preg­nancy if the woman’s life is in danger, Cadena said.

“When we brought the language of the ballot to medical professionals, they told us ‘we don’t know what this means. If you’re 30 seconds away from death can we per­form a procedure then?’” Cadena said.

Doctors would be forced to make decisions about how to best keep a family healthy and well based on governmental oversight, not necessarily the option that is best for the woman, Koob said.

“A doctor should not have her hands tied when she is trying to get the best care to her patient,” Koob said.

For more information on Respect ABQ Women, or to get involved in their cam­paign, go to http://www.respect­

COD: Ghosts brings more of the same, and it’s awesome

By Nick Stern, Senior Reporter

If it is not broken, then do not fix it! The same old formula that has defined and carried the Call of Duty series to its worldwide success is still present in the new Call of Duty: Ghosts, which is not entirely a bad thing.

The Chronicle decided to review this much anticipated new installment of the Call of Duty series to find just how it holds up to the rest of the series. Our review resulted in a three out of five for storyline, four out of five for gameplay, and three out of five for graphics, and we will be breaking down exactly why this game has managed to surpass previous chapters of this series.

Though much of the game does feel like the same old COD, the game has tweaks in all the right places that make it even more of a blast than before.

The universe in this game is different from the Modern Warfare series — allowing for an entirely new storyline — while the extremely popu­lar multiplayer has changes that now give each and every player the chance to have their own personalized soldier and experience.

The single-player cam­paign is still packed to the brim with the explosions, fire­fights and narrow escapes that players have come to expect in a Call of Duty story, while there is a new co-op mode that gives players something new to scrutinize.

Infinity Ward, the games maker, places players in incredible environments that are stunning to look at and fun to navigate through while trying to stay alive during all the action-packed chaos.

Sometimes the environ­ments are so marvelous, one finds it hard to continue play­ing rather than simply watch the world burn around them.

For example, while trying to narrowly escape a factory that was in the middle of getting blown to bits of fiery rubble, I found it hard not to stop running in favor of turning around and getting a better look at the impending doom that would have ended the game.

Each mission has its own unique approach and turn-of-events and this allows for an experience that is interesting to play and is not overly monotonous.

The only cut scenes exist during the loading screen between missions and all of the real plot development happens during actual gameplay, which could be missed by players that are too focused on stuff getting blown up.

With that being said, the storyline is still a lot of fun to spend hours beating and blow­ing stuff up, and it is definitely longer than previous stories in the franchise, which is a big plus when it comes to the amount of playable content.

Of course it is a well known fact that many people across the globe buy Call of Duty not for its single player campaign, but for its multi­player mode which is the back­bone of the series, and Ghosts is no exception.

The controls are just as tight and easy to control as ever and many of the same game modes have returned and are still as fun or in some cases as dull as previous games in the series.

There are minor changes however, and they make the player-versus-player experi­ence even better than ever, with the biggest addition to multiplayer being the “Create a Soldier” system, which lets players customize 10 of their soldier’s features, such as gender, physical features, clothing, and of course guns, perks and kill streaks.

Ghosts boasts of having over 20,000 variations avail­able for these soldier modi­fications, and now players can actually feel like they are bringing their own soldiers to the battlefield, which is a fantastic new addition to the series.

But as fun as it is, it can definitely be over­whelming, which can be good or bad depending on the player’s preference.

Squads mode, a new single-player version of mul­tiplayer, in which the player takes on the computer with a squad of his or her own bots, is a good way to test out the many different variations of soldiers, but is honestly not as fun as playing against a bunch of real people.

Overall the multi­player experience is phenomenal, espec i a l ly with its new d y n a m i c maps system, which causes terrain to change during matches and makes for a much more authentic feeling of being immersed.

For example, when get­ting an enemy in the cross­hair, a tremor might cause the whole map to shake and crumble during the battle, let­ting the target get away.

One of the coolest new features and game modes to be added to Ghosts is the new, alien-fighting, survival mode now known as Extinction, which is a mode in the tra­dition of Black Op’s “Nazi Zombies” mode.

It allows up to four play­ers to join forces and fight through ferociously agile mon­sters while leveling up and earning money towards equip­ment that will save the team’s life throughout the game.

The mode is intense and fun to play and is a very welcome new addition to the series.

Overall, Call of Duty: Ghosts is not an example of d e v e l ­opers taking much of a risk to change the game up and possibly draw in an even bigger crowd.

At the same time the series already has a huge fol­lowing, so why risk losing the fans who love the series as it is?

There is definitely room for improvement and inno­vation, but Ghosts is very entertaining with its new and lengthier campaign, improved multiplayer, and thrilling Extinction mode.

This might very well be the best Call of Duty since the original Modern Warfare.

Novel Slam boasts best turnout yet

By Nick Stern, Senior Reporter | Photo courtesy of Veronique Kaemerer



This fall, the Westside Campus’ Novel Slam was easily the largest and most successful slam CNM has ever seen, and it was a great time for everyone who attended, English Instructor, Veronique Kaemerer said.

For the past five years that the event has existed, there has never been any­thing quite like the hun­dreds of students that showed up for this year’s event, which lasted from Oct. 28 through Oct. 31, Kaemerer said.

“This was probably the largest novel slam ever and we have been doing this for five years. We had about 800 students this year and it was just packed,” she said.

Novel Slam is a stu­dent event that is held twice a year, once during Halloween and once roughly four to five weeks after spring midterms, and is a great time for Westside CNM students to get together to claim their academic voice, and to feel like they are a larger part of the community, she said.

Most participants read ambitious pieces of litera­ture, some that are writ­ten by the readers them­selves and others by cel­ebrated authors, she said.

This year, students read spooky works from authors such as Joyce Carol Oates, Shirley Jackson, and H.P. Lovecraft, she said.

Anyone can perform a reading, and are not lim­ited to having to read from texts and stories selected by Kaemerer, but can read poems, play music and show off just about any talent they have, she said.

More and more people are expected to show up to the future events after this year’s turnout, and many students already have high expectations for what is yet to come, she said.

Kaemerer said that she shared many beauti­ful moments with her class during this year’s Novel Slam beginning with one of her students, who is blind, getting up and choosing to be the very first one to read aloud to the entire audience.

This led to many tears of compassion and also paved the way for every­one else to get up and read aloud, she said.

“Everybody in my class was just weeping and soon everybody got up and read,” she said.

Kaemerer also has another student who has had troubles publicly speaking and was coura­geous enough to get up and read with another student who helped her along the way, which also brought tears to the eyes of the audience, she said.

The support and com­passion that each student shows towards each other is a huge part of what makes Novel Slam such a great event to witness, she said.

No one is forced to get up and read, and anyone can simply show up and sit down in the audience, get a sense of what is going on, and enjoy the show from their seat, Kaemerer said.

Kaemerer is the creator of Novel Slam, which was basically the creative solu­tion to a growing problem among students, she said.

The idea for the event came to her about six years ago, when she was chat­ting with her colleagues about the importance of the relationship between reading and writing, with the idea that being a good reader is key to being a good writer, she said.

“I teach English and there is a huge symbiotic relationship between read­ing and writing and what you read is what you write. So if you read some very ambitious, critical stuff it really does help your writ­ing,” she said.

After realizing that more and more students do not read, Kaemerer decided that she wanted a creative solu­tion to the problem and real­ized that an event like Novel Slam is a great way to engage her students and interest them in reading, she said.

Kaemerer attended CNM many years ago when it was still TVI and had always felt it was a wonderful place for stu­dents to plant their own roots and find their own educational purposes and goals, she said.

She feels that Novel Slam has been a great way for her to give back because it gives students a chance to come together as scholars within a com­munity, and also gives many students the con­fidence to shine when they might not have had it before, Kaemerer said.