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NMJC College Republicans Meet the Governor

NMJC College Republicans Meet the Governor photo
(L to R) Dr. Michele Clingman, Ethan Wier, Joshua Gandy, Megan Smith, Jordan Bristow, Governor Susana Martinez, Crystal Harris, Paloma Mujica, Martha Mungaray and Amanda Wier

3/18/2015 4:28:09 p.m. - Hobbs, NM.  

March 14, 2015 was a unique day for one group of New Mexico Junior College students - seven members of NMJC College Republicans were afforded the opportunity of a personal meeting with Governor Susana Martinez. Students Megan Smith, Jordan Bristow, Ethan Wier, Paloma Mujica, Martha Mungaray, Crystal Harris and Joshua Gandy, along with their sponsors – Dr. Michele Clingman and Amanda Wier - attended the NMJC College Republicans trip to Santa Fe as guests of Senator Gay Kernan. The group’s goal was to better understand how state government works by seeing the New Mexico Legislative Session in action. The trip was a first for many of the students – both a first time visiting the capitol and a first time seeing a legislative session.

“I’ve never had the chance to do something like this,” said group member Crystal Harris. “It was great to have the opportunity to visit with Senator Kernan and Governor Martinez!”

To begin the day, the group attended an education committee meeting, on which Senator Kernan sits as a member. Here, they heard first hand, some of the many concerns that schools and educators throughout the state have regarding different facets of education. They also got to see how the committees where comprised and how bills were discussed and voted upon. The students later met with Senator Kernan, who encouraged the students to continue being involved and active in their awareness of the issues that affect them and their community.

After lunch and a brief sight-seeing tour, the group was ushered into the Executive Office and treated to a half-hour visit with the governor and her legislative liaison, Jeremiah Ritchie. Both spoke to the group on the important role that the students’ generation will play in the future of government and commended the NMJC College Republicans for their willingness to learn and participate. Governor Martinez extolled the value of discussing matters with peers without putting them down.

“Don’t talk down to someone who asks you why you believe what you do,” said Martinez. “Make it meaningful to them. Don’t just quote party rhetoric, but let them know how the issue is going to affect them on a personal level. We all have to be willing to work together to fix issues.” 

In addition to meeting with Governor Martinez and Senator Kernan, the students were given a tour of the capitol building, where they learned more about the history of the legislature and of the Round House itself, as well as about the art that is contained therein. Additionally, Senator Kernan introduced each student individually in the afternoon’s Senate Floor Session and the group got to witness the passing of several recommendations and bills.

“We learned a lot just in the one day that we spent at the capitol.” said Megan Smith, the current president of NMJC College Republicans.  “I now understand the part that the everyday citizen plays in our government and why we should speak up and contact our senators and representatives when we have concerns.”

NMJC College Republicans is a campus club that meets bi-weekly during the spring and fall semesters of New Mexico Junior College. The group comes together with the purpose of learning and discussing the issues that face our nation and young people, and what part our government plays in those issues. They also devote part of their time to campus and community service.

For more information, please contact Dr. Michele Clingman at 575.492.2575 or Amanda Wier at 575.492.2871.

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