NMSU’s Housing and Residential Life to receive $88,000 rebate for energy efficiencies

August 31, 2009

By Mary Gourdoux

Over 200 people joyously shouting, diet “Si se puede, remedy si se puede,” and carrying pro-immigration reform banners marched from downtown El Paso’s San Jacinto Plaza to the Civic Center for a rally inside early Saturday afternoon. They were celebrating the beginning of a Texas-wide Comprehensive Immigration Reform Campaign organized locally by the Border Network for Human Rights.

Once inside the Civic Center the lively group listened to speeches on the importance of reform made from local leaders, including Monsignor Arturo Banuelas from St. Pius Community Church, Texas State Representatives Joe Moody and Norma Chavez, City Representative Susie Byrd, the executive director of the Border Network for Human Rights, Fernando Garcia, and U.S. Representative Silvestre Reyes on video.

One speaker, a Mexican citizen, tearfully told in Spanish how she was not allowed  to visit her son, a member of the U.S. military, when he was hospitalized in the U.S. after being injured in Iraq because she could not get a visa. State Representative Chavez said, “When we go to buy cars, they don’t ask for our immigration status before they take our money. Businesses need to support us.”

The teenaged son of an undocumented immigrant said, “We are not the enemy, we are part of the solution.”

Monsignor Banuelas warned those who stand in the way of immigration reform, “We remind you today that history is on the side of justice: You did not want slaves to be free, and slavery was abolished; you did not want women to vote and today they even make the laws; you did not want minorities to go to school, and today we graduate with honors; you did not want gays in the military and today they serve with distinction; you did not want seniors to have social security, and today they get their monthly benefit; you do not want immigrants in our country, and now they even serve as a judge in the Supreme Court of the United States of America.”  He closed by saying, “God is on our side and on immigration reform: we will win, we will win, we will win.” All speakers received a rousing ovation.

Flyers were passed out explaining the top 10 myths of immigration. This flyer and more information on immigration reform can be found at the Border Network for Human Rights website at http://www.bnhr.org/.

Speech by Monsignor Arturo Banuelas from St. Pius Community Church

We are here today because we believe in justice, and we want just comprehensive immigration reform in our country. Can I have an Amen? We are here because we want our brothers and sisters who daily cross our border to find food for their children to be treated with respect and dignity. We are here today because we want the police in our country to stop enforcing immigration laws, and we want all raids against immigrants to end now. We are here because too many people die each day in our desert and we will not forget them: mothers, daughters raped, tortured, drugged, young men left to die as if their lives did not matter. We are here because we want the border wall torn down. We are here because we want the border wall torn down. We are here today because too many of our brothers and sisters have been abandoned in detention centers, dividing their families.

But we are here today to put some people on notice: We want to say to the two Republican senators, to the Minute Men and Minute Women, and to any other anti-immigration group. We are here because we are feeling confident and today we want you to know that we will have immigration reform in our country. Can I have and Amen?

This is a historic moment for us. We have never been this close to immigration reform, and we are not backing down because we are not afraid of those who oppose us. We are here to show you our resolve, our conviction, and our dedication to the immigrants and to reform. We will do what it takes because we deeply believe that justice will triumph over hate, that love will conquer racism, and that compassion will overcome our divisions.

We feel hopeful and ready for the struggle, whatever it takes. We still believe in the dream of a better more just America for everyone. We will not surrender  to your lies and to your indignities to us. Hope runs through our veins, and the cause of reform endures in our hearts.

We  believe that there is a wave of justice overflowing in our land, and we are ready to take that banner of immigration reform to the streets, to the legislature, even to the desk of President Obama.


To those who stand in the way of our work on immigration reform, we remind you today that history is on the side of justice: You did not want slaves to be free, and slavery was abolished; you did not want women to vote and today they even make the laws; you did not want minorities to go to school, and today we graduate with honors; you did not want gays in the military and today they serve with distinction; you did not want seniors to have social security, and today they get their monthly benefit; you do not want immigrants in our country, and now they even serve as a judge in the Supreme Court of the United States of America.

Today we are here to tell you that we are ready to do whatever it takes, but be clear on this, God is on our side and on immigration reform: we will win, we will win, we will win. Can I have an Amen?


In the past three years, Hemorrhoids
New Mexico State University’s Housing and Residential Life has made several moves toward sustainability. The latest is scrapping old, energy-wasting appliances and bringing in new, more energy-efficient models – a move that has earned NMSU an $88,000 rebate from El Paso Electric Company. The rebate check will be presented to NMSU at 9:50 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 2, in Hadley Hall Room 130.

NMSU recently installed nearly 300 energy-efficient evaporative air conditioners in student family housing and apartment communities around campus. The upgrades qualified NMSU to receive a rebate through El Paso Electric’s Energy Saver Program.  Rebate programs are available to all New Mexico residential and commercial customers of El Paso Electric.

“This is part of a continuing energy-efficient plan that has been in the works for the past three years,” said Julie Weber, director of NMSU’s Housing and Residential Life.

Weber said plans are underway to somehow reinvest the rebate back to the students.

“It’s very beneficial to both El Paso Electric and NMSU,” said Billy Massie, El Paso Electric’s energy efficiency market specialist. “It lessens the energy used and it lessens the load on El Paso Electric system measures.”

To be eligible for the rebate, the cooling systems must be in new or existing residential dwellings.

For Housing and Residential Life, the shift toward being more energy efficient also has included the installation of new stoves, refrigerators, washers and dryers at the Vista Del Monte, Cervantes Village, Tom Fort, Sutherland and Cole Village housing areas.

Weber said the changes control university costs, as well as coincide with NMSU’s sustainability efforts.

“About 3,000 energy-efficient appliances have been installed in these areas in the past three years,” said Greg Block, associate director of Housing and Residential Life.

Block said he first learned of the air conditioner rebate program at a meeting between El Paso Electric and NMSU’s Office of Facilities Administration and Services regarding energy efficiency.

“The OFS staff, in collaboration with the housing maintenance staff, installed the air conditioning units from March until about the end of June without a single complaint from any of the residents,” Block said.

Following the check presentation, NMSU Interim President Manuel Pacheco will discuss energy efficiency and a tour will be provided of the residences that received the energy-efficient air conditioners. For more information contact Block at (575) 646-4478.

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