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Winners of Sunshine Week Essay Contest Announced

To celebrate Sunshine Week (March 10-16), the New Mexico State University Library held a student essay contest and hosted a reception, co-sponsored with NMSU alumnus Tim Parker and NMSU’s Department of Journalism and Mass Communications.

NMSU students were invited to submit an essay of 600 to 800 words explaining how New Mexico’s Sunshine laws encourage citizen participation in state government. Davies_small

After reviewing all of the entries, a panel of judges awarded 1st prize to NMSU Journalism student Phil Davies and 2nd prize to NMSU Journalism student Dana Beasley.  Davies received a $200 gift certificate from the Barnes & Noble at NMSU Bookstore, while Beasley received a $100 Barnes & Noble gift certificate.

The March 13 reception featured keynote speaker Walt Rubel, Managing Editor of the Las Cruces Sun-News, who shared with the NMSU and Las Cruces community his own experience in news media fighting for open government.

“There are no special privileges for newspapers, radio or TV stations,” Rubel later wrote in a column for the Sun-News.  “Everyone has the same right to inspect public records and attend public meetings.”

Sunshine Week is an annual national celebration of open government, transparency and freedom of information.  The aim of the local event was to raise awareness of New Mexico’s Open Meetings Act and the Inspection of Public Records Act.

For more information, contact Library Specialist Jonathan Butz at or Government Documents & Maps Librarian Josefine Smith at




April 1, 2013 Categories: News Winners of Sunshine Week Essay Contest Announced