Benavides pulls bid for Student Government President

Mark Benavides on Tuesday told the Torch that he is no longer running for Student Government, Inc. president and instead will run for vice president.

Benavides, the current Organizations Committee chair, said that he was switching places with his previous vice presidential candidate, whom he declined to name until the tickets become public on Thursday.

A person with knowledge of the SGI elections process identified the new presidential candidate as current treasurer Elaine Vasquez.

All candidates and tickets are considered preliminary until they go through an approval process that includes passing a test demonstrating knowledge of SGI proceedings and receiving academic and judicial clearance.

“My skills leading committees in developing committees in structuring committees and getting involved with committee members within student government would be most used as vice president,” Benavides said in outlining why he changed the position for which he was running.

Calls placed to SGI adviser Daniel Trujillo were not returned.

In a Q&A with the Torch that ran on Jan. 30, Benavides spoke about how his experience as the chair of the Organzations Committee would help his potential presidency.

“I’ve been org chair for the past two, well two and a half years. It’s really given me the opportunity to learn skills needed to run an organization in the right path,” Benavides said at the time.

Now, he says this experience will better suit him for the job of vice president rather than president.

“President is a great position, and it’s a huge leadership person and especially in student government, you need that person who has that leadership skills and the person who will be taking over as president has those skills,” Benavides said.

“The skills that I’ve learned within the committee, as being committee chair, like I’ve said, organization, structure, involvement … would definitely translate to the vice president position.”

Benavides denied that there had been any pressure on him from University administrators or other SGI members for him to switch out of the presidential line of his party’s ticket.

SGI president Christian Williams said he had heard “rumblings” of Benavides’ stepping down but hadn’t talked to him about it yet.

Elections are scheduled for March 18 and 19.