Ben Griffith elected SGA president by razor-thin margin

Jacob Rogers

Ben Griffith and Amanda Rodriguez will be the next president and vice president of the Student Government Association.

The ticket won with 386 votes, or 51.46 percent of the vote, according to SGA results announced April 7. Current SGA Vice President Carlos Martinez and running-mate Sen. Cameron Galvan, had 372 votes — a difference of 14 votes. A total of 758 students voted, breaking last year’s record of 732.

Griffith is currently the internal affairs director of SGA and was a senator last year. Griffith ran unsuccessfully in 2016 for vice president with presidential candidate Anna Lopez.

Griffith is a transfer student and is a junior communication major (PR & advertising), according to his campaign platform.

“As a transfer student 2 years ago, I had no idea what I was going to do once I came to the Hilltop,” he said. “I knew that I wanted to jump right in and get involved. SGA was that outlet for me, and I’m forever grateful for the opportunities it has given me these past two years.”

Griffith is the first president to be elected since 2013, who is not concurrently serving a resident assistant (RA).

“I do feel qualified to serve in this position, however it’s not about me, it’s about you,” Griffith wrote in his platform. “The Student Government Association is a crutch right now. It needs to be a tool. Being engaged with the student body, we can make Student Government the tool it needs to be. A tool to serve you.”

Along with the new president and vice president, 12 senators were elected. The new senators are: Carlos Alpuche, Josue Damian-Martinez, Miguel Escoto, Manuel Esparza, Derek Hunter, Avinash Laudon, Aldo Martinez, Brisa Martinez, Isabel Martinez, Sofia Ojeda, Savannah Smith and Andrea Theis.

Alpuche and Escoto are current SGA senators. Ojeda is the communications director. The remaining senators are new to the organization.

For the two referendums on the ballot, both passed with overwhelming support. The referendum on the idea of raising student pay on campus had 584 yes votes and 167 no votes.

There were 689 yes votes on having additional solar panel research, and 62 voting no. 

Griffith, Rodriguez and the other winning candidates will be sworn in May 4.

“I’m looking forward to connecting with a variety of student organizations on campus and meeting new people who make this campus great,” Griffith said. “Creating connections across campus is something that I’m very excited about, and I hope students are as well.”