Benbow-Thompson sworn into office, making history

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Benbow-Thompson sworn into office, making history

Benbow swearing in Thompson as Student Body Government Vice President on April 17 at LBJ Student Center.Photo by Chinedu Chukuka

Benbow swearing in Thompson as Student Body Government Vice President on April 17 at LBJ Student Center.

Photo by Chinedu Chukuka

Benbow swearing in Thompson as Student Body Government Vice President on April 17 at LBJ Student Center.

Photo by Chinedu Chukuka

Benbow swearing in Thompson as Student Body Government Vice President on April 17 at LBJ Student Center.

Photo by Chinedu Chukuka

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Texas State’s first black Student Government President Corey Benbow and Vice President Tucker Thompson were sworn into office April 17 LBJ Student Center, committing to representing student voices and values.

“We are here at a historic time in the history of our university,” Benbow said. “Fifty-six years after integration, the student body of Texas State has chosen to elect its first black student body president.”

Former Student Government President Alison Castillo gave an opening speech reflecting on her term in office, which started in February 2019 after the previous two presidents resigned. Castillo’s term was relatively calm compared to the past residencies, though she recently delivered a controversial veto against the Senate’s legislation to ban conservative student organization Turning Point USA from campus. Castillo also ran for the 2019-20 vice presidency but ultimately dropped out of the race early on due to staffing controversies.

During her speech, Castillo recognized Vice President Keely Freund and Chief of Staff Matthew Gonzales for their work throughout the term.

“Seeing the end of the Castillo-Freund administration has been hard to grapple with,” Castillo said. “Knowing Corey and Tucker are my successors makes stepping down a bit easier.”

Castillo said she is confident in the Benbow-Thompson administration, and she believes they will represent Texas State, making it a brighter place.

“I have full faith in the Benbow-Thompson administration because I’ve gotten to know them both personally and take great pride in the hard-working, considerate, genuine men they are,” Castillo said.

University President Denise Trauth followed Castillo’s speech by addressing the tradition of officers in Student Government making contributions to the university. Trauth proceeded to swear in Benbow.

Following the oath, Benbow swore Thompson in and gave his inaugural speech, where he thanked all students for trusting him, voting and for making their voices heard.

“For those who did not vote for Tucker and I, I want you to know that every day we are in office we will be working toward gaining your trust,” Benbow said.

Benbow also acknowledged the historical importance of his inauguration and said despite difficult times, students continue to persist and improve the university with inclusion.

“For any student who has ever felt that they were silenced, that their voice did not matter, that they were invisible and that nobody cared,” Benbow said. “I want you to know that I see you and you matter”

The Benbow-Thompson administration is working directly with the university administration to address the concerns of the student body. Benbow said that he represents the students at Texas State and he is optimistic for the possibilities ahead.

Benbow’s inaugural speech was followed by another from Trauth, who said she is confident the new administration will serve the student body well. Trauth said she wholeheartedly agrees with the slogan, “Bobcats are better together,” used by the Benbow-Thompson campaign.

“When you face challenges and disagreements, remember Bobcats truly are better when we are together,” Trauth said. “Our community thrives when we are collaborative and we solve problems together.”

Thompson said the new administration is taking immediate action to provide free feminine hygiene products on all bathrooms at Texas State. Thompson plans on meeting with a financial director at Texas State to see how this can be done.

“I have talked to some of the administration and they said that is something they’d be willing to work with us on,” Thompson said. “It’s kind of up to us to push it forward and make sure we have all the right information.”

Thompson also said the administration is taking into consideration the importance of making campus a safer place for students. Thompson said he wants to improve visibility of the Guardian app, where students can unanimously report incidents and have their location available to people at all times.

“It’s a really cool app and people don’t know about it,” Thompson said. “It’s something that can improve safety as well as the perception of safety on campus.”

At the inauguration, many students said they are excited to see change with the new Benbow-Thompson administration. Costen Ben, business management senior, is a close-friend and roommate of Tucker. Ben said he tried to help the campaign by telling all his friends to vote.

“I am excited for the Benbow-Thompson administration to represent the different races on campus and be more inclusive,” Ben said.

“Everything we do is to show support and advocate for any student. If it means that we helped them, we are doing our jobs,” Thompson said. “That is something I promise we are going to strive to do until the next inauguration comes along.”

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