The Associated Students of the University of New Mexico elected student-Senator Satchel Ben to President Pro Tempore of the student senate Saturday afternoon.

Ben was elected with a 19-0 count, with one senator absent. Ben is a junior studying finance at the Anderson School of Management. Last semester Ben served as the chair of the ASUNM Finance Committee.

Ben discovered ASUNM in his sophomore year. He said he participated in his high school’s youth and government program and became curious about UNM’s student government. Ben said he doesn’t plan on seeking office after University.

For his term as President Pro Tempore, Ben said he would like to ensure incoming senators feel more included in the affairs of the student legislature. During his time as Finance Chair, Ben said he felt many of the other senators were unsure of what his committee was doing or what rules they had.

Another top priority for Ben is growing the involvement of the student body.

“We are here for (students), they’re not here for us,” Ben said. Informing students who are unaware of ASUNM’s functions is a major way Ben said he can grow involvement.

He pointed to Friday’s special Board of Regents meeting as an example of how more students could be involved. He said that despite the high attendance of the meeting, he would have preferred to hear from additional groups not directly affected by the decision.

One of the President Pro Tempore chief responsibilities is to serve as a liaison for ASUNM to the Faculty Senate.

At the end of the meeting Faculty Senate President-Elect Finnie Coleman spoke to the senators. He said he hopes to build an agenda that is meaningful to students, faculty and staff.

Justin Garcia is a freelance reporter with the Daily Lobo. He can contacted by email at or on Twitter @Just516garc.