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Hill wins student body presidency again, new vice president joins the team

Jake Hill, an agricultural economics major from Artesia, was elected to a second term as president of the Associated Students of New Mexico State University during the elections held April 4-10. Elected vice president was Daniel Balizan, a finance major from Las Cruces.



Jake Hill was elected to a second term as president for the Associated Students of New Mexico State University.

Hill, a 1998 graduate of Artesia High School, has been involved in the student government for three years. He has served as a senator representing the College of Agriculture and Home Economics and as vice president, before being elected president last April.

"I'm really excited that we had one of the highest voter turnouts in the history of the elections. I had more votes than I did last year, and that makes me feel like I'm doing something right," Hill said.

He said his top priority this year is to educate people about campus safety issues. He said New Mexico State is one of the safest campuses in the state, but crimes such as stalking and rape concern him because he believes most cases go unreported.

He plans to have open forums and panel discussions to educate students about how to stay safe -- what to look out for and what situations to avoid. He also wants to start neighborhood crime watches in Student Family Housing and increase the lighting on campus at night.

"Every year it improves, but there are still places around the intramurals field and Regents Row that could be brighter," Hill said.

Hill plans to graduate next May and attend graduate school. His ultimate goal is to go into the grocery business and open Jake Hill Supermarkets.

Balizan, a 1999 graduate of Mayfield High School, has served in the student government for two years, representing the College of Business Administration and Economics as a senator.


"I wanted the challenge of overseeing the senate and working as an executive with the different campus organizations and administrators," Balizan said.

Balizan also plans to make campus safety the biggest focus during his term. He said supporting educational awareness programs will be the first step. ASNMSU is currently working with La Pinon Sexual Assault Recovery Services on campus safety seminars and plans to continue the relationship, Balizan said.

"This needs to be a continuing effort," he said. "It's not just a short-term thing."

Balizan plans to graduate next May and attend either U.S. Air Force Officer Training School or graduate school.

The Associated Students of New Mexico State University is a student-run organization that represents the student body on the local, state and national levels. It has an operating budget of $700,000, Hill said.

"The students actually have pull around here," Hill said. "It's great to be a part of something that's so structured and well-run. With a team effort, we should be able to accomplish a lot this year."

First photo is available at http://ucommphoto.nmsu.edu/newsphoto/hill_jake.jpg.
CUTLINE: Jake Hill was elected to a second term as president for the Associated Students of New Mexico State University.

Second photo is available at http://ucommphoto.nmsu.edu/newsphoto/balizan_daniel.jpg.
CUTLINE: Daniel Balizan was elected vice president for the Associated Students of New Mexico State University. (NMSU photo by Darren Phillips)

Erin Waldron
April 23, 2002