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Name:  Ben Cartwright
Age:  31
Department:  Associated Students, Government Affairs Office
Position:  Government Executive Assistant

  1. What inspired you to do this kind of work? I sort of fell into it. I never expected to work on a university campus, but found myself drawn to come back to campus after I heard about the job. I had been very involved with campus activism (primarily within the LGBTQ community) during my undergraduate years at SDSU and was happy to come back and work with the student government which has also allowed me to remain connected to the LGBTQ community on campus.

  2. How long have you worked at SDSU? This July, it will be 4-years. However, it took me 8-years to get my bachelor’s degree (long story) so I have been either a student or staff member at SDSU since Fall 1998. While a student here, I was heavily involved with the LGBT Student Union, and directed the campus “Pride Resource Office” which continued into my first couple years working here. 

  3. What is the best piece of advice you ever received? As much as I dislike pulling advice from pop culture, Katy Perry has been very inspirational with her “Firework” song. She reminds us all that “Baby you’re a firework”, and that has really inspired me to keep going no matter what challenges and stress I face in my life.

  4. What is your favorite thing about your job? Now that I have been here a few years, it is awesome when former students come back and tell me that something I told them or taught them inspired them and changed their life! It is so rewarding!

  5. What about your field or position do you think would surprise people the most? We are incredibly student focused. Our students direct the work we do at Associated Students and everyone in my office is 100% committed to that. That is what I love about A.S. – we absolutely realize and understand that our students are the reason we are here and I think most A.S. employees get and believe that. I don’t see that in some other staff members across the University and it is disappointing.

  6. What is the most interesting or surprising thing about you (like a hidden talent, where you’re from or a special hobby)? I also write full time for an online news website “San Diego Gay & Lesbian News”, will be receiving my masters degree in Nonprofit  Management from USD in May, host numerous nightlife events around the LGBT community, and love to eat!

  7. If you could only rescue one thing from your burning office, what would it be?I All of the amazing photos of friends, students, and loved ones that I have displayed in my office … including one of me dressed in “drag” as my alter-ego “Julianna”.

  8. What music do you play most often in your office or car? I rotate between pop music and latino pop music. Usually at my desk I am playing “PrideRadio.com” or Pandora: “Lady Gaga Radio”, “Frank Sinatra Radio”, or “Madonna Radio”.

  9. What was the last movie you saw? Thumbs up or down? It was actually the 1992 film “Death Becomes Her”, which was screened on the big screen at a special event. I had never seen it before and loved it! THUMBS UP! Those ladies are wild!

  10. What is your favorite restaurant? I eat out almost daily so I try a lot of restaurants. Ortega’s in Hillcrest is amazing!

  11. What city would you like to visit or visit again? I would love to visit New York City again. It is such an exciting, energetic place that would take months to explore.

  12. What is your favorite book? Finishing up my master’s program, I have no time to read for pleasure. Currently, I’m reading the “Guidebook for Directors of Nonprofit Corporations” and it is not fun. 

  13. What is your favorite sports team or who is your favorite individual athlete? Sports aren’t my thing. To be a true Aztec, I should probably say the “SDSU Aztecs”, but that would be dishonest. I could go off on my rant that far too much energy, money, and attention goes to sports, but I’ll save that for another day. My partner plays in a gay flag football league, The San Diego American Flag Football League, and his team is the “Redwing R-Dawgs” and I root for them every Saturday morning. So I would have to say that is my favorite sports team.

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