First person: A man of action

CNJ staff photo: Liliana Castillo Mario Cabrera is involved in student government at ENMU, a past president of his fraternity, and has been to Santa Fe to lobby for university causes.

By Liliana Castillo: CNJ staff writer

Eastern New Mexico University student body president Mario Cabrera is dressed casually in a button-up shirt and jeans. Still, the 23-year-old Texico native stands out as more neatly dressed than most of his collegiate counterparts. His usual garb is much more stately, he said. More often than not, Cabrera said he can be seen around campus in a suit and tie.

Battling ageism: I have to meet college officials, and if I’m trying to address student issues and I show up in a T-shirt and jeans, they won’t take me seriously. It’s because of my age.

Major shuffling: I started as a vocal performance major, switched to criminal justice, and then last semester, switched to psychology with a minor in criminal justice. I’ve been involved in music all through high school and I love music, but I didn’t want to be a music teacher. I decided criminal justice was a better calling for me. My uncle is a detective for the district attorney in Clovis and I wanted to do what he was doing. But criminal justice requires an internship, and I don’t have time for an internship.

In psychology terms: It’s easy but interesting. I’m interested in personality types. I’m definitely an extrovert.

Favorite movies: I like cop movies, such as “Training Day” and “The Recruit.” That’s just what I’m interested in.

Currently playing: I like all sorts of music. Classical, Spanish, country, and the girlie stuff like Avril Lavigne. But I’m probably listening to Keith Urban or the Red Hot Chili Peppers. They’re easy to sing along with.

Political beginnings: I like giving back to the community. I like identifying problems, working on them and seeing results. A lot of people complain and never act. I complain and talk to whoever I need to get it fixed.

On national politics: I’m kind of young. I don’t really know what I fall under yet. I’m registered as a Republican, but I see a lot of good things I like with Sen. (Barack) Obama and Sen. (John) McCain. I like to hear the issues and make a decision. But if I had to say, I would vote for McCain.

Filling empty hours: I’ve got to stay busy. It’s just how I am. But if I had a few extra hours, I’d go hang out with my fraternity brothers. Or go hang out with my mom in Texico. I don’t get to see her much.