The Collegian
Thursday, December 08, 2022

Murray takes RCSGA presidential election

Mike Murray has defeated Andrew Howell for president of the Richmond College Student Government Association.

"They both ran laudable campaigns and represented themselves well," said Matthew Whittaker, outgoing RCSGA president.

Murray, a junior business major and leadership minor, captured 483 votes and Howell, also a junior, won 108. Murray's votes represented 82 percent of the total.

About 46 percent of eligible Richmond College full-time undergraduates cast ballots.

"I was really encouraged by the number of people that voted," Whittaker said. "Obviously we always like to see more, but in terms of other elections it was a lot."

Whittaker will continue working with RCSGA until the end of the year by offering guidance and helping with the transition. "I know Mike wants to continue to look at issues that impact campus culture, such as pushing for more funds for student organizations and giving students places for rest and relaxation on campus," Whittaker said.

Howell said: "I first and foremost want to congratulate Mike. He ran a good campaign and has already done a lot for senate, preparing himself to be a great president. I know Mike will do a great job and I salute him and wish him the best of luck."

Murray will be sworn in to his new position on Wednesday during RCSGA's annual end-of-the-year dinner. "I am exhausted and encouraged," Murray said. In the days leading up to the election, Murray visited dorm rooms to let students know they could come to him with comments and complaints, he said.

He was excited to see how invested students were in the election, he said, and wanted to continue to make himself available to speak with students during the coming year.

"Our purpose is to make sure the student body is heard," Whittaker said. "I know [Mike] will continue in that direction."

Murray served as an RCSGA senator for two years prior to being elected to his new position. "It's a good opportunity to interact with students you wouldn't normally interact with," he said.

This past year his senate duties included serving as vice president of Student Experience, a post in which he was charged to enhance students' day-to-day lifestyle, he said.

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One of the ways he did this was by spearheading the Fun Initiative, a 20-page proposal outlining university changes that should be implemented to make campus life more interactive. With feedback from students, RCSGA was able to provide the administration with a list of suggestions -- including picnic tables, Frisbee golf, charcoal grills and hammocks -- that Murray said he hoped would be approved before the semester's end.

"If you give students a venue," he said, "everyone goes out and has a good time. It's a good way to break down the residence-hall barriers you see a lot."

RCSGA will follow up with the administration about the proposal next week, Murray said.

Murray is Gray Court's head resident and next year will serve as resident assistant for the University Forest Apartments. He is from Langhorne, Pa.

Collegian staff writer Dan Petty contributed reporting for this story.

Contact staff writer Kimberly Leonard at kimberly.leonard@richmond.edu

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