MUSG ticket preview: Four tickets in MUSG primary

Four tickets for Marquette Student Government president and executive vice president will face off today in a primary election to advance to the general election on March 26. This is the first primary election since the 2008-2009 academic year.

The primary will narrow down the four tickets to two, which will then compete in the election next Tuesday.

Voting will take place online at  A link to the website has been emailed to all eligible students.

Sam Schultz and Zach Bowman

IMG_0006Sam Schultz, a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences, and Zach Bowman, a sophomore in the College of Arts & Sciences, make up the most experienced ticket running for MUSG president and executive vice president, respectively. They are both senators who want to lead MUSG from the top.

Schultz is a third-year senator who served his first term as a senator from Straz Tower and the last two as a senator from the College of Arts & Sciences. He currently serves as chair of the academic committee. Bowman is an Arts & Sciences senator and is the president pro tempore of MUSG.

Schultz and Bowman have the most combined experience working with MUSG compared to the other tickets. Schultz said this gives him an advantage over the rest of the candidates running for president.

“When it comes down to it, a lot of what the president does during the year is leading the organization through issues, but also in response to issues that come up through the year,” Schultz said. “I think that is where experience makes the difference.”

Schultz, admittedly because of his work with the senate academics committee, would like to focus on academic issues such as advising and making course evaluations accessible to students. Bowman has mentioned Checkmarq reform as a potential task. The two would also like to add a diversity peer educator position to the diversity task force.

Michaela Tarpey and Thomas Schick

IMG_9988Michaela Tarpey, a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences, and Thomas Schick, a sophomore in the College of Arts & Sciences, consider themselves the most experienced ticket despite having spent fewer years in MUSG.

Tarpey, who served on the MUSG program board last year, is the leadership programming assistant for the Office of Student Development and the vice president of communications for the Sigma Kappa sorority chapter on campus. Her running mate, Schick, is a Schroeder Hall senator who chairs the business and administration standing committee in the MUSG senate. They said these combined experiences give them a broader perspective on the opinions of the Marquette student body.

“I feel like some of the other candidates lack experience or are more narrow-minded,” Tarpey said. “We have our feet in other areas.”

Tarpey and Schick said they would like to focus on outreach between senators and their constituents and to continue to make the relationship between MUSG and Marquette administration more transparent, a policy that is important to the current MUSG administration. The two have also proposed reforms to the student organization funding application process and the good samaritan alcohol policy, which aims to protect students from alcohol violation repercussions when they contact the Department of Public Safety in an alcohol emergency.

Will Knight and Dan Bresnahan

IMG_9981The self-proclaimed “people’s ticket” is a pair of juniors who feel they could represent the opinions of the student body better than the other candidates. The candidates, who have not worked with MUSG previously, said they would bring a fresh perspective to the organization.

Will Knight, who is in the College of Arts & Sciences, and Dan Bresnahan, who is in the College of Business Administration, said their inexperience will be an advantage to them.

“We think our ideas and platform are more representative (of students), not of someone who has gone through student government and been tailored to act a certain way,” Bresnahan said. “We’ve had three years of being regular Marquette students and would like to represent that portion of the Marquette population.”

Knight and Bresnahan’s primary concern is making MUSG more relevant to the average student. After deciding to run, they were surprised at how little their friends knew about MUSG, and they want to increase communication between the organization and the student population. They have organized their platform to try to get more students to interact with government, primarily by reaching out to the student body.

Zach Dubois and Estefania “Ely” Elizondo

IMG_9999It is unusual for two freshmen to run for executive office on the same ticket, but Zach Dubois, who is in the College of Arts & Sciences, and Estafania “Ely” Elizondo, who is in the College of Communication, come with experience as high school representatives.

Dubois and Elizondo both served as president of their high school student governments. While they were initially concerned about a learning curve, they said, they don’t think the transition will pose a problem since they will get advice from the outgoing administration.

The two freshmen said that their lack of experience in MUSG will be an advantage to them because it will allow them to rise above any factions that exist within the senate.

“Being new faces, we can kind of avoid those political ruts and get things done and bridge those gaps and make MUSG more unified, make it one collective body,” Dubois said.

The candidates have made communication reform between senate committees a cornerstone of their campaign. They would like to create positions to communicate between committees within the senate.