Newly elected MUSG President Kyle Whelton, a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences, is finally stepping off the campaign trail and getting his first decent night’s sleep in more than a month. He served as senator and legislative vice president the past two years and now is excited to be “getting his hands back in the nitty-gritty” as president.
Whelton said that MUSG, among several other opportunities he has taken advantage of on campus, made coming to Marquette “probably the best decision of my life.” The three things that persuaded him to come to Marquette were the Les Aspin program, his stepdad who is an alumnus and Marquette’s strong sense of community.
“When I visited Marquette it felt like home,” Whelton says. “The fact that faculty really cared about students was something that I didn’t find anywhere else, and it was really reassuring.”
The faculty and student relationship continues to be one of his favorite aspects of Marquette.
“That has honestly has made my experience the most rewarding,” Whelton says. “In every course I’ve taken, the professor has been engaging and has cared about the students. We are a school of 8,000 undergraduate students, so it’s pretty easy to get lost in the numbers, but you don’t at Marquette.”
In addition to student government, Whelton is a member of the fraternity Sigma Phi Epsilon.
“I love relaxing with my brothers; I actually live with two of them,” Whelton says. “I’m open with the fact that I’m a nerd, and we’re all history majors actually. So we’ll sit around and go on the weirdest tangents. I think that’s kind of the whole college experience, just all these different people who push you to learn new things and have fun together.”
He also participated in the Les Aspin program this past summer.
“It was the summer of my life, and living in D.C. was amazing,” Whelton says. “I learned so much about government in the process. There’s so much you can’t get from a text book; you have to live it. Being in that city with so much history and so much history being made was mind-blowing.”
Whelton said that he hopes to remain active in government beyond college.
“Right now, I’m not quite sure exactly which way I want to go,” Whelton says. “I have thought heavily about Teach for America. The area of policy I’m most passionate about is education, and I think there’s no better way to get experience than just to getting in, getting your hands dirty and experiencing it on the front lines. Also, I have thought about seeing what doors are open in the private sector after college. The ultimate dream would be to pursue elected office one day.”
Whelton’s interest in government and politics fuels his determination to succeed in MUSG.
“One thing I’m really adamant about is reinstating the diversity task force, which was a program from a few years ago,” Whelton says. “We want to bring non-MUSG students together with MUSG leaders to look at things that go beyond the typical discussion of race, gender and sexuality. I think socioeconomic background, for example, is definitely a diversity that exists within Marquette.”
Whelton said that this entire campaign experience has been somewhat difficult but also very humbling for him.
“The most challenging part of the campaign was that we just couldn’t meet every student organization we had planned on. That’s tough because we want to actually sit down and talk with students and hear what they’re concerned about,” he says. “There’s a lot on which we need to deliver, and we want students to hold us accountable. It’s a daunting challenge.”
Whelton also commented on Marquette’s time of change due the introduction of the first lay president and eventually a new provost, dean of the business school, dean of admissions, athletic director and basketball coach.
“This is one of the most exciting times to be a student at Marquette,” he says. “This incredible time of transition is an area where students can provide both stability for the university and a vision that moves forward.”