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Get to know the new Marquette Student Government President, Executive Vice President

New+MUSG+president+Abe+Ortiz+Tapia+created+a+Urban+Expression+event+to+bring+interactive+artwork+to+campus.+Photo+by+Yue+Yin%2Fyue.yin%40marquette.edu
New MUSG president Abe Ortiz Tapia created a Urban Expression event to bring interactive artwork to campus. Photo by Yue Yin/yue.yin@marquette.edu

New MUSG president Abe Ortiz Tapia created a Urban Expression event to bring interactive artwork to campus. Photo by Yue Yin/yue.yin@marquette.edu

New MUSG president Abe Ortiz Tapia created a Urban Expression event to bring interactive artwork to campus. Photo by Yue Yin/yue.yin@marquette.edu

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Marquette Student Government’s 2016-’17 president and executive vice president were inaugurated last week and led their first MUSG Senate meeting this week. The duo won after campaigning against three other candidate pairs for the student vote.

ABE, PRESIDENT

Ortiz Tapia, a junior in the College of Engineering, described the unveiling of the Marquette Student Government presidential results as a “nerve-racking” experience. Once his win was announced, Ortiz Tapia was overcome by emotion and enthusiasm.

“I was tearing up,” Ortiz Tapia said. “It was a really great feeling to know the student body was so supportive.”

Ortiz’s passion did not go unnoticed by other members of MUSG.

“Abe is just a kind-hearted person who will listen to students and will do a phenomenal job trying to facilitate change on campus,” said Sarah Beattie, programs vice president and senior in the College of Communication.

According to Ortiz Tapia, he and his running mate Adam Kouhel will be able to keep their promise because they have set reachable goals.

“Everything on (our platform) is attainable, and we have been in conversation with student organizations,” Ortiz Tapia said.

The Sunday after the results were announced Ortiz Tapia and Kouhel met to discuss the first steps they would take in office. They are currently communicating with culture and diversity student organizations to start conversations about the students rights handbook.

Ortiz Tapia said input from student organizations will be an important part of the process, as they have all have their own experiences with freedom of speech.

“Reaching out is the biggest thing,” Ortiz Tapia said. “Adam and I know we’re not fully educated on these topics, but many of these groups have experience with freedom of speech struggles.”

They are hoping to finish the handbook by next semester.

Green space activation is another initiative they will begin working on this semester and into the summer. Ortiz Tapia and Kouhel are looking into different ways green space can be used on campus.

They have been in contact with the Kohler Center for Entrepreneurship in the 707 Building to speak about how the plot of land can be utilized. They are also starting to create partnerships with different student organizations.

Next year they plan to advocate for the Ignacio Ellacuria S.J. Dreamers Scholarship and work on the Ignite Fund. It will be the first MUSG-sponsored fund for student innovations.

“It’s time for MUSG to invest in the ideas students have,” Ortiz Tapia said.

Initiatives they would like to continue are the Near West Side Initiative, Dialogue Dinners and the Never Have I Ever” poster campaign.

ADAM, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT

Kouhel, a sophomore in the College of Business Administration, transitions from MUSG academic chair to EVP.

One of Kouhel’s main responsibilities as the EVP will be to oversee Student Organization Funding. He will also collaborate with Ortiz Tapia on initiatives.

Having served on the SOF committee, Kouhel is familiar with the process. Financial Vice President and a junior in the College of Business Administration Cameron Vrana said he is confident in Kouhel’s SOF knowledge and abilities.

“Adam is really passionate about MUSG as a whole and especially the SOF process,” Vrana said. “I trust that he will do a good job. He’s really gotten the hang of it and he has a lot of experience already.”

He plans to create the SOF Second Chance program so club leaders have the chance to make corrections to any mistakes on their application and receive funding. He also wants to revamp the SOF application to make it more clear and transparent.

“Even for myself when I filled out the application I had some questions, and I sit on the committee,” Kouhel said.

However, Kouhel said modifying SOF will be a longer process. They will keep the original application for the rest of the semester, but they will begin modifying the application over the summer and work with the finance department and student organizations to see what improvement can be made.

Another way Kouhel will reach out to student organizations is by doing walkthroughs to evaluate their practice facilities.

“The walk-throughs is our first step to connect the administration and student groups who have had concerns about the spaces they are practicing in,” Kouhel said.  “We’ll be looking at schedules and resources within these spaces.”

Kouhel said he is looking to enhance the student experience on campus, and students can hold him to his promises.

“We want students to hold us accountable,” Kouhel said. “We hope to work with more students across campus efficiently and as a team.”

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