MUSG holds debate for presidential and vice presidential candidates

MUSG+results+were+announced+Sept.+18+in+a+Microsoft+Teams+life+stream.+Marquette+Wire+stock+photo

MUSG results were announced Sept. 18 in a Microsoft Teams life stream. Marquette Wire stock photo

Marquette University Student Government held a debate for the president and executive vice president positions Sunday afternoon via a Microsoft Teams call.

On one ticket, Evelia Guerrero and Elizabeth Murillo, seniors in the College of Nursing. On the other, Kevin O’Finn, a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences and Vinny Stoll, a senior in the College of Business Administration.

The debate, which typically takes place in the spring, was an opportunity for candidates to share their vision for the upcoming term. The election will take place this Thursday through online ballots sent to Marquette students.

Each pair emphasized unity — on and off-campus — as part of its platforms. “Together We Are” was Guerrero and Murillo’s motto,  while “We Are One” was O’Finn and Stoll’s.

Guerrero and Murillo said they aim to serve students “holistically.” Their platform has three pillars: to foster social change, enhance student experiences and increase resource accessibility.

Guerrero and Murillo said they are looking to improve racial equity and encourage students to explore Milwaukee. They also hope to highlight and improve existing resources on campus, such as the Counseling Center. Guerrero mentioned increasing the amount of sessions students can attend and increasing staff diversity.

Murillo said she’d like to continue the “spot-funding” model that was adopted during the pandemic for student organizations, which will allow student organizations to apply for funding as needed, rather than a semester in advance.

O’Finn and Stoll said they have four primary goals: to unite Marquette with Milwaukee, unite student organizations with MUSG, unite the student body with MUSG and unite the students with other students. 

“We will make open an opportunity for every student voice to be heard and be included so we can strengthen an all-inclusive environment,” O’Finn said.

Because of COVID-19, O’Finn and Stoll said they would like to host virtual weekly podium talks about issues students care about. They said they’d also like to be able to offer students more masks and sanitation wipes.

Additionally, O’Finn and Stoll said they’d like to better promote student organizations and events through social media and by meeting one-on-one with five different organizations every week.

“There’s like 300 clubs on campus, that will allow us to hit almost 250 by the end of our term,” Stoll said. “It creates that connection between clubs and MUSG.”

Each ticket has different experiences and skills from their time at the university.

Guerrero was an MUSG desk receptionist her sophomore year, eventually making her way up to become the outreach vice president.

Murillo frequented the MUSG office as a sophomore, visiting Guerrero at the desk and doing homework. She then became chief of staff under former executive vice president Dan Brophy.

​O’Finn was an MUSG senator for the College of Arts & Sciences, McCormick Hall and Schroeder Hall as well as serving as an off-campus senator. He served on the Budget and Student Organization Funding Committee on MUSG. He then was the chair of the Student Organization Committee. 

Stoll, while an MUSG newcomer, has familiarity with budgeting due to his experience with the student-run business organization and as treasurer of his fraternity.

Murillo said that she hopes to create a positive Marquette experience by drawing on the stories of her peers, while acknowledging that there’s no set template for what a Marquette student should look like. They aim to amplify the voices of all students, including first-generation students, commuters, transfer students, part-time students and low-income students, she said.

Stoll said they hope to create a positive Marquette experience by to encouraging student involvement and enhancing student organization funding. He said they want to create an open environment and be willing to have conversations with students about what they want.

“We are gonna make (student’s voices) heard,” O’Finn said. “We want to put students first … we want to make sure we represent students.”

This story was written by Alexa Jurado. She can be reached at alexa.jurado@marquette.edu.