The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

Murphy takes leave of absence

Student Body President Michelle Murphy is taking a senate approved leave of absence that will end Dec. 9.

The leave of absence is not only from the student senate’s weekly Wednesday meetings, but is technically from her position as student body president.

“I have to dig out of a hole because of taking on extra responsibilities. I felt like I was drowning in my own office,” Murphy said. “I went pretty long without asking for help, but now I need it.”

Murphy was re-elected in spring 2010 by a 38-vote margin and she said she believes after this brief recess she will do her duties better.

“I don’t know if there is a week that I work less than 30 hours a week,” Murphy said.

Murphy is constitutionally required to be a full-time student and work a minimum of five office hours a week.

The hiring of a new student government Webmaster and graphic designer has also added to Murphy’s office hours.

“I meet with them twice a week and stayed during their office hours.”

The student government’s Webmaster and graphic designer are required to do two office hours a week.

“With the website, we ran into some obstacles that we haven’t had before,” Murphy said. “Mostly because we haven’t updated the website in a long time.”

While the student government website was outdated, the new Webmaster recently created a new layout with some available links.

Some links are not updated and those links will show up as broken but they are working as fast as possible, Murphy said.

During the Nov. 10 meeting, the student senate approved Murphy’s absence to last until Dec. 9.

“I’ll probably be back this week,” Murphy said.

Murphy said choosing Dec. 9 was a worst-case scenario.

“You’re just going to have to trust that I know what’s best for me and for my office,” she said.

Dec. 9 is the day after the final senate meeting for the fall semester. Fall elections will be Dec. 6 to 7 resulting in the new senators electing the new speaker of the student senate Dec. 8.

“I’m actually getting things together and getting medically better,” Murphy said.

Jason Sandidge, the current speaker of the student senate, has chosen not to run for his current position.

As speaker, Sandidge leads senate meetings while receiving the same 12 credit hour tuition waiver as Murphy and others of the executive branch.

Senate elections will be online for the first time this fall.

“It’s hard to gain a turnout for fall elections because I feel like people are less informed,” Sandidge said.

Online elections begin Dec. 6 and with a provided link on the student government website, it allows students with computers to stay at home to vote. Students will only be able to vote once with their student identification number, or E number.

“Because we got most of our votes by walking people to the polling booth, we could potentially lose votes,” Murphy said. “But it will pay off in the end.”

According to the student government’s 2009-2010 budget, paper ballots cost $198.

“It’s cheaper and makes it a lot less dramatic,” Murphy said. “Another advantage of not having polling is you don’t have to keep them open and have people working it.”

Nike Ogunbodede can be reached at 581-7942 or [email protected].

Murphy takes leave of absence

Murphy takes leave of absence

Michelle Murphy, a senior communication studies major and student body president, waits for the football game against Illinois State University to start Nov. 13 in Normal. (Danny Damiani


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