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

Student government political trend begins again

With the student government’s general and executive spring elections rapidly approaching, the creation of a new student political party was announced.

Leaders Establishing A Difference was created by Student Senate members Alex Boyd, Holly Henry, Rebecca Johnson, Chris Arnholz, Kaylia Eskew, Roberto Luna and John Poshepny, as well as non senate members Jessica Bankhead and Jordan Miller. The establishment of the new party led some members to leave their former party, the Party United Leaders Supporting Excellence.

Boyd, a sophomore political science major and the chairman of the diversity affairs committee, said he wants to take the student government and Eastern in a better direction.

“I want to see a big increase in school spirit; I want attendance at games to rise,” Boyd said. “I want to get that (Eastern) pride back to where it was before.”

Boyd said he chose to leave the PULSE because he felt that not everyone’s voices were being heard.

After assembling a group of Senate members, Boyd contacted a few Eastern students via Facebook messages to participate in the first LEAD informational meeting.

“We are still looking for anyone interested to have their chance to serve the students,” he said.

Student Body President Michelle Murphy founded the PULSE after leaving the more popular United Party of Students.

“I would like to bridge the gap between administration and the students and to make Student Government more accessible to students,” said Murphy, according to the Dec. 8, 2008issue of The Daily Eastern News.

Murphy, who was then a sophomore and a first year student senate member, was chosen by the UPS to run for student body president on its ticket.

In the 2009 elections, the UPS was able to get four out of its five executive candidates elected into office while also getting its student senate speaker candidate elected as well.

Murphy said she started the PULSE because the leadership in the UPS was not conducive to the betterment of the student government as a whole.

“I wanted people that would be able to bring different things to the table,” said Murphy, a senior communication studies major.

She also said bringing people from different groups on-campus is what made the PULSE a success.

Student political parties are just social organizations that student’s can use to get elected into office by having different political platforms but no one ever follows through on their platform promises, Murphy said.

“It made me so mad when people would make platform policies that they couldn’t follow through on,” Murphy said.

The PULSE chooses not to focus on multiple platform promises but instead promises to never stop listening to the students.

“I’m not going to pretend to know what is going on, on-campus until I talk to the campus,” she said.

For years, the student government members have created and revived student political parties like the Students for Change, Student Experience Party, Campus Action Team, Student United Party and Students Wanting Action Today.

Different parties have formed and dissolved over the years, but what sets the LEAD apart is the fact that it has the youngest members, Boyd said.

“There are some people who would view it as a lack of experience, but I think it could just be a fresh, new look (on the student government),” Boyd said.

Murphy said she would not start a party now, but does not have any hostilely toward anyone that chooses to do so.

“The people I have holding on are the people I want,” Murphy said. “I’m happy with my party.”

Boyd said he thinks the camaraderie that will occur between the members of LEAD could only benefit the student government.

“We have a group of smart people that all share a common goal of what we want to accomplish,” he said. “A group can accomplish a lot more than one person can.”

Senate member Tommy Nierman said he plans on running for a student government position without a party affiliation again for the upcoming election. However, during the spring 2010 elections, Nierman started his own party along with two other student senate hopefuls called VOLT.

“All it is (about) is getting as many people behind you, then assigning (people) positions,” said Nierman, a junior business management major. “It’s not based on experience or anything important.”

Nike Ogunbodede can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]

Student government political trend begins again

Student government political trend begins again

Student Body President Michelle Murphy swears in next semester’s new student senate members Dec. 8 in the Arcola/Tuscola Room of the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union. (File Photo


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