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

Meet your student body president candidates

One of the most important student-held positions, the student body president, is up for grabs during this year’s student government executive elections.

The petitions are in and three Student Senate members are currently vying for the coveted seat.

All potential candidates, who turned in their petitions, will be meeting on Monday at a yet-to-be determined time to discuss what each position entails.

Michelle Murphy, a senior communication studies major, is the current student body president – a position she has been in since her junior year.

Ed Hotwagner

After being the student government’s parliamentarian and the chairman of the student affairs committee, Ed Hotwagner wants to fill in the seat that will be vacant after Murphy graduates this spring.

Hotwagner, a senior math education major, is currently running with the Party for United Leaders Supporting Excellence and said he is ready and able to take on the position.

“I have been around for four years and I have got to see a little bit of everything,” Hotwagner said. “I’ve always been the type of person that has taken leadership roles.”

Hotwagner is an executive member of Panther Nation, put on the Panther Pile, and is a member of Greek Life.

The student government has done some really good things; it should keep producing to the best of its abilities, Hotwagner said.

Hotwagner, from Manhattan, a south west Chicago suburb, said he will be open to establishing communication with the student body right away.

“I only know so much as a senator-I just want to keep listening-the students are the ones that wants things,” he said. “I don’t want them to ever feel like they don’t have a voice.”

Unlike previous years, none of the future executives are making elaborate promises, nor have they established any party platforms.

“I would hate to break ties with the University Board; (it) is a great board and they do a lot of great things,” Hotwagner said. “It could hurt us if they don’t want to work with us anymore.”

But with Eastern’s enrollment less than accommodating, Hotwagner acknowledged next year’s budget will not be the same as it was this year.

“Everything operational are things that we can’t cut-things like paying for phones and printings could not be cut,” he said. “It’s not like we cut any programs all together.”

The student government’s budget, along with budgets of the UB, the Student Recreation Center and the Apportionment Board, directly comes from Eastern student fees and because of low enrollment budgets have been reduced.

“We cut all of the phones except the student body president and the executive vice president,” he said. “We are doing the best with what we are given.”

If elected, he intends to increase productivity from his office, work on establishing a stronger senate and mend the growing tension that has developed between the student government and the University Board.

“We do a lot of great things but I want to look into what we could do to make things better,” Hotwagner said.

One word Ed Hotwagner uses to describe Alex Boyd, “hardworking.”

Alex Boyd

Voted “Most Creative” during the senate’s annual “Paper Plates Awards” during his freshman year, Alex Boyd wants to take charge of the student government and Panther Nation.

Boyd, a sophomore political science major, is currently the senate’s diversity affairs committee chairman.

“I hope to open up the lines of communication between student government and the student body,” Boyd said. “It’s important for students to be informed with what we do if we are going to properly represent them.”

Boyd is one of the founders of Leaders Establishing A Difference, the new Eastern political party.

The student government has been run the same way by the same people and I want to change things, Boyd said.

“There are a lot of people that don’t know what we do or don’t know that we exist,” Boyd said. “And those people that do know what we do, don’t think we are doing enough.”

The senate has nowhere to go but up, he said.

“If we are going to do something, then people need to get behind their programs and man-up.people need to be held accountable,” he said.

Boyd said he was glad this year’s senate has been productive.

“The issue about parking is that it would need such a change and it’s not something that I would see in my four years here,” Boyd said. “It’s just a never ending cycle.”

Things are working the best way they possible can with the situation Eastern has, Boyd said.

“We are lucky to have the system that we (have),” he said. “Even if it does mean us, underclassmen, have to park a little farther away.”

The student body president is given the task of appointing Eastern students to Eastern’s Student Supreme Court, but Boyd said if he was elected it would not just be his decision.

“Ideally (the Student Supreme Court) would be chosen by the student body president, the executives and the speaker because they are the most experienced people,” Boyd said.

The senate member, who grew up the youngest of three boys in Kankakee, said the senate members have become a family to him.

“I grew up with two brothers and everyone always took care of me and even though I came here with a sibling, it is nice having a group of friends,” Boyd said.

One word Alex Boyd uses to describe Tommy Nierman, “driven.”

Tommy Nierman

Deciding that no party is the best party, Tommy Nierman chose to run as an Independent during this year’s spring election.

Nierman, who ran against Michelle Murphy during the last presidential elections, wants other senate members to follow his example.

“I don’t think the party system doesn’t do anything for the students,” said Nierman, a junior business management major. “When you run independent people can come up to you and say ‘Tommy, you said you were going to do this. Why haven’t you’.”

Nierman is the senate’s external relation committee chairman and Eastern’s student representative for the Charleston City Council.

“I bring experience, results, and campaign promises that are measurable,” Nierman said. “I really want to try and create a change.”

Nierman has been on senate for five semesters.

“The first thing I want to do is put together a president’s council where we gather leaders from the student government, the University Board, the Black Student Union and hall councils and have them meet with President (Bill) Perry once every month or every two months,” Nierman said.

According to Nierman, the president’s council will consist of at least seven student leaders that will bring student issues directly to Perry.

Nierman said his resume speaks for itself.

“I’m hardworking and follow through with my goals,” Nierman said.

Nierman, a Woodstock resident, has put on programs like the local business expos, Senators-in-Training, and “House Parties, Toga Parties, and Can My Landlord Do That.”

“It feels like student government is a lot of people trying to see what they can get and the student government has so much potential and we are living up to what we can do,” Nierman said.

Nierman said because of the economic crisis, he is in favor of Roberto Luna’s not-yet-proposed bylaw change “Executive Compensation II” that would limit the tuition waivers given to executive member and the Student Senate speaker from 12 credits to nine.

“The budget does need to be cut-times are hard-but I would like to see executive compensation cut before we cut programs,” Nierman said.

One word Tommy Nierman uses to describe Ed Hotwagner, “sig-epic.”

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

Meet your student body president candidates

Meet your student body president candidates

Alex Boyd


Meet your student body president candidates

Meet your student body president candidates

Ed Hotwagner


Meet your student body president candidates

Meet your student body president candidates

Tommy Nierman


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