Elizabeth Murphy was elected as the 2013-2014 president of the St. Thomas Students’ Union with 338 votes. She says her two main goals for next year are to increase alumni presence on campus and help students with finances. She says she will be successful because of her networking skills and experience working with administration.
“I feel incredibly excited. I’d like to congratulate all the candidates on a job well done. I am extremely pleased and can’t wait to get started,” Murphy said after hearing the news.
The Saint John native says she doesn’t want any “rubber-stamping” on the union, so that everyone is comfortable sharing their views at meetings. She also says she will take plenty of time to make decisions, something she criticized Hoben for this year.
“Our priorities should be different. It has been cited that this year has been a building year but I think every year is a fresh start. To say that this year was only used for building, it’s not what should have been done. I felt that there was too much focus on external advocacy.”
The third-year political science and communications major travelled to STU’s sister school in Houston last winter. She also was the president of her high school’s student council and sat on the Education Council for District 8. She is currently a Board of Governors representative on the STUSU, a non-voting position.
“What sets me apart is definitely my ability to network with people on campus and off-campus and certainly I’m coming at this with the angle that I want to collaborate.”
She also says she wants to keep the emergency bursary program and add funding to the campus food bank because many students apply for bursaries because they can’t afford to eat.
“We can’t say to students at one point that we are going to fight for them for lower tuition or to keep it the same and then turn around and say but we’re going to get rid of our emergency bursary program.”
Murphy says for years student groups and groups from the university have been going to the government about funding issues but they’ve never gone together. She says she will use her role as president to change this.
“We’ve had the government agree with us that it’s unfair, that there’s a discrepancy. They know that, we know that. But they’re not willing to do anything about it because there’s not more people coming to talk to them, there’s not a bigger voice.”
She also wants to have a second Welcome Week in second semester, a monthly newsletter, and an updated STUSU website. She says effective communication with the student body will be a big goal too.
The exact vote counts for each position will be available soon.