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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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One step away
June 8, 2024

Meet SBP Candidate Michael Murtha

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Shelby Knowles — THE BATTALION

Aggie Story
Coming from a Catholic family and a high school with a strong football culture, Michael Murtha said he originally wanted to attend Notre Dame and try to walk on the football team.
“I’m a first generation Aggie — my family is all from up North, so I actually grew up with everyone wanting me to be Rudy from Notre Dame,” Murtha said.
Eight sports-related concussions and one auto accident later, however, Murtha decided to change course.
“So, I started thinking, if I’m not going to go to Notre Dame and try to walk on, I want to find a school that is enriched in tradition, just like Notre Dame,” he said. “Then I came to A&M, and I think it’s more enriched in tradition than Notre Dame.”
After his injury, Murtha said he adopted a life motto — “You only have so many seconds.” He said this motto motivates him to leave the best possible impact during his time as a Fish Camp counselor, Class Councils vice president of Class of 2016, Old Ags member, student senator, transportation advisory system member, St. Mary’s Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults mentor, Muster host and campus EMT.
Platform
Murtha said his decision to run for office was cultivated at the Spencer Leadership Conference but born out of the belief that there is a disconnect between groups on campus.
“So I was seeing a lack of representation and I wanted to fix it, so I ran for senate,” Murtha said. “When I became a senator, I saw that there were so many things that we could still improve on. We are making good strides in the right direction, but I think we need more of a bump to get there.”
As such, Murtha said his platform aims to ensure that SGA can maintain the Aggie experience as the university grows with initiatives like 25 by 25. Murtha said student government represents only 1.9 percent of the student population.
“Almost everything else — parking, transportation, dining — falls under that representation, it’s lacking,” Murtha said. “We can, as a Student Senate, pass a bill to get rid of meal plans, for instance — the trades, not the whole thing — but we don’t know who we are really representing when we only have 1.9 percent.”
Murtha’s answer to this comes in the form of a “Unification Council,” a student opinion council that would be run by roughly 10 student leaders, including the MSC president, RHA president and Student Senate speaker. The council will hold monthly meetings with groups of student organization presidents.
Murtha also wants to start an SEC wide-charity project, possibly through the Big Event. Murtha said he has not yet consulted Big Event directors, but he envisions a charity project on the same day and at the same time with live feeds to other SEC campuses.
“We would train them to run the Big Event,” Murtha said. “I know that we have already been training other universities how to run the Big Event, but we would just train the SEC schools.”
Murtha said he also supports priority registration for veterans as well as mandatory excused absences for job interviews.
“Right now it’s at the discretion of professors, and we wanted to make it a mandatory thing,” Murtha said.

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