By Lexie McClendon
From Board of Regents meetings to E3 promotional videos to campus events, most in the campus community have likely seen or met Paige Murphy over the past year. As president of the student body, Murphy can occasionally be found in her office, but mostly, she’s found out on campus advocating for her fellow Colonels. Her leadership to the student body was built on her love and passion for EKU. Therefore, Murphy prioritizes being an active and familiar leader on campus.
At the beginning of the school year, EKU President Dr. David McFaddin made a commitment to working with and supporting Murphy in her work as student body president.
"Serving students is our absolute first priority. We are going to work together to make this the most exceptional year ever for Eastern Kentucky University and our students," said McFaddin as he introduced Murphy at the employee convocation in August.
One of the many ways Murphy has worked to serve EKU and its students is through reforming the SGA constitution alongside the vice president and SGA team.
When Murphy and vice president, Travis Pendygraft, were sworn in last May, they attended the Kentucky Leadership Academy with SGAs from across the state. During the retreat, they became inspired to modernize EKU’s SGA and constitution to be more current with other schools in the state. Murphy and Pendygraft spent the summer sorting through the constitution and determining what could be changed and improved. They worked closely with the rest of the SGA executive team throughout the year to ensure all branches were on board with the changes. In February, Murphy presented and received approval from the Board of Regents to enact the amended constitution.
Since her freshman year, Murphy served in several positions in the student senate and the executive council. She said running for SGA president was a “no brainer.”
“I love this organization and I wanted to see it improve. This was definitely the best way to do that,” said Murphy.
The day-to-day duties of SGA president continually changes, which she finds to be the most exciting part of the job. A typical day includes meetings, emails, administration and overseeing the various branches of SGA. She also serves on the EKU Board of Regents and the Kentucky Board of Student Body Presidents. A few weeks ago, she was in Frankfort for the reveal of EKU’s new manufacturing engineering program, Colonels at the Capitol and the Board of Regents meeting. As a part of her duties, she works closely alongside EKU administration—another aspect of the position that she enjoys.
“They really love students and they love Eastern, and it shows,” said Murphy.
In addition to her duties as SGA President, Murphy is an active member of the Kappa Delta Omicron sorority and a full-time student. She recognized the importance in balancing her own workload in a healthy manner and realized the struggles her colleagues and classmates also encounter in managing stress and busy schedules. That’s part of the reason she’s prioritizing a new initiative for Mental Health Week later this month, which she started working on in October. Her goal is to highlight the available resources on campus to support students.
Murphy’s position as student body president has provided her professional opportunities to grow and prepare for her future, and she already has potential job prospects in her chosen field. After graduation, she hopes to stay in Richmond and become a high school social studies teacher.
“It has been the best year of college and the best year of my life. It’s been a really intense year but it has been such a joy to get to serve the students of Eastern and to get to advocate for them,” Murphy said.