Four-Legged Race – A.S. Presidential Candidate Marco Murillo

    As a student of a local school district for nearly eight years, A.S. presidential candidate Marco Murillo has a marked investment in UCSD and the La Jolla community. And as a graduate of the Preuss School, Murillo said it was a no-brainer when it was time to make his college decision. A first generation Mexican American, Murillo is the first of his family to attend a four-year university, an experience that gave him first-hand knowledge for his campaign platforms of diversity and outreach.

    … Change is possible on this campus. It is definitely a slow process, but the seeds need to be planted so future generations of students can continue to work on what was started.””
    – Marco Murillo, Thurgood Marshall College junior

    “”I pretty much have been on my own since elementary through middle school,”” Murillo said. “”Both of my parents speak Spanish and I didn’t learn English until fourth grade. Even though my parents didn’t know how to help me with my schoolwork, they prepared me for college by enrolling me [in] Preuss.””

    And since then, Murillo has been actively involved in seeking ways to better student life on campus and in the community. As head of the Student Voice! slate, Murillo hopes to impact issues of student control, campus life and college access and affordability in various ways, such as pushing for student control of the Grove Caffe and establishing External Affairs’ Lobby Corps.

    Because La Jolla is an upscale community, the Thurgood Marshall College junior believes it is important to make the extra effort to integrate with La Jolla residents and foster better relations. The link is currently strained, he says; a trend of apartment-to-condominium conversions and rules restricting amplified music after 11 p.m. limit possible social gatherings. Murillo said that student organizations find it difficult to live and interact in a college atmosphere in La Jolla.

    “”One of the first things that I would do is create a partnership between UCSD and UTC,”” Murillo said. “”Most UCSD students shop at UTC, but there are no discounts or benefits for them.”” For example, he said, businesses could offer Welcome Week discounts to incoming students with move-in needs. Already Sun Diego gives a 10-percent discount to UCSD students on certain items in their store.

    To facilitate such interactions, Murillo plans, if elected, to open the Student Promoted Access Center for Education and Services in spring 2008. By focusing on access and retention issues, the center will form a communion between UCSD students and inner-city children.

    As the current associate vice president of diversity affairs, Murillo has worked with the Cross Cultural Center, LGBT Center and Women’s Center in efforts to increase campus diversity.

    “”With the opening of the Cross Cultural Center in the Price Center Expansion, there will be a much higher traffic of students,”” Murillo said. “”Therefore, plans need to be made to reach out to students who would not normally use the services that the center provides. I am currently sitting on the Cross Cultural Center Advisory Board and we are brainstorming ideas as to how the center can expand its services to the entire campus.””

    Also, Murillo plans to strengthen relations between the A.S. Council and student organizations by improving communication.

    “”The problem is that many students feel that A.S. is not welcoming and find it to be a very intimidating place,”” Murillo said. “”As president I want to break those notions, and make students aware that A.S. is here for their needs.””

    One way to boost school pride, according to Murillo, is to increase interest in school athletics with the passing of the recently approved referendum for the atheletics department. Also, he wants to focus on transfer and commuter students who have difficulty plugging into the school.

    “”With transfer housing opening in a couple of years, it is necessary for the A.S. to create a strong relationship with All Campus Transfer Association,”” Murillo said. “”We have to work together to make sure that transfers feel part of the UCSD community as soon as they step on to campus … by increasing the number of popular events, such as Bear Gardens, and broadening the appeal of our athletics department, students will be more willing to come to on-campus events.””

    As the Thurgood Marshall provost intern, Murillo was finally able to return his gratitude to the San Diego community by recruiting UCSD students to tutor and mentor inner-city students at Gompers Charter Middle School as well as Preuss.

    “”Change is possible on this campus. It is definitely a slow process, but the seeds need to be planted so future generations of students can continue to work on what was started,”” he said.

    More to Discover
    Donate to The UCSD Guardian
    $210
    $500
    Contributed
    Our Goal

    Your donation will support the student journalists at University of California, San Diego. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment, keep printing our papers, and cover our annual website hosting costs.

    Donate to The UCSD Guardian
    $210
    $500
    Contributed
    Our Goal