Candidates for USG President – Charles Murria


Photo by Chloe Jakiela

Charles Murria is a junior Sports, Arts and Entertainment Management major from Manhattan, NY who has served on USG for 3 years as a Senator and Parliamentarian; 2 years.

Written By Alex Grubbs, USG Beat Writer

Point Park’s United Student Government is holding elections for all of its positions April 3 to 7. Last week, the Globe profiled the candidates for Vice President, Kristopher Chandler and Davion Heron. We continue the series this week with profiles of the candidates for USG President: Robert Bertha and Charles Murria

United Student Government (USG) Presidential candidate Charles Murria jumped right into student government during his first week of freshman year after his political stint in high school.

Initially coming to Point Park with an undecided major, he was crestfallen after he was rejected by the university’s theatre program, but he ran into another venture that he is passionate about.

Now as a junior sports, arts and entertainment management major, a resident educator and parliamentarian of USG, he hopes to use his experience in those fields toward being president of student government.

Murria has served USG for three years. He then started out as a freshman senator and then was appointed parliamentarian under both of President Blaine King’s terms.

“He served on my [rules] committee. He put a lot of effort into it and asked the right questions,” King, former parliamentarian, said of choosing Murria as his appointment to the parliamentarian position. “He was really into everything I was teaching him.”

According to the USG constitution, the parliamentarian acts as a checks and balances for the organization, ensuring that USG members are fulfilling their responsibilities in their elected or appointed positions.

He also heads the rules committee where it updates and creates guidelines for USG, ensuring that clubs and organizations are running to their messages.

King, although not endorsing any candidate, also admired Murria’s dedication to his parliamentarian position during King’s two-year presidency.

As parliamentarian, Murria has tackled a potential impeachment trial, established social media guidelines and fixed problems at meetings that were not properly following procedure.

“Charles really cares for USG a lot,” King said. “I give him… the [utmost] respect for how much he cares for USG and the organization as a whole.”

Now as a rising senior, Murria wants to expand his horizons on representing the entire student body as president.

“I thought to myself that we [USG] are not concentrated on students than I would like us to be,” Murria said of his decision to run for president. “We’re not as focused on their needs and what they want.”

He stressed that he wants more issues addressed, such as mistreatment of students, irregular nurse hours and changing in financial aid.

“These are things that directly affect students,” Murria said. “I don’t want [students] to feel like they are a number in the system.”

He reiterated he would not be in this position if he did not stumble across USG three years ago.

Murria and his friends from psychology class were walking around the Clubs and Activities Fair during their first week of freshman year. Within a week, he decided he wanted to run as a freshman senator. He recalled the inviting environment that made him jump right in and have allowed him to flourish over the years.

Having grown up in multiple cities across the country, his parents’ divorce and battles with his sexuality have all played a big part in Murria finding his home in the theatre.

“The theatre has such a camaraderie and a family-like aspect to it that I enjoy,” Murria said.

His friends and peers know him for his love of theatre and his outgoing personality. According to junior accounting major Ciara Riddick, if he is not working for USG or doing school work, he is going to plays at the Playhouse and the Benedum or watching theatre videos on YouTube.

Riddick also said that Murria’s dedication is why he is fit to take on the presidency.

Riddick recalled Murria walking around with a stack of books, which were USG minutes from a decade ago to now, to find out the history of the organization.

“Charles always cares about how things turn out,” Riddick said. “He always talking about ‘working on this… figuring this out.’”

Riddick also pointed out that every time they are together, if he is not singing or talking about theatre, students come to him to address issues and he is more than willing to help.

“If someone comes up to him with an issue, he can have his own issues… but when another person comes up, his issue is set to the side… and then he handles it [with that person],” Riddick said.

“Charles appeals to everybody,” Shayna Mendez, senior photojournalism major and graduating USG senator, said of his personality. “It doesn’t matter if they’re in the COPA department, or a student athlete… Charles has this personality where he is open to everyone.”

Mendez recalled meeting him in her freshman dorm room. Murria walked in, and they bonded over popcorn laying on her bed.

“The way he came in and sat down and started talking as if we’ve been friends forever [and] this is totally normal,” Mendez said. “That was one of the stepping stones in our friendship.”

Mendez also thinks that Murria’s ability to talk to anyone would allow more open dialogue with USG if he becomes president.

“[It would] encourage more and more students to talk about things going on campus in general and come to USG,” Mendez said.

In the event Murria wins, he hopes to speak with challenger Bobby Bertha, who is currently USG’s vice president.

“He executed his position [almost] flawlessly,” Murria said. “I’m going to talk to him about what he wanted this organization to look like… and try to implement that in my plan for next year.”