Craig Durrant and Tom Murphy

Kelsey Ruane

Don’t let the matching navy blue campaign T-shirts fool you: Craig Durrant and Tom Murphy are two very different people.

“I feel like the Joe Biden who can just say whatever he wants,” Murphy said, which, it turns out, is often the case, though Durrant frequently chimes in to clarify or expand his running mate’s comments.

But that’s what makes their ticket interesting.

Durrant, a serious, thoughtful junior honors major with plans for law school, and Murphy, a light-hearted, quick-with-a-joke economics major, have been friends since freshman year.

“We’re not afraid to criticize each other,” Murphy said.

“That we don’t agree on everything is a positive,” Durrant added.

What they do agree on is the current disconnect they see between the Student Government Association and the student body. Durrant and Murphy note that the University’s major student organizations are populated by the same people, and they’re bothered by it.

“The student organizations are not representative of the student body,” Durrant said.

Murphy used the term “the big four” to describe the major organizations here, citing the Special Olympics Committee, Blue Key Society, Orientation Committee and SGA.

“It’s all the same kids in everything,” Murphy said.

“The views of students outside those groups aren’t heard,” Durrant said.

Durrant and Murphy think they can remedy that by bringing their own outside perspectives to SGA. Neither has had any previous involvement in the organization, but between the two of them, they think they can connect with most of the groups on campus.

“We are the most in touch with the student body,” Durrant said.

Durrant is a founding father and the author of the charter, constitution and bylaws of his fraternity, Lamda Chi Alpha, and has been the vice president since his sophomore year. He also serves on the executive board of the charity Kids With a Purpose. 

He is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and attended President Barack Obama’s inauguration as a presidential scholar.

Durrant also has a flair for the creative. He wrote and published a book in high school, the title of which he preferred not to disclose on the record.

Murphy is involved in the Arabic club and Campus Ministry. He just led a freshman break trip to Myrtle Beach, which was his fourth service trip at Villanova. He was abroad in Cairo, Egypt last semester.

“He’s very interested in international relations,” Durrant said about his running mate. “CNN is his home page.”

Durrant has been planning a presidential bid since current student body President and Vice President Dan Gelwicks and Spencer Curtis spoke to his fraternity last year.

“I came back from that meeting and told Tom we should run,” Durrant said. “We’ve definitely been planning this for a long time.”

Durrant is frustrated by what he sees as unused potential at Villanova.

“Something is preventing us from being a better University,” Durrant said. “There are concerns the student body has that are not being addressed.”

Durrant and Murphy have compiled a list on their Facebook group of what they think those concerns are, including allowing meals to be used at Connelly Center from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., adding an extra reading day before finals, letting Wildcards be re-purchased for cheaper prices and instituting a program that allows students to donate their leftover points to charity organizations.

“I will not rest until I see that the concern of every student is met,” Durrant said.

Durrant and Murphy said that their lives have become much busier now with the campaign. They receive text messages whenever their friends spot someone in their campaign T-shirt on campus. Their shirts read “Durrant Murphy ‘010” in a whimsical homage to the decade-old, now extinct, practice of including a zero in the year.

“Whenever I say to people that Tom and I are running, they smile and say ‘That’s great’ and that they’ll definitely vote for us,” Durrant said. “I’ve never received a response other than that.”