Western Courier

Student Spotlight: Michael Quigley

Student Member of the Board of Trustees

Tabi Jozwick

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 He has represented the Western Illinois University Student body in the Board of Trustees (BOT), commanded a ROTC cadet battalion, and worked through several degrees, all the while drawing support from his wife Kali.

 A Camp Point native, Michael Quigley earned his bachelor’s degree in political science with a pre-law minor at Western and is now working on his master’s degree in political science with an emphasis on public administration. Quigley will be
graduating in May.

 He said that representing the Western student body at Western’s (BOT) meetings gave him some real- world experience to see how public administration works. As a student trustee, he gave the student body a voice in the BOT meetings, but was not allowed to vote on personnel issues, due to possible conflicts of interest.

 “I really fought very hard to get increased spending on technology, particularity internet access and increasing internet speed, connection strength, things like that, all across campus because it had been my big push,” Quigley said about his first year on the BOT. “A lot of administrators will even joke that I never shut up about technology, and I do that because I’m very passionate about technology and I think that technology on campus really is the way of the future.”

 Before he enrolled at Western, Quigley served in the Illinois National Guard from 2009 to 2014, reaching the rank of sergeant. He took the nontraditional approach of joining ROTC as a graduate student. When he becomes fully commissioned as a second lieutenant, he will be stationed in Fort Hood, Texas as a military intelligence officer.

 “Generally speaking, they are the people who handle the intelligence that we have and figure out the best ways to utilize that on the ground level, so how intelligence uses resources we have affect the people fighting the battle,”Quigley said.

 Other than representing Western students, Quigley served as Student Government Association’s (SGA) Speaker of the Senate for two years. He also worked as a graduate assistant in the Centennial Honors College. When the national chapter of Pi Kappa Phi wanted to start a chapter at Western, many SGA members joined and, since he wanted to take a more active role, the Pi Kappa Phi national chapter selected Quigley to be a founding father president of Western’s Pi Kappa Phi’s chapter.

 “I went alumni, but I still like go to lots of their events and stuff, so when they hold events, I try to show up and make donations when possible,” Quigley said.

 At home, Quigley likes to spend time with his wife Kali, who he married in May 2014, and their miniature Australian Shepherd dogs, a 5-year-old female named Rami and a 3-year-old male named Rebel. Kali will be graduating with her undergraduate degree in psychology and hopes to go to graduate school for counseling.

 “She’s always been there help me to keep me on track, just been a phenomenal asset in my life and really a testament to my success,” Quigley said. “There have been many times when the meetings go from until SGA, which sometimes goes to 10 p.m. and there has been plenty of times where I had meetings from 7 a.m.to 8 p.m, and she brought me lunch in the middle of the day because I was running all day,” Quigley said about some of the positive factors in his life.

 “So when I come out in my ‘public life,’ I can be active in student government. I can be active in ROTC, a grad student with a 4.0, I can do all of those things because I have my wife who really keeps my life on track behind the scenes.”

 As for the future, Quigley plans to have a full military career and to retire in either California or a place with a warm climate.

 He hopes to do lots of traveling and see the world with Kali, both in his military career and in retirement.

 He also hopes that current SGA president Wil Gradle will do a better job than him representing Western’s students at the
BOT meetings.

 “The biggest thing that I can give to both student leaders and just the student body in general is don’t be afraid to use your voice,” Quigley said. “Even if you have a disagreement with something that is going on campus or just in general, if you voice that, people will listen and if nothing else, you know you have done your part because all too often, people might grumble about, ‘I don’t understand this or that on campus,’ and there is probably a reason that this or that is going on.

 “And not only that, but if you don’t like the way something is happening, you could affect that change.” Quigley said about the impact students have.

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Student Spotlight: Michael Quigley