The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

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Meet the St. John’s University Professor Who Wants To Take On George Santos

Legal Studies professor William Murphy hopes to put service back into public service.
Photo Courtesy / William Murphy

Legal studies professor William Murphy has always been passionate about service, even as a young boy on Long Island, New York. The self-declared “politics junkie” has always been fascinated by changing the world and helping others. 

Earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism from New York University and a Juris Doctor from Touro School of Law, Murphy was a practicing attorney before entering his professorship at St. John’s in 2012. He’s known for being an “edutainer,” his way of “educating and entertaining students at the same time.” 

Recently his aspirations have shifted. Murphy plans to run as the democratic nominee for New York’s third district house seat in 2024 but doesn’t want to run for Congress. 

“I don’t want to run, but I feel like I have to,” Murphy told The Torch in an interview.

Murphy announced his bid in January for the House of Representatives seat infamously held by George Santos, who garnered national coverage for falsifying his resume. Murphy grew tired of watching injustices play out on his TV screen every night and decided he needed to fix the problem.

“Santos is the breaking point. I am angered beyond belief, but I am not too illogical to know I can’t sit here and be angry,” Murphy said. “I have a choice: be angry and try to do something about it or live with it and get over it.”

When asked about his platform, Murphy hopes to “reinstill people’s confidence in government and put the service back into public service.” On his campaign’s Instagram, Murphy has pledged to not serve more than three terms, not to receive outside funding and not to actively invest in Congress. 

“I’m seeing a culture in Washington [D.C.] of people who are not there to serve and have no interest in looking after the people who voted to put them there,” Murphy said. “What they’re really interested in is spending as long as they can in Washington and making themselves wealthy in the process.” 

Murphy refers to himself as a Long Island Democrat – someone who is “normal” in their political ideology. 

“At the end of the day, we’re the center,” Murphy said. 

Murphy believes Long Island Democrats can point out the successes and flaws of each party and hopes to find solutions for issues without going to extremes. 

Murphy credits his love for politics from the need to fix and perform. “I’ve always seen something, whether it was broken or can be improved upon, and enjoyed the challenge of figuring out a more efficient way to bring out an outcome,” Murphy said. ” In his younger years, as an attorney and a professor, Murphy has found a love for performing. “If I was given one gift in life, it’s the ability to speak,” Murphy said. “Whether one-on-one or in front of a classroom, I enjoy communicating in spoken and written forms.” He credits St. John’s for helping him develop these skills further. 

“I’ve learned more about the world, people’s behavior and myself in nine years working with students more than I ever have in any other place,” Murphy said. “I get to be a student for life.” 

Many of his past students have shared testimonials on his Instagram, sharing how he’s made them better students. Current and former students Amal Ahmad and Hayoung Park spoke to The Torch about their experiences with Murphy. 

“He has a great energy about him and really cares about his students. Professor Murphy is extremely involved with the community, and I know he can get things done,” Ahmad said. 

“He’s direct and great at explaining terms,” Park said. “He puts himself in our shoes, which has immensely helped me as a student.”

When asked about the best parts about the St. John’s University and NY-03 communities, he responded: family. 

“If I’m wearing a St. John’s hat anywhere, someone will stop me without fail and will tell me their connection to the University. Everyone knows someone who went to St. John’s,” Murphy said. “That’s not something you’re going to get from any other school.”

When it comes to his district, “No matter who you are, we all have one thing in common: we live in NY-03,” Murphy said. “The priority for all of us is family. It’s a travesty and a disgrace that the most prominent political figures in our district do not even have a family.” 

In the coming months, Murphy hopes to expand his campaign through social media. He will continue to be a professor during his candidacy. 

“As a father and someone who’s devoted his career to working with young people – teaching them about a corrupt and dysfunctional system – along with my background as an attorney and at St. John’s, I might be able to put together the resources to actually do something,” Murphy said.

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About the Contributor
Olivia Seaman
Olivia Seaman, Editor-in-Chief
 

Olivia is a senior journalism student currently serving as The Torch’s Editor-in-Chief. She previously served as Managing Editor for two years. She's also written for amNewYork, Bronx Times and QNS. Outside of The Torch, she is a student ambassador and an undergraduate writing consultant at the University Writing Center. She loves to watch St. John's Basketball, exploring New York City and matcha lattes!

Olivia can be reached at [email protected]  
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Comments (15)

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  • M

    MariaMar 18, 2023 at 2:24 am

    George Santos, d trump, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Matt Gaetz, Lauren Boebert, Kevin McCarthy and other unhinged sociopaths need to leave, they are a threat to humanity.

    Reply
  • D

    Dr EvansMar 17, 2023 at 9:38 pm

    I was shocked to learn that Supreme Court case law doesn’t allow for the recall of a federal congressman. That is a travesty. Santos has a duty to represent the voters of his district and if those voters don’t believe he is representing them, there should be a recall process. (I also was shocked to hear that New York doesn’t have a recall process for state congressmen like many do, but that’s another issue for another day).
    I propose that either the House initiates the process of expulsion of an acting congressman OR I call for all voters in the country to contact their own federal congressperson to let them know that if they don’t act, we will not vote to re-elect any incumbents in the next election.
    “When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty.” -Thomas Jefferson

    Reply
  • K

    Kathy McAuliffeMar 17, 2023 at 3:09 pm

    Loved discovering this story about Professor Murphy. He understands this country’s real needs. He can make a difference but we need any more like him. Still, he’s a great start. I wish him great success in his campaign.

    Reply
  • J

    Jeanne GebhardMar 17, 2023 at 12:51 pm

    Great Article Ms Olivia Seaman. Thanks for showing the world William Murphy. He should be nominated for the next “real deal” political savior for our country! I had a glimpse of him on TV was impressed. This article elevates him to #1.

    Reply
  • W

    William PatrickMar 17, 2023 at 10:56 am

    Awesome article, well done WLM!

    Reply
  • C

    CatherineMar 17, 2023 at 10:29 am

    Thank you for getting in the Ring. JFK calls that ‘courage.’ I read, “Profiles in Courage.” Let it be a Lesson for the willing – Good Luck. Since I am not on Instagram I usually send $$ to the DNC.

    Reply
  • M

    Mark ScherzerMar 17, 2023 at 9:40 am

    I liked what he had to say quite a bit until his closing remark. There is nothing disgraceful about not having a family as he defines it. I think it’s important to value everyone’s choice of who they go through life with and what form those bonds take. I’m most curious to know who he is referring to as not having a family.

    Reply
  • S

    SaliMar 17, 2023 at 8:24 am

    Take him on you can do it

    Reply
  • J

    Janie MehaffeyMar 17, 2023 at 7:51 am

    This is someone we need, desperately. He made promises here, I believe he will keep them. My opinion… he reads like a winner, I think he will succeed. I will be donating my tiny money. ?

    Reply
  • M

    Marla R CanadyMar 17, 2023 at 7:46 am

    You have my full support and I don’t even live in the state of New York! But what’s so significant is you back a person into the corner and they come out swinging!

    Reply
  • R

    Rory LeBlancMar 17, 2023 at 4:27 am

    If he stands by what he says then he will be a benefit to government! We need politicians that stand by there word an to whom truth matters!

    Reply
  • H

    Hampton BumgarnerMar 16, 2023 at 9:15 pm

    Don’t ever stop doing what you clearly have the capacity to do. Good news for all of us, for everyone. Thanks. All the best!

    Reply
  • J

    JoaoMar 16, 2023 at 10:48 am

    I do agree go for

    Reply
    • M

      MehranMar 17, 2023 at 2:32 am

      It has been a quiet a blow for us Republican & faith based Christian blood to find ourselves with these clowns.

      Reply