Michael Murphy felt the bed shake below him at 2 a.m.
The then-15-year-old wondered if an earthquake struck his home in Fairfax, Virginia.
He flicked on the light and looked down to see his older brother Danny having a seizure on the floor. He catapulted off his bunk bed and screamed for his parents as his brother’s eyes rolled back into his head.
Six years later, Michael received a call during a UF Student Senate committee meeting. Danny had another seizure.
Michael Murphy considers his Student Government roles as vessels to take care of people like Danny whose epilepsy isn’t immediately recognizable.
“It’s being there for students when they need it,” said the 21-year-old UF political science junior.
Murphy is a three-term senator who has served as the Senate Pro Tempore and Senate President.
Former Student Body Vice President Brendon “BJ” Jonassaint met Murphy during a 2016 Preview presentation. Jonassaint watched Murphy grow through his SG roles.
Murphy reached out to Jonassaint in Fall 2017 to attend the welcome assemblies hosted by UF cultural associations. Jonassaint said he remembers Murphy’s many questions during each event.
“On paper he’s extremely qualified, but his genuine attitude and integrity is something that cannot be overlooked,” said the 24-year-old UF health administration graduate student.
Michael is the third Murphy brother to attend UF. His eldest brother Blake was an Impact Party campaign manager.
Murphy isn’t interested in leaving a campus legacy plastered with his name. Anything accomplished will have been a team effort.
“Ultimately, Student Government is the amplifier to the bulk of the students’ voices,” Murphy said.
The team mentality can be connected to Murphy’s dedication to his family.
If you ask what his favorite movie is, he’ll answer with “The Emperor’s New Groove.” He watches it with his sister, Molly, whenever he’s home.
Most played song? It’s “Funkytown” by Lipps Inc. because it doesn’t have explicit lyrics, and everyone seems to like it.
“I like to think that I am someone who is inclusive and tries to be including to other people and makes them feel comfortable,” Murphy said.
Briana Bazail, the Florida Cicerones president, met Murphy through a mutual friend in Fall 2018. She said Murphy can be in a suit in the Reitz Union one moment and then spilling coffee on himself at Dunkin’ the next moment.
“He’s the friend that constantly checks in on you when you’re having a rough week,” said the 21-year-old UF mass communication graduate student.
Update: The article was updated to include Briana Bazail's title as the Florida Cicerones president.