News

Activate TU: Ready to take on campaign promises next year

The team, inaugurated on May 1, is set to begin its plans for sexual assault prevention and a community day.

Student Body President Tyrell Mann-Barnes was inducted at the General Assembly meeting on May 1, alongside Kayla Martin, vice president of Internal Services, and Paige Hill, vice president of external affairs.

The new Executive Team will soon begin planning ways to make good on their campaign promises, which include increasing awareness of resources for survivors of sexual assault, more student and community interaction and a better relationship between Temple Student Government’s two branches.

Activate TU beat Connecting TU to take over TSG’s Executive Branch in a close race in early April.

In its platform, Activate TU members said they plan to establish a sexual assault prevention week during the first few weeks of Fall 2017.

“We want to create an environment on this campus where everyone understands that Temple Student Government stands against sexual assault and violence,” Martin said. “We’re also working with the administration to make sure they’re backing up this commitment and taking steps to show they’re not standing for sexual assault or violence.”

Student Body President Tyrell Mann-Barnes, right, and Paige Hill, vice president of external affairs, will begin working on the initiatives they, with Vice President of Internal Services Kayla Martin, proposed during campaigning. JAMIE COTTRELL FOR THE TEMPLE NEWS

Martin said the new administration and the athletics department will collaborate during the proposed sexual assault prevention week.

“They actually came to us,” Martin added. “Through that conversation, we made sure we told them our plans.”

Activate TU is also planning a community day for students, student organizations and  North Philadelphia residents to “set a tone of being respectful of the community,” Hill said.

“I really want us to establish a culture where students really feel like they’re in community with people who live here more permanently,” she said.

Hill said she plans to increase community engagement and find ways to “live harmoniously together” through community service and leading discussions, she added.

To increase positive community relations, Hill said Activate TU plans to continue the community meetings Empower TU implemented and involve community members in conversations on campus, she added.

TSG’s Executive Branch held two meetings with community residents this year, Jai Singletary wrote in an email. On November 17 and March 2, TSG held meetings at the Amos Recreation Center on 16th Street near Montgomery Avenue that were open to all students and community residents. The gap between meetings was due to a change in the city’s reservation policy, Singletary wrote.

The administration will also continue to host forums on national issues that could impact them, like police brutality and President Donald Trump’s January immigration ban, Mann-Barnes said.

“We want to be cognizant that Temple seems like a bubble sometimes, that things are happening only on our campus, but there are things all throughout the world that are impacting our students,” Mann-Barnes said.

“We want to be adaptive so we can recreate spaces where students feel represented and they have that space to speak about how they feel and to know that TSG supports them,” he added.

Martin said the increase in voter turnout during this year’s election was a sign students are getting more informed about TSG.

“I think more people ended up learning about TSG,” Martin said. “We want to do the same things we were doing during the campaign season and continuously engage more people than TSG has typically done.”

Activate TU also wants to create more collaboration and communication between the Executive Branch and Parliament, starting with monthly meetings with the General Assembly.

The GA committee meetings will be co-led by Parliament committee chairs and the directors in the Executive Branch that work in similar fields to give students a chance to meet with them and discuss specific issues, Martin said.

“It’s an easy way to encourage collaboration between the two branches because they will have to work together to prepare for the GA committee,” she said. “It’s about figuring out how to better [TSG]. Since we have this new branch of government, I think we should start there.”

TSG recently finalized constitutional changes that further defined the powers of each branch and the roles of the people working within them. The changes also established Activate TU’s main campaign point: an Ethics Board that would hold the Executive Branch and Parliament accountable.

Amanda Lien can be reached at amanda.lien@temple.edu or on Twitter @AmandaJLien.

Julie Christie contributed reporting.

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