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Attention swings to Pa. budget

TSG officials talked about the state budget at their General Assembly meeting.
Anticipating a disappointing cut in state funding for the university, Temple Student Government Student Body President Colin Saltry spoke at the General Assembly meeting yesterday, Feb.…

KATE McCANN TTN Mark Quien talks at yesterday’s TSG meeting. Members said they’re expecting further cuts to state appropriations. Gov. Tom Corbett will give his address today, Feb. 7.

TSG officials talked about the state budget at their General Assembly meeting.

Anticipating a disappointing cut in state funding for the university, Temple Student Government Student Body President Colin Saltry spoke at the General Assembly meeting yesterday, Feb. 6, about his predictions for Gov. Tom Corbett’s budget proposal, which will be announced today, Feb. 7.

“Rumors I’ve heard range from 20 to 30 percent, all the way to 100 percent,” Saltry said.

After the meeting, Saltry added that he hoped “the governor will have a common sense proposal.”

TSG Vice President of External Affairs Elliot Griffin predicted similar funding cuts to state-related universities, which include Temple, Penn State, Lincoln University and the University of Pittsburgh.

“It’s not going to make either one of those [situations] easy to swallow,” said Griffin, who claims she will graduate close to $90,000 in debt. “And that doesn’t lend too well to a positive future.”

Griffin said TSG will continue to promote joining Temple Advocates Legislative Outreach Network among both students and alumni. TALON encourages members to contact legislators on behalf of the university.

Saltry said he hopes Corbett’s budget will keep Temple’s funding on par with what was received last year. However, Saltry added that he has low expectations for the governor’s plans.

“We’re probably going to see funding cuts without any mention of increasing revenue,” he said. “It’s a bad policy.”

Saltry said TSG will release an official statement in response to Corbett’s address by tomorrow evening, Feb. 8.

Saltry and TSG Speaker of the General Assembly Maria DiGeorge took time during the meeting to thank those who participated in the Rally for Higher Education Funding, which took place on Jan. 31 in Harrisburg. Approximately, 170 students from Temple, Penn State, Lincoln University, and the University of Pittsburgh assembled to address state lawmakers on behalf of higher education funding.

Saltry presented a video recount of the rally to those in attendance at the meeting. The video, made by University Communications, featured footage of speakers Malcolm Kenyatta, a senior communications major, and Griffin.

“Hopefully, I think that our state government will get the picture,” Saltry said.

On March 27, TSG will return to Harrisburg with students for Cherry and White Day, to speak directly with state lawmakers. March 26 is Temple Research Day, during which lawmakers are invited to come to Main Campus to speak with administrators and students.

In addition to TSG announcements, Charles Leone, deputy director of Campus Safety Services, spoke at the meeting about how his department handled the suicide of former student Tobi Lim Sonstroem, 25, on Main Campus last week.

“Emotions were flying. We’re all professionals. I know we’re supposed to put our feelings aside. But It’s really difficult,” Leone said. “Your heart just stops.”

Leone touched upon questions from students about the nature of the TU Alert messages sent out by CSS in the hours following the incident, stating that the office only put out information it knew to be “almost 100 percent” accurate.

“When you’re trying to pull together this information, you can’t just put anything out…[it was] a hard day,” Leone said. “We had a lot of debriefing afterward.”

Amelia Brust can be reached at abrust@temple.edu.

Visit temple-news.com for updates regarding Gov. Tom Corbett’s proposed budget.

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