Parliament, the legislative branch of Temple Student Government, passed its first binding resolution during its meeting on Jan. 30, which calls for the expansion of Tuttleman Counseling Services and asks Temple administration to “take any steps necessary” to lessen wait times at Tuttleman.
“We want to set up a hiring schedule over the next four or five years so we can be prepared when it comes to the forthcoming years,” said George Basile, Parliament’s junior class representative, who introduced the binding resolution to the floor.
This summer, Student Health Services and Tuttleman Counseling Center will both move to 1700 N. Broad Street, and receive a 50 percent increase in floor space, said Student Body President Aron Cowen.
“They’ve been hiring new staff at the center, but they end up coming short on the estimates for the next year,” Basile added. “We’re going to try to get a better projection about what’s going to happen.”
To pass a binding resolution, at least three-quarters of present Parliament members must vote to pass it. After the resolution receives the needed vote, it goes to Cowen, who is required to provide Parliament with regular updates as to the resolution’s progress.
“This was actually a great resolution to start with,” Cowen said. “It was something that we had already done a lot of legwork on so we could quickly come back with, ‘You flagged this issue, you wanted something done on this, and here we are’ two weeks later.”
“Something that we found is that Tuttleman has the funding for additional staff,” Cowen added. “It just didn’t have anywhere to put them.”
Tuttleman’s current office space, at 1810 Liacouras Walk, will become an extension of the Fox School of Business. Renovations will begin in time for the school’s centennial celebration in 2018.
“The binding resolution really was the last piece of the puzzle to get everything approved and finalized,” Cowen said. “I think the resolution called on us to alleviate some of the wait-time problems that Tuttleman had and I think this is a huge step in that direction.”
Parliament’s Speaker, Jordan Laslett, who was elected on Jan. 30, is in charge of monitoring the new binding resolution.
“As the Speaker, it’s my job to follow it until there’s action on it,” he said. “Parliament’s going to want to know what happens to the things it passes. I’m going to be following it until I get a clear statement as to what’s being done, how it’s being done and why it’s being done.”
Thomas Roof, Parliament’s representative for commuter students, was the only member to vote against the binding resolution.
“I think we’re not really going to have divisions as far as helping students,” he said. “We’re all going to want to help the students and I want Tuttleman to be better, I just felt the way we went about doing it was improper.”
“I would have liked to see a report on the conditions of Tuttleman,” Roof added. “I just felt a little uninformed about it. I had heard that Tuttleman wasn’t doing well but again, that’s hearsay. I wouldn’t have been able to make an informed decision.”
Future binding resolutions may not have as quick of a turnaround, Cowen said, adding that this resolution was an exception because TSG had already started working on the issue months beforehand.
“In this case, the binding resolution said to find a way of increasing capacity at Tuttleman,” he said. “We have found a way.”
Amanda Lien can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @amandajlien.