Because of confusion about the upcoming Senate, Temple Student Government has postponed their upcoming elections.
The election dates were moved from April 8 and 9 to April 22 and 23. TSG executives said they hoped that this would give students enough time to get their slates together and research the available positions.
“In the best interests of having a competitive election, we decided to push back the dates. We were really concerned with giving people enough time,” TSG President Juan Galeano said.
The positions that students will run for in April will be student body president, vice president of services, and vice president of external affairs. The executive responsibilities for those positions are basically the same as in past years, but the TSG Senate is something completely new to Temple and has caused some confusion.
“There is a lot of confusion about the senatorial positions. They don’t understand how that will happen and whether they want to be in that position,” said Alex Barnett, TSG’s elections commissioner.
TSG will no longer have a core of 10 executives, but will mainly be made up of 35 to 40 senators from each college, appointed by their respective deans. The number of senators appointed will be proportionate to the amount of students in each college. The Senate will be responsible for acting as the student legislative body on campus and for representing the students from their specific colleges.
“TSG is very compact right now, and this new system has the potential to make it become more widespread,” Barnett said.
The Senate will be separated into four committees, each serving a different purpose. The committee on allocations will allocate funding for campus organizations. The committee on finance will draft the TSG budget and determine new revenue making activities. The committee on governmental operations will focus on keeping the TSG government documents updated. Finally, the committee on university affairs will be responsible for handling students’ concerns.
The Senate will have biweekly public meetings where students can express their concerns, and on the off weeks, they will meet with their appropriate committees. Senators may also have small student councils within their colleges that will act as small student governments. The current TSG administration is very committed to the plans for the new Senate, but some General Assembly members expressed some concerns.
“I feel like the president and vice presidents are forecasting what it will be like, but no one really knows. They say it will be like this, but no one can ever really be sure,” said Kylie Patterson, a sophomore political science major.
The upcoming elections brought forth many of the concerns students had regarding the Senate. Some students said they felt the responsibilities of both the Senate and executive board were not clearly defined or explained.
“The confusions may cause people to not want to vote because they don’t know what they are voting for,” Emily Daniels, a sophomore kinesiology major, said. “If they want to have a good turnout for the elections, they need to tell us what the positions are and what they entail.”
Barnett and other TSG executives decided to postpone the elections in order to address these concerns as well as build up more hype and awareness about the elections.
This extension also gives people more time to get together their slate and campaign members. Prospective candidates must provide contact information, statements regarding their GPAs and academic standing, and answers to the questions put forth in the intent-to-run forms.
The intent-to-run forms are due by April 4.
“To facilitate a good slate, you need to put in a lot of work,” Barnett said.
Since senators will be appointed by their appropriate college deans, the only ones running will be those interested in being student body president or the two vice presidents. Senators will be elected in future years when the Senate is firmly established and acknowledged.
Campaigning cannot begin until Barnett determines the dates of the campaign. Candidates must provide the names of the people working on their campaign as well as receipts to ensure they do not overspend. Candidates cannot spend more that $1,500 in their campaigns.
Rebecca Hale can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.