Temple Student Government confirmed last week’s election results on Monday, and officially named Oscar Chow the assembly’s next president.
Chow ran as part of “A Stronger Temple” along with Ryan Phelan, the vice president-elect of academic affairs and Cristina Ackas, the vice president-elect of student affairs. All three were sworn in at Monday’s TSG General Assembly meeting.
Through the four debates leading up to the election, “A Stronger Temple” battled with Andrew Pittz and “Spread the Love – It’s About Time.” That slate gathered 1,370 votes, or 44 percent as opposed to “A Stronger Temple’s” 1,936, or 56 percent.
This year, 3,306 students voted in the election either from computers or at one of TSG’s nine polling places, five of which were located on Main campus. This continued a recent trend of increased voter turnout. The number was a marked increase from last year’s election, when only 2,060 votes were submitted, and the 2003 election, when 1,476 students cast ballots.
Chow is a rising senior political science major. He spent the last year serving TSG as chair of the internal operations committee. A member of TSG for three years, Chow has also served as vice president of Phi Beta Lambda, vice president of Alpha Phi Alpha – Pi Rho Chapter, president of Johnson, Hardwick and Peabody student council and a resident assistant. He also ran for president last year on the “Temple United” slate.
“Last year’s campaign really solidified this campaign,” Chow said. “The seriousness of the role I wanted to play to let the student body know that I was serious about [TSG] and the future that Temple [TSG] has for itself.”
Ackas and Phelan are both rising seniors majoring in broadcasting and marketing, respectively. “A Stronger Temple’s” platform was comprised of 18 problems around campus that the slate needed to address. Based on this platform, the group plans to take on issues facing students, faculty members, the University and the community around it. TSG has made headlines lately with the woes of its allocations process.
“A lot of these things are not what we’re emphasizing right away, these are continuations. We are, and have been, working on a lot of these things through the course of the year. Things aren’t accomplished immediately, they take time,” Chow said.
According to their platform, Chow and his colleagues would like to develop an allocations process that is beneficial and easy to understand. Each of them has served TSG in an administrative capacity before, Chow as internal operations committee chairman, Ackas as treasurer, and Phelan as student representative to the board of trustees.
“I’ve known Oscar even before TSG, since we were in Johnson and Hardwick when we were freshmen. In his campaign then for senate he showed back then how he was on top of his game,” Phelan said. “And meeting Cristina through TSG, once again, she works hard and gets things accomplished.”
Other major platform points emphasized by “A Stronger Temple” included student diversity, campus safety and problems with Sodexho, the company which provides most of the food on campus – issues that Naeem Thompson, 2004-05 TSG president also emphasized.
“I was pleased with the election. Both slates prepared very well for the campaign,” Thompson said. “But, I have to say, there’s still a lot of room for improvement.”
In the four debates leading up to the election, candidates battled on both their experience and their opinions on the issues. But after the election, “A Stronger Temple” praised their opponents for their dedication.
“Personally, I’m very proud of them. I just want them to stay more involved for the rest of the year,” Chow said. “There’s definitely a place for them within the government.”
Christopher Reber can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.