Elections for Temple Student Government’s next senior leadership team started today and will finish tomorrow, with voting throughout Main Campus and online at uvote.temple.edu.
The two teams competing for office next school year are RepresenTU and Future TU. RepresenTU has campaigned with a platform that centers on representing every individual student equally, while Future TU has focused on a “three pillars” platform that ultimately aims to improve the future of Temple.
Amber O’Brien is the candidate for student body president for RepresenTU, and is running with Aaliyah Ahmad and Tyler Sewell, candidates for vice president of external affairs and vice of Temple.
Amber O’Brien is the candidate for student body president for RepresenTU, and is running with Aaliyah Ahmad and Tyler Sewell, candidates for vice president of external affairs and vice president of services, respectively.
Future TU is headed by presidential candidate Ryan Rinaldi, who is running with Binh Nguyen and Brittany Boston, who are also running for vice president of external affairs and vice president of services, respectively.
Both teams participated in two debates leading up to elections this week, the second of which was moderated by The Temple News at The Owl Cove in Mitten Hall on Thursday night. Each ticket talked about their views on a variety of campus issues, ranging from campus safety to campus diversity to community relations.
In recent years, voter turnout at TSG elections has declined. In 2012, 2,647 total votes were counted. In the last two elections, that figure has dropped to 2,075 votes in 2013 and 1,716 votes in 2014.
Both presidential candidates said they hope this year will reverse that trend.
“It’s really important that students go out and vote,” O’Brien said. “Last year, with around a 6 percent voter turnout and less than 2,000 students … that is terrible for a 40,000 student base, and that’s something we need to change.”
“It’s sad to think that there are a lot of people out there not using that right of theirs,” Rinaldi said. “Both teams, with the competition that we’ve had, we’re really going to try and boost voter turnout this year.”
Today and tomorrow, voting spots will be scattered throughout Main Campus, including at the Bell Tower. There will also be an election mixer in the Student Center Atrium tonight from 8-10 p.m. to increase awareness and promote the elections.
On the voting website, TSG Election Commissioner Inella Ray wrote that voting today and tomorrow is “imperative.”
“You have the power – do not allow yourselves to be on sidelines whimpering and complaining, utilize your political power and vote for the ticket who best represents you and your university ideals,” she wrote.
Voting began at midnight last night and continues until 11:59 p.m. tomorrow, according to the website. In order to ensure authenticity, voters will be required to sign in with their AccessNet ID and password.
Steve Bohnel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, 215.204.7419 or on Twitter @Steve_Bohnel.