College Democrats plan for rest of academic year

With only five meetings left before the end of the semester, the Temple College Democrats and the organization’s officers are aiming to make the best of the time they have left.

TCD President Dylan Morpurgo said that along with the group’s participation in Relay for Life last week, TCD’s board and its members are going to continue to support campus events and to focus their attention on women in politics.

Looking back on the semester, Event Coordinator Sonia Galiber said there were a “number of great events” that promoted awareness toward women in politics. She said TCD’s Women in Politics panel, held after the presidential election, was one of the most meaningful events the group hosted this academic year.

“We went to our state convention two weekends ago. Part of that is you give a presentation on what your chapter has done throughout the year,” Morpurgo said. “The thing that I was personally most proud about and that we were able to pull off was our Women in Politics panel.”

Positive feedback from the attendees and TCD members about the panel led to conversation to form a LGBT panel, Morpurgo said.

The LGBT political discussion panel, set to be held April 25, is one of the main events the group has lined up but is still in the beginning stages of planning, Morpurgo said.

Though this panel is still in its early stages, Morpurgo said TCD has reached out to professors, legislators and alumni and asked them to get involved with the panel, with the overall message aiming toward informing the student body of the LGBT community in politics.

Along with the success that came from the panel, Morpurgo said creating campus-wide awareness from the previous presidential election and registering students to vote was an accomplishment that exceeded members’ expectations.

“In August, the minute that freshmen started moving into campus, we were on campus registering people to vote. At the end of the registration period, we registered over 3,000 people,” he said.

With help from other organizations that were active in getting students registered, they were all able to register more than 5,000 students. Morpurgo said that at the end of the last academic year, TCD introduced a resolution to Temple Student Government that worked toward getting expiration dates on new Owl Cards that were distributed at the beginning of this year. A unanimous TSG decision complemented the university’s move toward issuing new IDs. Temple students registered in Pennsylvania were able to use their cards as a valid voter ID.

“Over the summer, I sat down with administration and TSG, and we talked about the logistics. But fortunately, they added those expiration dates, so now 40,000 students can vote with that ID card,” he said. “It was definitely the most important thing we did.”

The overall message Morpurgo said he wants Temple students to take away from this year is to become aware and active in politics. Creating a strong and respectful relationship with the Temple University College Republicans and also creating a bipartisan conversation with the group added to that message.

“We’ve done so many events with [TUCR] throughout the year, so it’s been good to foster that bipartisan relationship, which in the past didn’t necessarily exist,” Morpurgo said.

Future plans for TCD include electing new members to its executive board, hosting city controller candidates at weekly meetings, co-sponsoring a leadership dinner with Temple Israel Public Affairs Community and TUCR to correspond with Israel week and supporting a rally for Temple alumna Edith Windsor, a plaintiff in the current Supreme Court case on the Defense of Marriage Act.

Morpurgo said the rally is planned for May 3. Queer Student Union is hosting the event to keep up the “momentum” of the case until the ruling is decided in June.

Addy Peterson can be reached at adlaine.braquel.peterson@temple.edu or on Twitter @adlainebraquel.

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