The winner of the Temple Student Government 2016-17 election was announced Thursday afternoon in the Student Center.
Empower TU won the election by capturing 32 percent of the total 4,112 votes, and edged out Believe in TU by 3 percent. Owl Opportunity took third place with 19 percent of the vote, while Take TU earned 18 percent.
Voter turnout decreased from last year’s election; 12.72 percent of the student body voted, compared to 17 percent from last year.
“It feels great but it’s more of a responsibility than a victory,” said Aron Cowen, future student body president. “For the next year I feel responsible for the Temple student body and that’s something I’m going to keep in mind.”
Joining Cowen on the ticket are Jai Singletary and Kelly Dawson for vice president of external affairs and vice president of services respectively.
Empower TU’s platform was based on building on the existing momentum Temple has with its students as well as a reform of TSG that will reflect the student body.
Cowen said he plans to serve the students’ best interests through a 40-person unicameral representative parliamentary system.
“The biggest thing is creating a parliament,” Cowen said. “This is something that we talked about a lot during the election. We don’t want students buy in to end here. We want for the whole year to have representatives they can go to with their issues.”
Brittany Boston, the current vice president of services at TSG, said she trusts Empower TU to represent the student body.
“I’m very proud of them and I’m excited,” Boston said. “They ran a strong campaign and I know that they are going to work and empower the student body just like they say they are. But they have to know, [to] be prepared for a diversity of thought, diversity of ideas and opinions and from different students, and work with them.”
Current Student Body President Ryan Rinaldi said he thinks very highly of Empower TU and is looking forward to transitioning them into TSG.
“I think they are all very personable people,” Rinaldi said about the Empower TU members. “I’m hoping to continue the relationships and pass along those relationships that I’ve created with the administration, and to continue to piggyback off the work that we started.”
Despite the campaign and election process ending, Cowen hopes to see students participate in the new parliament they plan to implement for TSG.
“Almost every position in TSG is open for application,” Cowen said. “So I encourage every Temple student to submit a resume and be part of next year’s administration.”
Tom Ignudo can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Ignudo5.
Video by Harrison Brink and Michaela Winberg.