Endorsements key for Future TU

RepresenTU had less than half the sponsors of the election’s victor.

Ryan Rinaldi (center) hugs Brittany Boston (left) and Binh Nguyen after learning the result of the Temple Student Government election, which was announced Thursday. The three will take office on April 27. | Margo Reed TTN
Ryan Rinaldi (center) hugs Brittany Boston (left) and Binh Nguyen after learning the result of the Temple Student Government election, which was announced Thursday. The three will take office on April 27. | Margo Reed TTN

Last year, TU Believe – led by current Student Body President Ray Smeriglio – beat Renew TU by just more than 200 votes to become the senior leadership team for Temple Student Government for 2014-15.

This year was a different story, as Future TU beat RepresenTU by about 1,500 votes, nearly doubling its competitor’s total en route to becoming TSG’s soon-to-be senior leadership team for the 2015-16 school year.

Even though none of Future TU’s candidates were serving in any capacity in TSG, the ticket was able to garner much of its support through several student organizations, fraternities and other groups on and near Main Campus. According to each ticket’s website, Future TU was endorsed by 33 organizations, a far greater number than the 12 organizations that endorsed RepresenTU.

Beside the huge difference in number of endorsements, Future TU was able to gain support of both major political organizations on Main Campus – Temple College Democrats and Temple College Republicans. Student Body President-elect Ryan Rinaldi said his team accomplished this through one of its three pillars, “uniting the communities.”

“A lot of the things that we ran on aren’t political,” Rinaldi said. “They’re apolitical, they’re Temple-driven … sitting with those organizations and connecting on the ‘Temple side’ was key.”

Another key endorsement for Future TU was Govberg Realty, a local real estate agency that owns several properties around Main Campus. The agency isn’t listed on the ticket’s endorsement page, but did congratulate the team’s victory via Twitter on Thursday.

Rinaldi said that Govberg wasn’t an official endorser, and that the agency supported Future TU on social media without any influence from his team.

RepresenTU’s endorsements did include several fraternities and sororities and most notably the men’s basketball team, likely due to presidential candidate Amber O’Brien’s connections through her positions as TSG’s director of university pride and traditions and vice president of the Cherry Crusade, Temple’s student-run fan section.

However, Rinaldi, who previously served as the president of the Temple University Investment Association, utilized networks in the Fox School of Business – the school with the highest enrollment at Temple last semester.

“We kind of looked at them as an untapped voting area,” Rinaldi said of campaigning toward Fox students. “We wanted to make sure [to tell student professional organizations] that we want to get them involved outside of Fox … partnering them with Temple Student Government is a motivator for them to vote … I imagine that if you capture Fox, it goes a long way in capturing the election.”

However, Rinaldi added that diversity was key in his team’s victory. Brittany Boston and Binh Nguyen – both vice presidents who ran with him for Future TU – come from the School of Media and Communication.

Moreover, Gaelen Mccartney and Sierra Mergliano, director of operations and graphic designer, are both Tyler School of Art students. Assistant Campaign Manager Tykee James is a student in the College of Science and Technology, and Justin Swallow, who was responsible for helping with the team’s website and multimedia, in the Center of the Arts.

Along with the team’s academic diversity, Future TU statistically beat RepresenTU in social media, an integral part of campaigning. The team currently has about 440 more Twitter followers and 400 more Instagram followers than RepresenTU, in addition to about 170 more Facebook page likes.

In a previous interview with The Temple News, Future TU said even though no member served on TSG this school year, the team felt like a “fresh set of eyes” would be beneficial for the organization accomplishing goals in 2015-16.

The team is set to take office on April 27.

Steve Bohnel can be reached at steven.bohnel@temple.edu or on Twitter @Steve_Bohnel.

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