The end of the semester not only means finals for the Temple Student Government executives, but it also signifies the parting of ways of Student Body President Raysean Hogan, Vice President of Academic Affairs Priya Patel and Juan Galeano, the vice president of Student Affairs and student body president-elect.
“I’m going to miss the relationships,” Patel said. “We’re never going to have the same relationships in the same capacity ever again.”
The three friends immediately clicked when they formed their popular Owl Evolution
slate back in October 2005. Patel met Galeano during his freshman orientation when she served as his Owl Team leader. The two have remained friends since. With the help of Seth Embry, currently the co-chair of the Election Committee, they partnered with former Main Campus Program Board President Hogan.
More than a year and a half later, the trio said it is proud of what it has achieved while at the helm of TSG.
“The biggest accomplishment for this year is the way student government became a lot more energized,” Galeano said. “The different personalities within student government and the different things we did this year are going to set the bar for next year.”
With that energy came what Galeano called a “roller coaster” of events, including two major community service projects: 1K Help for a Day and Temple B. Moore.
“I think anytime you expect 1,000 students
to come out for a community service project and they actually come out, you’re doing something right,” Hogan said. “I can’t say a lot of organizations can do that. We’ve definitely energized the campus.”
But those were not the only successes TSG has seen. One of the major goals of TSG this past year was to bring students and the administration closer together. TSG organized a dinner with students and the Board of Trustees to discuss “mutually beneficial partnerships,” Patel said.
“The Board of Trustees is really interested in seeing what we do,” Patel said. “They enjoyed it as much as we did.”
Hand-in-hand with the larger events are late nights in the TSG office, the executives said. But when the work piles up, members know how to take a break from the stress. When the work gets tough, people will randomly break out into philosophical debates or freestyle raps, Hogan said, adding that these moments have made them become so close.
“The environment is like a family business,” Hogan said. “We don’t have problems spending hours in the office or being next to each other. We yell at each other, we argue, we fight, we come up with ideas – it’s great.”
One of the best aspects of the job is watching people grow and learn, Hogan said.
“It’s like parents watching their children fall off a bike and watching them get back on,” he said. “Watching people develop as individuals is probably the most rewarding thing.”
But there are certain things the outgoing officers will not miss, like attending more than 20 different meetings weekly among the three of them.
“I like the meetings, but sometimes you have more meetings than you do hours in the day,” Hogan said. “I can’t say I’m really going to miss it. I like the results, but it’s really tedious.”
As president-elect, Galeano will not be able to avoid the meetings, at least for another year. But Hogan and Patel have been training him to handle the presidency, Galeano said.
“They’ve been very supportive. But, at the same time, they’ve both been pretty tough on me,” Galeano said, smirking. “They’ve been making me really count on myself more and see things in a bigger way. It was all for the greater good to make myself a better person.”
They are also confident that Galeano will perform his duties well.
“It’s not like he’s a new person coming into a whole new game,” Patel said. “I think he’s a veteran at this point having been in TSG going all four years now, so he’s been able to see what the inner workings are and how to effectively communicate with people.”
Many students may not know a lot of TSG’s impacts because some were “intangible,”
Hogan said. But these are initiatives he hopes the new slate, Owl Potential, will carry out in the coming year, he said.
One such initiative is to have mid-semester
evaluations for classes so professors can change or update their courses within the semester rather than beginning with the next. A TSG Senate will also be created in which representatives from many aspects of the Temple community can address and resolve problems.
“We realized that [General Assembly] is not the place for students to come together and address campus-wide issues. It’s become a place for student organizations to get money and hear announcements,” Hogan said, adding that the formation of a Senate will allow people to bring specific issues to the table.
Hogan, who will be graduating next month, has accepted a job with IBM, based in Los Angeles, consulting for media and telecommunications companies. He said he will not miss Philadelphia and will probably be “bicoastal,” since much of his time will be spent on a plane.
“I’ll be traveling so much, I probably won’t be missing anywhere,” he said.
Patel, on the other hand, still has one semester to go before graduating in December and has an internship with an insurance broker over the summer. Although she will have three capstones to complete in the fall, she said she hopes to help Galeano with TSG in some capacity next year.
“Juan knows he can call on me,” she said.
As they prepare to take their final bows as TSG executives, Hogan and Patel have some final words for the student body.
“Don’t let your life pass you by,” Hogan said. “Don’t just let each day go by without doing something. I’m tired of people just going through life like there’s no fire.”
Patel added that her experience studying abroad in Rome last year has taught her more about herself, and she encourages students to take advantage of the prospects Temple offers.
“When you go to a university like Temple,
it’s really unique in a lot of ways, and you have a lot of opportunities open to you that you might not have at some other places,” she said. “Push yourself and do the things you might have thought you never could do.”
“You can be the next president,” Hogan added. “You never know.”
Chris Stover can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Staff writers LeAnne Matlach and Tyson McCloud contributed to this article.