The Temple Student Government debate last Tuesday in the Student Center was packed: four platforms, 12 candidates, three moderators and nearly 100 audience members. Last year The Temple News moderated the debate between Future TU and RepresenTU, and we saw a lower turnout in attendees.
But this year, it was encouraging to see so many politically engaged students, faculty and staff members attend the debate to hear answers on topics including sexual assault education and resources, the state budget, the possibility of an on-campus football stadium, gender neutral housing and community engagement. At the end of the debate, audience members had the chance to write down their own questions, and it was exciting to see so many in the ballot box.
With four tickets, there are intrinsically more candidates who can represent and offer differing perspectives to many student groups on Main Campus, like members of ROTC, women of color, athletes and activists.
With this increase in tickets from previous years comes more opportunity for students who may have never voted—due to lack of representation in prior elections—to be more engaged. We saw the effects of this last week, and want excitement to grow.
We hope the varied options for student government leaders this year will inspire those who haven’t felt truly represented in the past. We encourage those people to vote next week to ensure their voices are heard not just on election day, but through the next academic year.