Fate of state funds still unclear

TSG representatives and administrators continue to push state legislature to pass Temple’s funding.

TSG representatives and administrators continue to push state legislature to pass Temple’s funding.

Temple, along with three other state-related institutions — Lincoln University, the University of Pittsburgh and Penn State University, is still without approved commonwealth appropriations, weeks after most state agencies received necessary funds.

Last spring, Temple administrators passed a budget that gave the university its lowest tuition increase in 13 years, 2.9 percent. Trustees said if appropriations are not approved in time, they might need to raise tuition for the upcoming spring semester. In addition to a tuition increase, more across-the-board cuts are possible.

Temple Student Government Vice President of External Affairs Anthony Leyro said students should remember it’s not a conflict with passage of the state budget.

“We want to remind everyone that just because our state budget got passed, didn’t mean our appropriations got passed,” said Leyro. “It’s still up in the air, so [administrators] just want us to put a little pressure on the representatives to vote on it and get it passed because they are trying to tie it to [casino] table games.

“And we believe there’s enough money in the pool for our appropriations to get passed,” he added.

Leyro and TSG Vice President of Services Jon DeSantis worked on the One-Thousand Voices Campaign, an initiative to get 1,000 signatures and letters to sent to senators, state representatives and the governor, this summer when this issue first came up. The pair eventually went online with the campaign, posting links on Facebook and Twitter.

The two TSG executive board members eventually went to Harrisburg to conduct a press conference with Penn State and handed out 3,000 letters to senators, representatives and the governor.

Leyro is not the only one urging communication with state-elected officials. TSG Senate President Jeff Dempsey said TSG will pull its resources to lead students and show them what their powers are through the voting process.

“Temple is already appealing [to state-elected officials], so students might have to look ahead to the upcoming primary election to influence action,” Dempsey said. “There is an election season coming up in May. Maybe student government can step up and inform students about how they can affect the political system.

“Look at your classes,” he continued. “Most of your fellow peers aren’t from Philadelphia.They’re from a different part of Pennsylvania or a different part of the world, and some aren’t ready to register to vote yet.

“We need to localize our efforts a little bit more and hit up these politicians that should be working for us,” Dempsey added.

TSG isn’t the only entity appealing to state-elected officials. On Oct. 21, President Ann Weaver-Hart – along with President Ivory Nelson of Lincoln University, the University of Pittsburgh Chancellor Mark Nordenberg and Penn State Chancellor Graham Spanier – wrote and signed a letter urging state officials to pass the commonwealth appropriations.

They write that the four state-related universities “have become a destination of choice for many of Pennsylvania’s most committed and talented high school students. These 158,000-plus Pennsylvania students (including more than 130,000 undergraduates) and their families continue to be directly impacted by the delay and uncertainty created by the lack of a final appropriation for each university.”

Before concluding the letter, the four university leaders wrote: “We respectfully request that all reasonable and appropriate measures be taken to finalize the budget and the appropriations of Pennsylvania’s state-related universities in order to minimize the financial harm and uncertainty impacting our students and their families.”

The State General Assembly meeting Nov. 9 was the next opportunity for action, however, there is not yet an update on the situation.

Joshua Fernandez can be reached at josh@temple.edu.

1 Comment

  1. Temple University is nothing more than a low-class four-year junior college. There, I’ve said it. More than half the students attending have absolutely no business even near a college. These fools have bought into the hoax that a college education is going to land them a high paying job. Most of these suckers will come out of Temple University with about $18,000 in student loans, only to get the low paying job they could have gotten right out of high school. What Temple doesn’t tell them is that it doesn’t matter if they graduates or not, the $18,000 in student loans will double in a few years. High interest, penalties and fees are going to keep the poor student living basically from check to check, and that’s if he/she can find a decent job. And for those people who don’t default, they will find themselves struggling to pay this $36,000 in debt well into their 50s. The fees, penalties and interest are pure profit for the student loan industry and Temple University and others. The student loans will never go away, not even with bankruptcy and Temple University gets a kick back from the student loan agencies. I would venture to say that 75 percents of all Temple University graduates and non-graduates will find themselves struggling and wondering—what the hell happened? The other 25 percent of Temple Graduates will be the exception and find a way out of debt. But this doesn’t matter because the 75 percent struggling to pay back the loans is a sufficient number to keep the student loan industry and Temple’s kickback coffers replenished. Temple wants the students to believe that it’s the bad state senators keeping money from the poor students getting their education. Awww. Some parents are buying this lie. These are the same parents who will have a lean on their home when the student loan they co-signed for their children go into default.
    And for the person who wrote that it’s the congressman’s ego that is causing the delay in Temple’s appropriations—Wake up. It was the arrogance of the Temple Health Care Authorities. They thought they could sneak and close that Port Richmond hospital and use its students and parents to browbeat the Pennsylvania state senators into releasing their appropriations. What about those poor Port Richmond people who needed the hospital in their community. They don’t have a resource of 25,000 gullible parents and students to call on.

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