IgniteTU to pursue need-based programs

The “Ignite a Movement” scholarship is the first initiative TSG announced for 2019.

Temple Student Government will focus on creating programs that affect students and the North Philadelphia community in Spring 2019, leaders said.

This semester, IgniteTU will improve TSG’s communication with students, implement a “Swipe Out Hunger” program and begin working on bringing other platform points to fruition, President Gadi Zimmerman said. 

“We used our break to recharge and get a final push to finish what we started,” said Hailey McCormack, TSG’s director of communication.

IgniteTU has several platform points remaining for the spring semester, like expanding Temple Police’s patrol borders, improving campus resources for students in recovery from addiction and installing a compost facility. The administration also plans to increase scholarship opportunities for North Philadelphia youth and expand the previous administration’s Peer Mentorship program. 

TSG announced a scholarship on Monday meant to support Temple students’ basic needs, like housing and food. It is the administration’s first completed initiative of 2019.

The $5,000-goal “Ignite a Movement” scholarship will be funded through an OwlCrowd campaign and will be open on Tuesday for all freshmen, sophomores and juniors to apply until Feb. 15. TSG members will select recipients based on financial aid and how the student is spending their time at Temple, said Vice President of Services Trent Reardon.

“There is no set standard for what a person has to be or what they should say,” he said. “The questions are geared toward your experience at Temple, how this could help you and if it could make a big impact in your life.”

In Spring 2019, town halls — which replaced weekly, mandatory General Assembly meetings and had low attendance rates last semester — will be once every two weeks, which should improve turnout, Zimmerman said. The biweekly meetings will remain optional for student organizations that receive TSG allocations.

“These town halls [were] sporadic [last] semester, but that’s really the opportunity where students can come out,” he said. “They’re optional, but they’re about topics that students really care about.”

In Fall 2018, the administration hosted three town halls about climate change, midterm elections and health and wellbeing. 

The administration is also working with Swipes for Philadelphia, a new student organization, to donate food from extra meal swipes to students experiencing food insecurity, Zimmerman said. 

Alex Rosenberg, a junior Parliament representative, wants to expand access to fresh produce in the area surrounding Temple. 

“We need to get more local food stands, corner stores and bodegas to carry fresh produce at a reasonable price,” Rosenberg said.

With election campaigns beginning in March, IgniteTU is determined to follow through with its goals, McCormack said.

“Everyone in this administration is so hardworking, and we all have our eyes set on specific goals,” McCormack said. 

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