IgniteTU wins TSG elections, plans for 2018-19 academic year

The team will remove General Assembly meetings and will work with Aramark to give extra meal swipes to students experiencing food insecurity.

The 2018-10 Student Body President-elect Gadi Zimmerman of IgniteTU meets with his fellow campaign members on Sunday in the Student Center. | KATHY CHAN / THE TEMPLE NEWS

IgniteTU was elected to the Temple Student Government administration for the 2018-19 academic year.

Elections Commissioner Daritza Santana announced the winners on Friday in The Reel in the Student Center to a group of about 50 students, current TSG members and campaign members.

The team will be officially inducted as TSG administration on April 30 at the final General Assembly meeting of the 2017-18 academic year.

IgniteTU is made up of President-elect Gadi Zimmerman, Vice President-elect of Services Trent Reardon and Vice President-elect of External Affairs Cameron Kaczor.

“We were just so happy that all the hard work we’ve put in these past two weeks is finally coming to life,” said Kaczor, a sophomore psychology major and TSG’s current secretary.

The team won by 629 votes over VoiceTU. Another team, UniteTU, withdrew two days before the election after one of its candidates resigned, citing inclusion concerns.

“This team is incredible,” said Zimmerman, a junior financial planning major and current president of the student organization Challah for Hunger. “It’s not just the three [candidates], it’s the 20-some people on this team and the voters who supported us.”

After multiple requests, VoiceTU declined to comment.

This election had a lower voter turnout than the 2017 elections, with 4,505 votes cast — 693 fewer than last year. This is still the third-highest turnout since TSG began tracking voting numbers in 2004.

IgniteTU will release applications for executive board positions this week. The team said it wants dedicated and passionate students to apply, even if they have no prior experience with TSG.

“We want strong teamwork and communication,” Zimmerman said. “Leadership is a great quality, but you have to make sure you’re able to work with a team. I know a big complaint in the current administration is the lack of communication, and we want to emphasize how to fix that going into next year.”

IgniteTU wants to develop a good relationship with Aramark, remove General Assembly meetings, institute weekly block clean-ups and plan monthly community forums by the start of Fall 2018.

IgniteTU’s platform also includes increasing security and lighting at the Temple University Regional Rail station, creating a student liaison position for the Board of Trustees and working with Aramark to give extra meal swipes to students experiencing food insecurity. The team will focus on creating a Mental Health Awareness Week and improving transfer student orientation and resources.

IgniteTU said the first things the team will focus on is replacing General Assembly meetings, and reforming Parliament to make the body more autonomous.

“We want to make sure we’re fixing [TSG] internally before we do anything outside,” said Reardon, a junior public health major and TSG’s current promotions manager.

Only 16 Parliament members were elected for the 2018-19 academic year, leaving 20 seats unfilled. Reardon said many students have never heard of Parliament, and IgniteTU will advertise it more to generate student interest.

“A lot of people don’t even know what Parliament is,” Reardon said. “We want to build some respect for them and get some fresh faces in.”

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