Last week, UniteTU’s Vice Presidential Candidate of External Affairs Adrienne Hines announced she was withdrawing from the ticket. She claimed she had “no real say” in crafting the campaign’s platform and believed she was being used as a “token” person of color for the campaign.
On Monday, UniteTU followed suit, withdrawing its entire campaign from the race for TSG’s executive branch.
We admire Hines’s bravery in stepping down from a team she felt did not value her voice. No matter UniteTU’s intent, it is important to acknowledge how Hines said her own team made her feel. When people of color tell us they are feeling marginalized, we need to listen.
UniteTU denied Hines’s allegations, and it is no longer vying to represent the student body. But this incident should still serve as a lesson for all student organizations on the importance of true inclusion: it is not enough to solely invite people of color to the conversation; you must also hear their voices.
From the first Temple Student Government debate, it was clear Hines added value to the UniteTU ticket. She answered most of the questions, and she offered an important perspective as both a student and a long-term North Philadelphia resident.
It may not have been on purpose, but it’s easy to see how Hines might have felt she was being used solely for her identity, considering UniteTU was made up of mostly white students.
The Temple News hopes the rest of the student body can learn a lesson from Hines’s resignation — we must include diverse voices in important conversations, and not merely for the sake of appearances.