Temple Student Government is an organization that, when led by ethical and open-minded leaders, has the potential to make positive change on campus, with alumni and in the North Philadelphia community. This responsibility is both a privilege and honor to those students elected to serve and should be treated as such.
This Executive Branch and Parliament have successfully managed to squander the trust and expectations that the student body placed in them, which is deeply upsetting to all who voted for and against this administration. Under better circumstances, Parliament should function efficiently and successfully, with their resolutions receiving proper consideration and attention from the Executive Branch.
I recognize that the Executive Branch has made noble accomplishments, such as the formation of a peer mentorship program, assisting the opening of a food pantry on campus and increasing dialogue between students and the community. And Parliament deserves credit for passing a resolution for Narcan administration training for students.
However, these accomplishments have been blurred by a lack of professionalism from TSG as a whole. All too often, there is a story about constant infighting and childish behavior within Parliament, a body tasked with representing the near 40,000 students at our university. I expect this behavior to remain in Washington, D.C., and not manifest on our campus. As a constituent of this government, I should not have to accept this lack of leadership and responsibility.
The Senior Leadership Team of TSG has also disappointed us with its recent attempts to seize control of editing the elections code. There is of course an irony that Tyrell Mann-Barnes’ “Activate TU” group, who called for an Ethics Board, increased transparency and additional checks on the Executive Branch’s power, is now attempting to expand the power and influence of that same branch.
The news this past week about the unfortunate resignation of the elections commissioner, almost one week before campaigns for next year are set to take place, further paints TSG as a dysfunctional institution rather than the productive group of student leaders the Temple community deserves.
To improve the current situation, I ask Parliament to build upon the Ethics Board idea and form a third branch of TSG that assumes the role of a judicial branch. This idea exists in other public universities like Temple, like The University of Texas at Austin and Penn State University.
I, as a constituent, hope that TSG continues to build upon its accomplishments and stop the distracting infighting and Twitter banter that takes place far too often.
Temple students should recognize the potential of an effective student government. It is only as influential as they are productive and responsible. They are the sole direct link between students and administrators. I continue to encourage students to be informed and engaged this upcoming election cycle and hope a record number of votes are cast.
Kevin Malone was the campaign manager of the Connecting TU ticket, which opposed the current TSG administration in last year’s election. He is also the former TSG allocations co-chair and a senior risk management and insurance major. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.