Letter: Former Parliamentarian tells Parliament to refocus on its mission

Former Parliamentarian Jacob Kurtz writes Parliament should be able to pass resolutions, despite its challenges.

There are many layers of leadership within Temple Student Government, specifically in the legislative and representative body of Parliament.

There is the Parliament Council, which is tasked with the administrative duties of Parliament and to ensure Parliament is following the Constitution. There is the speaker and vice-speaker, their duties are to push forward the agenda for Parliament and help craft resolutions. They should work closely with committee heads to ensure efficiency and effectiveness of the body. The committee heads should also work to encourage and guide the body to create resolutions and bring them forward.

The body itself, made up of each individual Parliament member, is full of leaders. These are individuals who want to represent entire communities on campus and have taken on additional work, besides just being students, to make that happen.

In Tuesday’s article in The Temple News about Parliament, a fundamental question must be asked: Who is responsible for the lack of resolutions? I am not a member nor closely involved with the current Parliament, however I can speak on how – even in the heat of discord and confusion – leadership ensured Parliament continued to work last year, with the hope that same level of leadership would arise in the current Parliament.

Long before an article to impeach anyone was introduced last semester, former Speaker Bridget Warlea and I planned based on our leadership styles. In agreement with the constitution, we felt it best that she lead the Parliament toward drafting resolutions and I work on administrative issues. My tasks included such things like a planned conflict mediation session, and much like this year — seat appointments.

Because of this, resolutions were still being created and prepared to be proposed, even during the heat of impeachment. This was because of Speaker Warlea’s dedication to the institutional sustainability of Parliament, allowing the body to move forward and successfully pass resolutions.

That leadership seems to be lacking in the current Parliament. Parliament Council Nancy Allen is correct to release a memorandum requesting more resolutions, as resolutions ensure the successes of Parliament remain sustainable.

It is important for Speaker Razin Karu and Vice-Speaker Xavier Washington to keep Parliament’s focus on creating resolutions. They must put their energy into that, not just now as they face a deadline, but for the remainder of this year.

Speaker Karu complains in the article that their time has been spent filling seats, however that work should have been entrusted to and remained with Parliament Council Allen. The onus is on the speakers to take on the mantle in which they have been given and lead their Parliament to success. It is not only the only constitutional way out of the current situation, it is the most sustainable and practical.

Jacob Kurtz is the former Parliamentarian and a senior community development major. He can be reached at jacob.kurtz@temple.edu.

Editor’s Note: Jacob Kurtz is a freelance reporter for The Temple News.

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