New student government discusses election, goals

The president and vice-president hope to implement sexual assault education and prevention.

TSG President-elect Gianni Quattrocchi discusses potential policy changes and new initiatives for his term at Student Center North on April 6. | ISAAC SCHEIN / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Temple Student Government President-Elect Gianni Quattrocchi, was disappointed that student voters did not have a choice between other executive tickets in this year’s unopposed TSG election.  

“It was very anti-climatic in the sense that we already knew how it was going to play out,” said Quattrocchi, a sophomore political science major, about the election’s results.

During the three-day voting period between March 22 and 24, 183 students cast their ballots for the executive team, 44 more than last year. Despite the slight increase, TSG continues to struggle with low student voter turnout after previously routinely getting more than 1,000 votes.

Last year, only 139 students — the lowest turnout in 18 years of TSG elections — voted for RenewTU, TSG’s executive team.

FireOwlsTU, Quattrocchi’s former executive ticket, dropped out of the race against RenewTU, in the name of unity, after two days of campaigning in March 2021. 

This is Temple United campaign manager Zoe Karukas’ second year working on a campaign that ran unopposed, after serving as RenewTU’s deputy director of strategy last year. 

“We kind of were running it similar to how we ran it this year, just in terms of putting it all on social media and getting all of our policies put together,” Karukas said. 

Despite an unsatisfying win in the election at the end of March, Quattrocchi and Vice President-Elect Akshitha Ag, a junior biology major, are planning some of their initiatives for the 2022-23 academic year. 

Quattrocchi would like to hold more in-person events to allow TSG to better engage the student body by facilitating face-to-face discussions, encouraging civic engagement across the student body and promoting sexual assault education and prevention.

Due to COVID-19 concerns, TSG did not host in-person events like campaign events, town halls and debates, which hindered student participation. 

“TSG became much more of a faceless organization in the sense that because there was no face-to-face involvement with the student body,” Quattrocchi said. 

Quattrocchi would like to see at least 1,000 students vote like in years past. They would increase student engagement by starting the election season earlier through introducing candidates in the fall semester and student voting taking place in the spring.

Quattrocchi and Ag will promote sexual assault education and prevention by encouraging businesses to sign the “Its On Us” pledge, which advocates for sexual assault awareness, education and prevention, while also collaborating with organizations to work on preventing sexual assault. Quattrocchi would also like to promote education during the “red zone,” which is the months between August and November when most college campus sexual assaults occur. 

He also wants to amend financial allocations requirements to mandate that student organizations have one Title IX certified member on their board to provide resources to students.

Temple United will encourage student voter participation and registration for the upcoming midterm elections in November through social media, TSG town halls and the expansion of the Temple Votes program, run by the Dean of Students’ office. They also want to host political events, like viewing parties, speaker events for candidates and debates to promote civic engagement.

“If students see the image of candidates themselves coming to their campus talking about what they think is important, their policies and their positions, students will be more inclined to cast their vote for the people that they are directly engaged in,” Quattrocchi said.

Ag wants to ensure there is transparency within TSG and Temple United by showcasing their initiatives on social media, so students can hold them accountable. 

“You would hold TSG accountable as you would any government, you get involved,” Quattrocchi said.

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