When Bridget Warlea was appointed Speaker of Temple Student Government’s Parliament last month, she inherited several resolutions that were passed at the end of last semester.
Parliament, TSG’s representative branch, has only existed for one full semester. TSG’s constitution and Parliament’s bylaws give no specific guidance on how the Speaker should handle resolutions that were passed, but not acted on, in previous semesters.
Right now, Warlea said her biggest concern is helping new Parliament members for the coming year than checking on the progress of past resolutions.
“We haven’t really gotten there yet,” she said. “As we get more resolutions passed, we will create some kind of a system, maybe an ad hoc committee that could look over resolutions and see if they’re feasible.”
Ad hoc committees are set up to complete a certain task. In this instance, the committees could be set up to make action plans for resolutions that have been passed.
If past resolutions are not acted on, it puts into question the efficacy of Parliament.
Parliament was an initiative by former Student Body President Aron Cowen’s administration. Its purpose, still outlined on TSG’s website, is to “advocate for the voices of all perspectives” and “set the agenda for new and effective programs.”
In Spring 2017, Parliament passed six resolutions, including one to explore a recovery housing option and another to encourage the university to shorten the mandatory wait time for sexual assault survivors’ hearings.
All resolutions were passed in Spring 2017. Only a few resolutions were acted on by TSG last year and two were acted on before the spring semester’s end.
“We would…look into securing Parliament’s legacy by looking into past resolutions, thinking of the various logistics like how long ago it was passed [and] what the community needs at the point in time,” Warlea said.
Student Body President Tyrell Mann-Barnes said he wants Parliament members whose resolutions were passed last semester to approach him to see what TSG can do to “make sure it comes to fruition.”
“Parliament members all represent their constituency,” he said. “So if they brought a resolution that they passed last semester to us, we would do whatever possible to get that done because clearly that means students want this to happen.”
Mann-Barnes said TSG would work with Parliament representatives, as well as students who want to see past resolutions come to fruition, on a case-by-case basis depending on the feasibility of the resolution.
No student has approached Mann-Barnes or his administration thus far about past resolutions.
“It’s impossible for us to successfully do every initiative that every student wants because we don’t know about it,” he said. “But if it’s brought to our attention, we’ll do everything in our power to make sure that it can happen if it’s feasible and in our power to do.”
Some of the resolutions passed last year were acted on by Cowen’s administration, like reducing wait times at Tuttleman Counseling Services. Tuttleman has since been moved to 1700 N. Broad St. from its former space in 1810 Liacouras Walk and received a 50 percent increase in space.
Former Parliament representative George Basile is still working with university officials to implement recovery housing on campus, but is no longer doing so as a TSG representative, he said.
Elections Commissioner Matthew Diamond is going to “stand by” another resolution passed last year that would allow Parliament to edit portions of the elections code, Warlea said.
Warlea added she wants to ensure no resolutions go unheard by the executive branch this year, no matter when the resolution was passed.
“If a resolution is something Parliament is passionate about and has passed, there shouldn’t be a reason to shut it down or block it,” she said. “That’s something that requires conversation with the people in charge.”
Warlea will attend the Board of Trustees meeting with Mann-Barnes on Tuesday.