Kwashee Totimeh said he believes Temple used to be much more than a “party school” – he said he’s not the only upperclassman who reminisces about when they were freshmen.
As the Temple Made campaign continues to brand the university as a destination school, Totimeh said he thinks the campus is less unified – the community atmosphere he experienced in his first year is not the same, he said.
The senior advertising major used YouTube to express his feelings about how the Temple environment has changed during the years he’s been here. He’s used video clips of his freshman year in what he said is an attempt to show underclassmen how the social environment has changed. Two short videos compiled by those clips are posted under the title “#LikeFreshmanYear.”
The idea of Totimeh’s videos came from complaints of this year’s freshmen that there is nothing to do on campus, he said.
“I made the videos to show freshmen the fun my class had when we first came in,” Totimeh said. “They need to get more involved on campus.”
A friend of Totimeh’s, junior media studies and production major Isaiah Gaymon, said he and his friends think they have observed less efforts from the newest class to get involved socially and in organizations.
“The freshman class isn’t as involved as we were when we first came to Temple,” Gaymon said. “You barely see them active and involved with organizations, and we definitely want them to come out and be active so that campus life can remain productive and fun.”
The upperclassmen said that campus organizations have changed as well, referring to the presentations and activities they said organizations used to host.
Senior criminal justice major Onya Brown said she believes organizations have been impacted by stricter regulations. She also said it seems students don’t come together as much in the social scene as they once did.
“The creative freedom that organizations used to have and the hype that used to happen for a party is just not the same anymore,” Brown said.
Gaymon said he remembers more appreciation for group activities in his first year.
“I remember freshman year we would have open mic programs that would be fun, and all you had to do was sign up,” Gaymon said. “We had [an event called] ‘Sex in the Dark,’ where we talked in a dark room about all different topics that related to safe sex and shared personal opinions.”
The students said they don’t necessarily believe it’s an issue with administration or organizations themselves, but rather the students’ interests. The upperclassmen said they have noticed segregation among students into more distinct “cliques,” rather than the community atmosphere they remember.
“There is less unity on campus,” Totimeh said. “Everybody, whether you knew them or not, used to hang out with each other and have a great time.”
Brown said even walking around campus used to be different.
“[Liacouras] Walk was our area to forget about the stress of assignments and tests and just relax,” Brown said. “Meet people, talk, dance, listen to music, just be college students.”
Totimeh, Brown and Gaymon said they want the underclassmen to have the same college experience they have had.
“I would love to see more diversity within the involved crowd of people,” Gaymon said. “We want everyone to have a great undergraduate experience and make lifelong memories.”
Brown said before she and her friends in her class graduate, they hope to “make it like freshman year” again.
Karlina Jones can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.