TSG’s elections are underway, and the two tickets are Owl Future and TU Nation.
Temple Student Government’s 2011 executive elections are underway. Two tickets, Owl Future and TU Nation, will face off in the April 5-6 elections.
Former Senator for the School of Communications and Theater Malcolm Kenyatta is running for student body president.
Kenyatta said both his inside and outside perspectives of TSG have helped him see what will be the most beneficial for students.
The ticket’s candidate for vice president of external affairs, Amanda Miller, is a member of the Phi Sigma Sigma sorority and the Student Organization Council. Miller, who was not involved with TSG prior to running, said she wanted to get the “knowledge out there” about what is going on at Main Campus, as well as inform others what TSG can offer, making it more accessible for students.
“I wanted to make it more of an in-your-face organization because it is such a big part of Temple,” Miller said.
Megan Chilalstri, the candidate for vice president of services, was the sergeant of arms for TSG’s senate for a semester, but said she left the organization because it did not allow her to be as involved on campus as she had hoped. Now President of Temple College Democrats, Chialastri said she believes she now has the experience to benefit TSG.
“I wanted to run for vice president because I feel like as a student leader, there’s a lot that student government could do for student organizations and students,” Chialastri said.
Kenyatta said Owl Future’s mission is to “re-energize, reorganize and re-establish” TSG. With four platforms, he said Owl Future wants to focus on things that are going to make the most beneficial change for students by connecting to them in the easiest way possible.
Owl Future’s first platform point, “Putting Students First,” focuses on a variety of ways to bring students in touch with TSG, Kenyatta said.
The platform includes the creation of both a Twitter and Skype account for students to voice their concerns to the organization and receive immediate feedback. The platform also calls for an increase in student giveaways, such as Diamond Dollars. Kenyatta said the second platform point, “Putting Accountability in Student Government,” is geared toward making TSG senators more visible to the student body. It includes a requirement that would make senators visit at least two student organization meetings a month, as well as a plan to set visible goals that would be posted on the board outside of TSG’s office and on the organization’s website.
The third platform, “Collaborating, Communicating and Listening to Student Organizations,” includes increasing the integration of the Student Organization Council into TSG. The platform also calls for the addressing of student concerns about the incentives that the Student Training and Reward System allots and launching a community service campaign.
“We’re supposed to be the foundation for student organizations,” Kenyatta said. “We’re supposed to give them all the resources and all the things that they need.”
Kenyatta said the fourth and final platform, “Innovative Marketing and Technology,” is necessary for TSG to market itself and keep its website updated.
Innovative marketing and technology, he said, will connect to a generation of students who would “rather go online than go to a meeting.”
“We’re going to take this organization to the next step and allow this organization to really see its full potential,” Kenyatta said. “My ticket sees the importance of student voices and sees how that’s lacking right now.”
Current TSG Senate President Colin Saltry is running for student body president.
Saltry said he has seen both the good and bad aspects of TSG and knows what needs to be changed.
Elliot Griffin, the candidate for vice president of external affairs, said in an e-mail that she was not an active member of TSG before the campaign but tried to stay informed with TSG-related events. Currently the vice president of Temple College Democrats, Griffin said she hopes to make TSG more available to students.
“With many of the events that are occurring at Temple regarding the potential budget cuts, our students need a student government that can effectively communicate issues,” Griffin said.
Ugochukwu Obilo, the candidate for vice president of services, is president of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., the professional development chair of the Black Law Students Association and a member of the National Association of Black Accountants.
Although Obilo said he was not involved with TSG prior to running for vice president, he said he wanted to make changes from the inside, and let students know TSG is there for them.
“We have real goals,” Obilo said. “We’re not necessarily trying to reinvent the wheel. We’re just trying to add onto it and revamp it.”
Saltry said TU Nation’s mission is to “make TSG better at what it’s supposed to do” by advocating for students and representing them before the university and local officials. Saltry also said his ticket plans to provide services to meet unmet student needs and work with the community.
TU Nation’s first platform point, “Services for a 21st Century Student Life” includes providing transportation services for students, creating a student advocacy center to gather student opinion, addressing student concerns and offering “tailored responses to individual problems.”
“I want to be here for these people, and I want TSG to be there every time anybody has a problem,” Saltry said. “This is where you go to get it resolved.”
The second platform point, “Living and Serving in the Temple Community,” incorporates advocating for Temple through meetings with university administration, community leaders and outside service and advocacy groups.
It also includes partnerships and collaborations with Campus Safety Services, the Division of Student Affairs and other student groups and university services to help educate and organize students. “Temple Student Government Working for You,” the third platform point, includes making TSG meetings, policies and budgets openly available for students, reorganizing TSG’s structure and requiring TSG members to attend various meetings and events on campus. It also calls for developing and updating media outlets to communicate with students.
“We have the vision [and] the experience. We have the energy to make student government actually do something good,” Saltry said. “We know what’s wrong with student government [and] we know how to fix it.”
Cary Carr can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.