Parliament considers long-term reforms

At its first meeting of 2020, Parliament unanimously passed two resolutions.

Parliament Speaker Drew Gardner speaks at a Parliament body meeting at the Student Center Underground on Jan. 27. | JEREMY ELVAS / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Leaders of Temple Student Government’s Parliament are considering several reforms to strengthen its internal operations. 

Drew Gardner, Parliament’s speaker, is considering a rule to require TSG leadership to remain in their positions long enough after new members are elected in order to ensure a smooth transition, he said. 

“It’s extremely vital for this position for leaders to carry over and, you know, if they want this position, know that when the new electees come in the next year, they’re going to have to assist in training them,” Gardner said. 

Parliament will review its bylaws at their meetings and propose changes to it, finalizing them by the end of the spring, he said.

Gardner is considering adding two seats to represent Greek life, which were removed two years ago, he added. 

But since its creation in 2018, Parliament has struggled to fill its seats, and the 30-seat legislative body has yet to reach full capacity this academic year. Eight seats remain open after several members dropped out during Winter Break, Gardner said. 

The executive branch campaigned on making Parliament inactive in Fall 2019. The executive branch walked back its stance after Gardner was able to fill approximately two-thirds of the legislative body’s seats before the beginning of the semester, The Temple News reported.

Parliament will also reassess which seats to add and which to take away based on interest from the student body, said Issa Kabeer, Parliament’s vice speaker.

Maya White, Parliament’s College of Public Health representative, said she thinks Parliament needs to advertise itself to the student body.

“I personally hadn’t really heard too much about Parliament positions,” White said. “I think they’d really benefit just from promoting themselves and increasing visibility of the people who are running, so that students can see who is representing them and have a say as opposed to [Parliament] being more behind-the-scenes.”

Arshad Shaik, an at-large representative, said Parliament does not need to be well-known to be effective at serving the student body.

“I don’t think we should always just try and like, think of ourselves as like, ’Oh, we need to be relevant, like, oh, we need to promote change and, like, try to be the biggest name on campus,” Shaik said.

On Monday, Parliament unanimously approved two resolutions. The first called on the executive branch to ask Temple’s administration to make it easier for students to vote in the 2020 General Election, either by excusing them from class or closing the university. The second resolution calls on the executive branch to issue statements of support for international students on TSG’s social media.

Representatives are considering creating a tutoring program for adults with disabilities, developing a voluntary online module to teach students about diversity, and proposing improvements to the Flight app, which processes requests for Temple’s evening shuttle. 

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