Parliament reform committee head resigns to make change alone

At-large representative Emanuel Wilkerson was the chair of the Committee on Parliament Reform

Parliament members vote on a resolution during a meeting. | LUKE SMITH / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Emanuel Wilkerson, an at-large representative in Temple Student Government’s Parliament, resigned as chairman of the Committee on Parliament Reform last week.  

Wilkerson will not be leaving his role as a representative and said he will continue his work to reform Parliament as a member in his announcement on Feb. 4. A large reason for his resignation was that there were only a seven people, including Wilkerson, working on the committee’s goal to improve Parliament, he said.

“I felt like it was in the best interest of my personal time to step down and work on Parliament reform as just a regular representative as I have been doing,” Wilkerson said.  “We don’t need a committee to continue the work that we did.”

Wilkerson took initiative to improve Parliament by proposing the committee’s creation in October 2018, said Nicholas Carmack, an at-large representative and member of the committee. The committee started holding regular meetings to improve Parliament’s functionality, as the body struggled to fill seats and pass resolutions in Fall 2018.

Camack said the lack of engagement in Parliament at Temple in comparison to the student government at his community college shocked him.

“There hasn’t been a person who has done more than Emanuel for the progression of Parliament,” Carmack added. “He’s been forward-thinking and really engaging things that nobody else has been engaging.”

Under Wilkerson’s leadership, the committee passed the Open Government Act and the TSG Watchdog Act, which made all Parliament meetings where legislation is deliberated open to the public and expanded Parliament’s ability to request documents and testimony from the Executive Branch and university organizations.

It wouldn’t be up to him to decide on the future of the committee, Wilkerson added.

“That’s up to the speaker, and most importantly up to the members of the committee,” Wilkerson said. “To decide who their leadership is going to be or if they want to dissolve.”

The Parliament Reform Committee is a temporary committee, and was set to dissolve at the end of Spring 2019, Parliament Speaker Razin Karu said.

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