Colin Saltry, the Temple Student Government senate president, has been in his position since the end of the Fall 2009 semester. Aside from orchestrating weekly meetings and overseeing the workings of TSG, Saltry works as a wedding singer. The Temple News sat down with Saltry to talk about his experience in the national spotlight and which Alec Baldwin persona he would like to embrace.
The Temple News: What does a TSG senate president do?
Colin Saltry: On paper, the TSG senate president runs senate meetings – that’s the first thing. So, calling people, making sure the meeting runs on time, setting the agenda, making sure they all get all the copies of any legislation we’re working on, and then meeting with senators and getting them on board and making sure they’re doing what they’re supposed to be doing.
[It’s my job to] meet with different students whenever they have an issue. It can be any issue, from gender-neutral bathrooms to parking tickets. That’s really what makes the job so worthwhile, meeting with the seemingly random range of strangers to sit down. It’s a lot of variety, not a lot of responsibility – like, say, the president of the United States – but definitely enough to make it worthwhile.
TTN: How has TSG been perceived by the student body this year?
CS: Well it’s a little early to tell, but so far, positively, I would say. More people now actually know what TSG is and what TSG does. [There are] especially a lot of freshmen interested in TSG, which is really great because they’re going to be here for four, or some cases five, years.
TTN: What do you do in your spare time?
CS: When I’m not at TSG, I enjoy watching college football. It’s a real passion of mine for God only knows what reason. I’m a wedding singer, so I have a wedding this weekend. I had a show last Friday. I have a wedding the week after, the week after that, and then I have two shows in November.
TTN: How much do you charge for wedding singing?
CS: Well that depends. If it’s centrally located [and] it’s not a big job, usually $100 an hour. But if gets unruly, it can be up to as much as $200 an hour, so it is quite the gig.
TTN: In high school you made national news by skipping school to see Barack Obama. What was that like?
CS: Meeting Obama was great, but it was about 40 seconds. It was everything after it that was just insanity, for about five days it was non-stop phone calls from radio shows and TV shows. We actually got invited on to the “Tonight Show” at one point. For God only knows what reason, I turned it down. I think my dad told me it would have been a bad idea or something along those lines. It was really like a coming-of-age story.
TTN: The green fee campaign last year was unsuccessful. What is your biggest regret about the fee?
CS: That we wanted to raise new money from students, who are burdened enough. I think we should still have a green fee, but we should take it out of the money that we’re already generating through fees. I think the fees committee said that about 5 percent of the operating budget is devoted toward green initiatives. I think they need to make that more public, more detailed, and dedicate firm commitments to sustainable practices.
TTN: If you could be one Alec Baldwin persona, which would it be?
CS: Jack Donaghy – specifically the episode when he dated Condoleezza Rice. That was a fun time.
Angelo Fichera can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Video by Justin Fortmeier and Ian Rose