The Temple News profiles the two tickets, RUN TEMPLE and Temple Advocating Progress, campaigning for the executive positions of Temple Student Government.
Making up RUN TEMPLE’s ticket for Temple Student Government executive officers are Brandon Rey Ramirez for TSG student body president, Jaimee Swift for TSG vice president of external affairs and Ruturaj Rana for vice president of services.
Ramirez, a junior political science major and TSG deputy chief of staff, has been involved with TSG since his freshman year. He was TSG allocations co-chair for two years, a College of Liberal Arts senator in TSG and, last year, he worked on the TU Nation campaign.
“There were a lot of progressive resolutions that used to come through Temple Student Government, and that made me really want to be a part of it because I saw it as the hub of activism at Temple,” Ramirez said.
Ramirez said he feels advocacy is not currently a focus of the TSG agenda. He has personally participated in campus protests with Temple Community Against Mountaintop Removal and Occupy Temple, neither of which have been vocal at General Assembly meetings. Ramirez credits this to what he sees as a lack of emphasis on such issues on the part of TSG.
“If there’s an issue that students are upset about, Temple Student Government should, right away, contact those students, find out exactly what’s going on, and try and get a resolution,” he said. “I mean you should actually sit down with the president, with those students, with the Board [of Trustees] and figure out what agreement we can come to.”
Until now, Swift, a junior communications major and founder of HerCampus Temple University, said she has not been actively involved with TSG, but became motivated to participate more after she worked on the Owl Future campaign last year.
Swift is the publicity chair for the Temple Association of Black Journalists.
“Last year I really saw TSG when I was helping Malcolm Kenyatta for his ticket, Owl Future, and I saw a lot of things that I didn’t like within TSG. And, for one, no one knows what TSG is,” Swift said. “In order for…students to have a voice and be aware, for us to advocate on behalf of students, people need to know what TSG is.”
Rana, a junior international business major, is vice president of internal marketing in Fox School’s Association of Management Information Systems, undergraduate representative in the Indian Student Association at Temple, and a member of Alpha Kappa Psi business fraternity. He and Ramirez met as roommates.
“It’s something new. I never tried it,” Rana said. “If [Ramirez is] doing it, he’s never going to steer me wrong.”
“I wanted to make sure I had people on my team I trusted and got along with,” Ramirez said of his running mates.
“Not only are we running together, we’re friends, through the ups and downs of the campaign, and we have each other’s back,” Swift said.
For Rana and Swift, Ramirez and the TSG website were primary sources in familiarizing themselves with TSG.
“I never really had, like, a first-hand experience with it. I never was really part of Temple Student Government, but that’s why I wanted to be part of Temple Student Government,” Rana said. “I actually wanted Temple Student Government to be known…I feel like that was the best way because I’m great with people.”
RUN TEMPLE’s platform targets matters of “a stronger, smarter General Assembly,” “easing academic stress,” “keeping campus safe,” and holding Temple accountable.”
To make General Assembly meetings more enjoyable, RUN TEMPLE wants to bring incentives, such as food and prizes to meetings once a month, as well as eliminate meeting attendance as a condition for allocations for student organizations.
“[TSG allocations distribution] hasn’t been a transparent process, and we shouldn’t use that great service that students already paid for to threaten students, essentially, to come to a meeting,” Ramirez said.
Ramirez suggests allocating no more than half of funds for student organizations’ events per semester.
The ticket also aims to “follow up” on the results of the General Education student survey conducted in January, as well as address student claims of self-segregation on campus.
“My team is very talented, and they’ve done very well in different areas,” Ramirez said.
“Administrators don’t run Temple. We do,” Swift said. “We don’t want to be belligerent, but we do want results.”
For more information go to https://runtemple.com/.
Amelia Brust can be reached at abrust @temple.edu.
*For a personal profile on student-body presidential candidate Brandon Rey Ramirez, flip to page 7.
[Correction: Ruturaj Rana is a member of Alpha Kappa Psi business fraternity, not Delta Epsilon Psi fraternity, as originally stated.]