Diamond Nation and Temple United faced off in the final debate of the Temple Student Government executive office campaigns Monday evening in the Student Center.
The ticket’s platform points and concrete plans to accomplish initiatives were the main talking points at that the debate driven by audience questions.
Elections Commissioner Fallon Roberson-Roby began the debate by asking what each ticket felt was the university’s biggest issue and how each would address it.
Diamond Nation, comprised of candidate for student body president Anthony Torres, candidate for vice president of services Patricia Boateng and candidate for vice president of external affairs Danube Johnson, said the relationship between students and the North Philadelphia community is the university’s biggest issue.
Johnson recommended solving this issue through the implementation of Be Our Guest, an initiative designed to get students to volunteer at local soup kitchens, and the expansion of the Adopt-a-Block and the Kids-to-College programs.
Temple United candidate for student body president Darin Bartholomew highlighted the increase in student debt and the tendency for students to take more than four years to graduate as the most pressing issues.
Bartholomew, joined by candidate for vice president of services Cree Moore and candidate for vice president of external affairs Sonia Galiber, plan to advocate for more summer and hybrid classes, an easier credit transfer system and a priority registration system that considers a student’s major.
The next series of questions by an audience member asked what “realistic goals” each ticket had to improve the relationships with the local community.
Temple United candidates highlighted plans to expand the Adopt-a-Block program and implement the Food Recovery Network, which would take excess food around campus and donate it local charities to help alleviate hunger in the community.
During the rebuttal period, Johnson, on behalf of Diamond Nation, said Temple United’s Food Recovery Network plan duplicates what Sodexo has already started to implement in Johnson and Hardwick cafeteria.
Galiber immediately responded to Diamond Nation’s accusation by emphasizing that the Food Recovery Network would encompass food distributors beyond J&H and that the program is a great avenue for students and TSG to get involved and volunteer.
Furthermore, Diamond Nation candidates said Temple United’s book share initiative, which aims to encourage departments to buy back student books and disrepute them the next semester free of charge, overlaps with the library’s E-Z Borrow program.
“They are both duplicating processes and duplicating services,” Torres said.
Bartholomew supported the Book Share initiative by emphasizing that the program would provide all required books for a class that a student would be unable to borrow from the library.
“It will be for an entire class, an entire department rather than being limited. I know they said there are a lot of books available [at the library], but at the end of the day, it is not fully inclusive. That is what sets our program apart,” Bartholomew said.
TSG executive officer election ballots will open at midnight on Tuesday, April 9 and with close at 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, April 10. Students can vote at uvote.temple.edu.
The results of the election will be announced around noon on Thursday, April 11.
Earlier in the day, current Student Body President David Lopez summarized the open cabinet positions in TSG for next academic year and explained changes in the appointment system at the weekly General Assembly meeting.
Last year, cabinet positions, which include committee directors, were elected by the General Assembly, but Lopez admitted it did not work as well as planned.
This year, the newly elected executive officers will review candidate applications and appoint students to all positions in TSG.
The cabinet applications are available online and must be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by Thursday, April 25, at 5 p.m.
Laura Detter can be reached at email@example.com.