Senators discuss student death, pass campaign budget bill at meeting

Last night, the Temple Student Government Senate met in Student Center room 200C for a rather brief session.

Comprising majority of the people present, accompanied by the Elections Commission and a few other students, senators were given a chance to speak openly before the Senate.

During this, Senator for the College of Health Professions Frances Udukwu informed the Senate of a recent death of a student from her school.

Gina Clarke-Lewis, 27, was found shot outside her apartment in Lindenwold, N.J., on Friday night.

Udukwu said that Clarke-Lewis was in her last semester at Temple University and has a younger sister who also attends Temple.

Udukwu added that Temple would be providing a shuttle service for Clarke-Lewis’ funeral on Tuesday and Wednesday before asking the room to take a moment of silence to honor her.

Senator for the College of Engineering Kyle Goldstein informed the Senate that students in his college have made complaints regarding fellow students smoking in a stairwell in the School of Engineering and Architecture building.

Goldstein said that despite contacting the Temple Police on this matter, he was informed that the no action could be taken without hard evidence.

Senator for the College of Education Monica Rindfleisch stood to discuss what she views as a problematic issue with current Temple policy.

Rindfleisch said that Temple’s sexual assault and sexual harassment policies were last updated more than a decade ago in 1999.

Rindfleisch asked her fellow senators to join her in preparing a proposal to change and update this policy to reflect the present-day students’ needs.

Like Rindfleisch, Senator for the College of Education Natalie Ramos-Castillo requested that her fellow senators help her in a matter regarding student safety.

Ramos-Castillo explained student reports of a fire in Barton Hall last Monday [March 22], sometime around 2 p.m., and the failure of fire alarms in the building to go off.

Ramos-Castillo asked her fellow senators to talk to students to help find any truth in this matter to ensure student protection in the future.

Ramos-Castillo, who is also allocations chair, also made a much-rumored announcement that TSG allocations have indeed run out.

The senator added that applications are no longer being accepted for allocations and that any leftover money will go to already-handed-in applications.

As during the first debate for the campaigning election tickets, Ramos-Castillo, this time with Adviser Gina D’Annunzio, explained that the use of all allocations was a good thing.

D’Annunzio said that the $100,000 that TSG receives for allocations would most likely be cut, as it was last year, if it was not completely used.

There were a number of bills present for senate discussion, starting with first read legislation and following with second read.

The first bill discussed, known as the Jeff Dempsey Accountability, Efficiency and Transparency in Government Act of 2010, was presented by Senate President Colin Saltry and Senator of the College of Liberal Arts Kevin Gerard and was quickly motioned to go into second read.

The bill is intended to amend the current TSG bylaws and Senate rules, with one section designed to require TSG decisions to be communicated in “plain English” to be more understandable.

Goldstein presented a first-read piece, a resolution that encourages Facilities Management to reduce vehicle idling.

He explained that Temple-owned vehicles often idle for extended periods of time, most likely beyond the allowed time set forth by Philadelphia city codes.

This resolution, Goldstein said, would allow Temple to be more environmentally friendly and cost-conscious with gas prices.

After discussion, Goldstein’s resolution was motioned to the University Affairs Committee.

On the agenda as a second read, bill G10-11, an act amending the budgetary requirements of the elections code, was passed.

The act, presented by Rindfleisch, changed the budget dictated to the now-campaigning executive office tickets from $1,000 to $1,250.

This new budget, which includes the prices of gifts given to the tickets, limits the amount a ticket can use on campaigning to $1,250. Additionally, it requests that invoices filed with the Elections Commission accompany such gifts so commissioners can ensure that no ticket exceeds its budget.

With another Senate meeting of the year gone, a number of bills and issues discussed extensively, TSG prepares to find new leadership with both senate and executive elections briskly approaching.
Angelo Fichera can be reached at afichera@temple.edu.

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