Fans flock to Veterans Stadium to see the Phillies play a night of baseball. In the crowd, a young girl is crying.
It’s not that the home team is losing, but that there were people outside the ballpark who were homeless. It didn’t seem right to her.
Many years have passed since then, but Mary Archer is still passionate on this issue. Among her peers in Temple Student Government, Archer, the chief of staff, said her hopes are to make a difference by doing what she can to help.
“Homelessness has always troubled me,” she said. “I’m always for advocating and positive change.”
Serving in TSG is, like most extracurricular activities, a choice for the members. For Archer and the other leaders of TSG, personal backgrounds in politics and public advocacy have led them to their new roles of service among Temple’s student body.
Darin Bartholomew, the student body president, said he gets enjoyment from interacting with the people he serves. This is his first year as the student body president, having previously served in Temple University College Republicans, where he was the chairman.
“I miss campaign trips and knocking on doors,” Bartholomew said. “It’s always interesting to meet new people.”
Bartholomew had been a member of TUCR since his freshman year and helped the promotion of Republican candidates, including his favorite, Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey.
Past experiences like Bartholomew’s have also helped Archer and Ray Smeriglio, director of communications for TSG. Both Archer and Smeriglio said they were active, high ranking members of their student governments in high school.
Archer used her organizational abilities by taking over as manager of the dance group “By Any Means Necessary” at Temple her freshman year. In her sophomore year, Archer was inspired to join TSG during one of their election debates.
Smeriglio figured that in college, he would be less involved in clubs than he was in high school. But after joining on as an Owl Team Leader the summer after his freshman year, he slowly became more involved.
“One thing just came after another,” Smeriglio said, “But I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Like Smeriglio, where TSG’s leaders are now was far from foreseeable for Archer and Bartholomew. When Archer applied for TSG going into her junior year, she was aiming to be an office administrator, but was offered her current post as chief of staff instead.
“I was [still] surprised until I walked into TSG,” she said.
Bartholomew, a management information systems major, said when he first started at Temple, he didn’t envision such a big role in the politics on campus.
“I thought I was going to be a programming nerd,” he joked. “I definitely never thought I’d run for anything.”
But finding the right mix between politics and computer science after he graduates is still what Bartholomew said he is looking to do. He’s considering a position such as a computer technician within the G.O.P.
In her second year as chief of staff, Archer is feeling more prepared. In the future, she plans to obtain her masters at Temple, and then start a program or business to take on homelessness.
Smeriglio said that running for student body president next year is “definitely a possibility.” After he graduates, Smeriglio hopes to work as an administrator at Temple.
But for now, the members of TSG are focused on the coming year.
“There are a lot of really good things going on [here],” Bartholomew said. “We’re here to help Temple rise.”
Marcus McCarthy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow on Twitter @Marcus.McCarthy6