Another protest was held by student and community collaborative group “Stadium Stompers” outside yesterday’s Board of Trustees meeting.
Protesters gathered on Liacouras Walk with signs and flyers were given to students passing by between classes. A rally was held as soon as the Board of Trustees meeting began, around 3:30 p.m. yesterday.
Less than a dozen community members, and about 50 students and 15 Now representatives gathered for the protest.
Chants of “Like a bad neighbor, Temple is there” and “Up with community, down with stadium” were used frequently throughout the hour-long protest.
Confusion about funding for the proposed stadium was still apparent during the protest, with many calling that the stadium funding should be used to build a sexual assault crisis center, to pay students $15 an hour and concerns of raising tuition were raised.
Much of the money, however, for the stadium can not be used to fund other projects because it is being funneled from the university’s current contract with the Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field.
Freshman finance major and 15 Now member Tyler Velez said both of his parents grew up in North Philadelphia and his mother attended Temple in the 1990s.
“[The stadium] isn’t a political issue to me, it’s personal,” Velez said during the rally. “This is an issue that affects all of us.”
“Stadium Stomper” leader Philip Gregory discussed the notion that community members are ‘dangerous’ during his speech to protesters.
“If you actually go out and talk to [community members], these are kind-hearted people that just want to live and to live peacefully,” Gregory said.
Some of the daily tours that are held by Temple admissions walked through the protests, leading protesters to chant at the visitors as they walked through.
Junior strategic communication major Madeline Connor said she wishes more community members were available to speak.
“The students want to be supporting [the community],” Connor said. “We don’t want to be raining on their parade or anything, we just want to be showing our support for them.”
Although not many community members attended the protest, some were still present. Jacqueline Williams, resident and block captain on 18th Street near Cecil B. Moore Avenue, said she will always stand up for her rights in injustices.
“I’m gonna keep fighting,” Williams said. “I want peaceful demonstration and I want our voices to be heard because we live in this area.”
Junior history major and Temple Students for Justice in Palestine member Brandon Do compared Temple’s actions regarding the proposed stadium to apartheid in South Africa and Israeli apartheid in Palestine.
“A stadium will not only eradicate people from their homes but from their cultures and from their identities,” Do said during the protest’s rally. “[It will] replace it with a hypersexual, drug-dependent college culture—if you could call it a culture—that is lacking in dignified values and respect for the people of North Philly.”
The stadium was not discussed at this Board of Trustees meeting.
As the Board of Trustees meeting adjourned, protesters formed a “tunnel of shame” around all exits of Sullivan Hall, where the meeting was held.
“We really need to be able to interrogate our leadership and criticize them when they’re f—– up,” Gregory said.
Gillian McGoldrick can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @gill_mcgoldrick.
Video by Abbie Lee and Harrison Brink