Temple student body president gives first ‘State of the Union’ address

Gadi Zimmerman spoke to Parliament about what IgniteTU has accomplished during the 2018-19 academic school year.

Student Body President Gadi Zimmerman speaks during a Temple Student Government campaign debate in 2018. | SYDNEY SCHAEFER / FILE PHOTO

Temple University’s Student Body President Gadi Zimmerman delivered the first annual “State of the Union” speech to Parliament on Monday evening.

Zimmerman’s speech reflected on the initiatives and changes IgniteTU, the current executive administration, accomplished since taking office in April 2018.

TSG plans to hold more events geared at the Temple student body, including Good Morning Commuter tables for commuting students and faculty and a TU Cultural Cook-Off to bring multicultural organizations together, he said.

Zimmerman talked about, the Ignite a Movement scholarship and TSG’s awareness weeks for mental health, campus hunger and sexual assault.

He also addressed the shift his administration made from weekly General Assembly meetings,  to bi-weekly town hall meetings, which it began hosting after The Temple News’ Editorial Board criticized the email newsletters that replaced all in-person General Assembly meetings.

“We have worked to enhance the programs that we currently have, empower the student organizations to continue the strong work they have been doing, and amplify the voices of those who are often not heard,” Zimmerman said, inflecting IgniteTU’s campaign themes.

Zimmerman said he is proud of what Parliament and the executive branch have been able to accomplish since the start of the academic year.

“This partnership between the executive branch and the Parliament branch is great,” Zimmerman said. “We’re ensuring that we are working on many initiatives together and ensuring that we can continue to work on initiatives.”

Parliament struggled to fill seats at the start of Fall 2018 and passed its first resolution in November after the Ethics Board mandated that they pass 15 by winter break.

The student body doesn’t always witness what TSG does, which is why it’s important to communicate their accomplishments, said Francesca Capozzi, TSG’s director of university pride and traditions.

“Sometimes, I don’t know if students recognize everything that we do,” Capozzi added.  “Everything we do is for them.”

Emanuel Wilkerson, an at-large Parliament representative, said Zimmerman’s State of the Union was executed well, considering it was the first-ever.

“The president did a great job at outlining some of the initiatives done to date,” Wilkerson said.  “It was great that he highlighted the different initiatives and how we move forward.”

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