At an April 8 debate in the Student Center, two parties running for Temple Student Government positions discussed their views on Temple’s housing situation, student diversity and the means to increase student involvement in on-campus activities.
Running for the Temple United party is Oscar Chow for Student Body President, Joann Noel for Vice-President of Student Affairs, and Kyle Kelly for Vice-President of Academic Affairs. For the Bell Tower Resurgence, Naeem Thompson is running for Student Body President, Sarah Baker for Vice-President of Student Affairs, and Charles Postell for Vice-President of Academic Affairs.
“We will bring new ideas to the university,” Chow said for Temple United. “We will also bring a fresh approach to diversity and housing. We propose increased communication to get us involved in meetings between the administration, faculty and students to prevent problems and find solutions.”
Thompson responded by saying, “The Bell Tower Resurgence has experience. Yes, we have new ideas, but most of all, we have experience in TSG already to continue working with and for the students.”
Baker is the current TSG Vice-President of Student Affairs and Postell is the current TSG Vice-President of Academic Affairs.
Each platform differed on what it thought was the most important issue facing students. While Temple United feels advising is the most pressing issue, the Bell Tower Resurgence said quality of teaching at the university takes precedence.
“How difficult is it for you to meet with your adviser?” Noel asked the crowd gathered around the debate. “We need to increase the quality of academic advising to promote timely graduation. We also would like to establish a student mentorship program to help students understand graduation requirements.”
Baker disagreed, saying, “While [Bell Tower Resurgence] thinks academic advising is important, student mentorship is probably not the best solution. Lack of quality classroom instruction is the most important issue facing students. Huge classes, teaching assistants and a lack of personal interaction all make it difficult for students to get a quality education.”
With the removal of second, third and fourth year students from university-sponsored campus housing, Kelly addressed the need to increase commuters’ awareness of on-campus events and activities.
“We need to re-energize the campus through more marketing to get the word out there about activities,” Kelly said. “We’re not waiting for a resurgence at election time – we plan to increase communication now to get students active on campus.”
Postell noted that TSG holds weekly meetings for students to voice their opinions on issues important to them and speaks regularly with organizations to spread the word about campus activities.
“We are attempting to address these problems and concerns every Monday at the TSG meeting,” Postell said. “We’ve been working all year with organizations to get people together.”
A major issue for this election and in recent weeks on campus is students’ discontent over decreasing minority enrollment at Temple. Chow said that while there were almost 300 students at a rally in Center City a few weeks ago, there should have been more students marching for the diversity cause. He said that Temple United would ask for increased funding and recruitment for the Russell Conwell Center to attract minorities to campus.
Current TSG members will suggest a proposal to address minority students’ concerns at a meeting with President David Adamany and members of the administration April 9. Results of that meeting will be made public next week.
Voting days are April 13 and 14. More information on each platform as well as voting locations can be found at https://uvote.temple.edu.
Barbara J. Isenberg can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org