IgniteTU, the 2018-19 Temple Student Government administration, began implementing its platform ahead of the start of the fall semester.
The team will focus are on replacing the General Assembly system, improving environmental initiatives and creating mental health awareness. It will also maintain initiatives by the previous administration to prevent sexual assault.
The first Wellness Week will be the week of Sept. 17. This is the first of TSG’s mental health initiatives, which will include advocating for expanded hours and resources at Tuttleman Counseling Services. The week of awareness does not yet have scheduled events, but will emphasize available mental health resources, provide strategies to “combat the stressors of college life” and begin to destigmatize mental health, according to the campaign’s platform.
During the week of Sept. 4, the administration will host Sexual Assault Prevention Week, which was launched in Fall 2017 by the previous TSG administration. There will be several events including a Title IX Workshop from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 4 and a consent workshop from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sept. 6. Both events are in room 200C of the Student Center.
REFORMING GENERAL ASSEMBLIES
IgniteTU’s pledge to reform General Assembly meetings was at the top of its agenda. Meetings will be replaced with an email system, and student organizations will instead be held accountable through online quizzes each week.
IgniteTU’s platform first called for an end to mandatory attendance, but in-person meetings are still on the agenda, but will occur less frequently. One meeting will be held at the beginning of the semester, and another at the end, said Student Body President Gadi Zimmerman.
The first General Assembly meeting will be held on Sept. 10 at 4 p.m. in room 200C of the Student Center.
Zimmerman said he hopes the team will be able to take on a more active role with student organizations.
“Throughout the semester, we are going to be attending other student [organization] meetings regularly and going to events,” Zimmerman said. “We’ll be going to them instead of them going to us.”
A renewed attention to Parliament is also in the works. Cameron Kaczor, vice president of external affairs, said that focusing on Parliament’s significance as a governing body is a top priority.
“We want to make sure Parliament feels effective and that they can be autonomous,” Kaczor said. “We want to make sure Parliament is filled.”
During the 2017-18 school year, Parliament member numbers fluctuated, and the body was rarely filled to capacity. Some Parliament members resigned last academic year because they felt it took too long make change, while others felt they were not engaged.
IgniteTU aims to remove the parliamentarian role, and reform budget and impeachment processes, according to the team’s platform.
TSG is also beginning to work on the sustainability efforts outlined in their platform by examining the dining halls on Main Campus.
“We want to make sure the dining halls are plastic free, so we’ve been working with Aramark,” Kaczor said. “We also want to make sure that we can look into composting and have a neutral site for students and the community to compost.”
Morgan Dining Hall will have a dishwasher installed that may be able to take on reusable dishes, Kaczor said.
Last semester, the previous TSG administration hosted several plate drives at Morgan, where students were given reusable plates at the door of Morgan Dining Hall in order to minimize the amount of waste created by disposable plates and silverware. These drives were led by Sarah Kuchan, who will return as the director of grounds and sustainability for the new administration.
“We have been working to create a better relationship with the Office of Sustainability, so hopefully that will make it easier to carry out those initiatives,” Zimmerman added.
IgniteTU is looking to add a freshman seminar course to discuss various topics, like sexual assault prevention, drug addiction or possibly alcohol abuse, said Trent Reardon, the vice president of services.
Despite this early progress, TSG has an ambitious list of more than 20 promises to the Temple community, including vows to foster a better relationship with North Philadelphia by hosting block parties, increase access to the Peer-Mentorship Program and fight campus hunger and homelessness.
“We think we have a great team around us so we can be the best throughout the year, and I’m really excited for them to meet the initiatives,” Zimmerman said.