Last semester, Temple University Student Government advocated to move classes fully online, passed a constitutional amendment restructuring the executive branch and pushed for student voter turnout.
This semester, TSG will focus on initiatives like adding more Wellness Days for students, expanding access to textbooks and creating a food insecurity program with the dining halls.
Second semester can be a time when student government administrations lose their momentum, said Student Body President Quinn Litsinger, a junior political science major.
“The administrations sort of die out without much enthusiasm going on,” Litsinger added. “So we’re trying to take as many steps to combat that as possible with another retreat for spring semester coming up in early February.”
TSG is working on initiatives from the Internal Services Division directors and doing research so the next administration can continue to implement its platform points, including sexual assault awareness and prevention, fossil fuel divestment and community relations, said Sophia Tran, chief internal services officer and a junior psychology major.
BloomTU will not be able to complete several initiatives from BloomTU’s platform, including making bars around campus SAFE BAR certified, training for students to identify overdoses and expanding gender-neutral bathrooms to all buildings on campus, because of the COVID-19 pandemic and time constraints, Tran wrote in an email to The Temple News.
Macy Trout, director of academic affairs and a freshman environmental science and political science major, is analyzing the results of a textbook survey, which was sent to the United States Public Interest Research Group, a partnership of public interest groups fighting for social change, Tran said.
TSG already has data from the fall and expects to receive the rest of the survey data from the U.S. PIRG on Jan. 22, Trout wrote in an email to The Temple News.
The data from the U.S. PIRG report will guide TSG in how it advocates for open educational resources and free or affordable textbooks through a textbook affordability task force, Tran said.
“Especially during the pandemic, a lot of students are losing their jobs and livable wages,” Trout wrote. “We shouldn’t then force them to pay upwards of $200-$300 a semester for textbooks. Even in a pandemic free world, a lot of students are already responsible for their living expenses and more.”
Grace Muldoon, director of student health and well-being and a junior public health major, is partnering with Women Organized Against Rape, a local nonprofit aimed at ending sexual violence in Philadelphia, to continue sexual assault education on campus, Tran said.
“I believe that collaborating with WOAR will allow me to learn more to be able to advocate empathetically and effectively for the Temple student body,” Muldoon wrote in an email to The Temple News.
Temple has two Wellness Days on Feb. 23 and March 24 built into the spring semester calendar to help students through the semester without spring break, which was canceled to stop students traveling during the COVID-19 pandemic, The Temple News reported.
TSG is advocating for at least one more Wellness Day to be added to the semester, because students will get exhausted with online school, Tran said.
Sofía Gabaldón, director of student affairs and sophomore Spanish and history major, will write a letter to Miguel Cardona, the next U.S. secretary of education, about Title IX concerns after talking with Andrea Seiss, Temple’s Title IX coordinator, Tran said.
“The idea is to voice our concerns about the changes that did occur under the previous secretary and ask that the new secretary put the needs of the students before the institution so that students can be better served by the Title IX office among other resources at their universities,” Gabaldón wrote in an email to The Temple News.
Will McDonnell, director of student basic needs and a junior criminal justice major, is working on the Buddy Pilot system, a meal swipe program which would allow students with leftover meal swipes to partner with another student with food insecurity and donate swipes, Tran said.
Temple has offered around 500 free meal swipes per semester to students, but that is not enough meal swipes, McDonnell wrote in an email to The Temple News. He hopes the program will start in Fall 2021.
“Implementing a system to ensure consistent food supply would increase academic performance as well as student morale,” McDonnell wrote.
TSG will begin its campaign season in March, said Litsinger, who will not run for reelection.
To run for president again, Litsinger would have to resign from his position and give up his roles and committees, he said.
“I’m looking forward to seeing a fresh start being given to TSG outside of the drama of COVID that has been built this year due to various university stances that the student body stood very firmly against,” Litsinger said.