Undergraduate students held a walkout at the Bell Tower Wednesday in support of the Temple University Graduate Students’ Association ongoing strike, culminating in a march down Broad Street which closed traffic in both directions.
Hundreds of students gathered at the Bell Tower around 2 p.m. to hear multiple undergraduates rally in support of TUGSA, which is entering its third week of striking for increased pay, better benefits and classroom improvements.
After the rally, organizers directed students to pick up signs and march down Polett Walk. The demonstration turned onto Liacouras Walk and made its way to Cecil B. Moore Avenue, then taking over the northbound lane of Broad Street as authorities scrambled to block off intersections.
Plans for the walkout, which had circulated on social media and through flyers around campus in the last week, urged students to skip class and rally at the Bell Tower instead to support TUGSA’s movement.
The event was organized by Philly Socialist Alternative and the Temple University Undergraduate Workers Organization stood in at the front of the march at TUGSA’s request, TUUWOC wrote in a statement to The Temple News.
In a message to students on Feb. 8, Provost Gregory Mandel warned students that missing assignments or classes could jeopardize their academic progress. In another email on Wednesday, Ken Kaiser, senior vice president and chief operating officer, encouraged students to attend classes and stay on track with their studies.
“We support Temple community members’ rights to free expression, but we ask that everyone proceed responsibly and fulfill the obligations of their role at the university,” Kaiser wrote.
The university and TUGSA met yesterday to discuss a new contract, and there is another meeting scheduled for Thursday, Kaiser added.