On Monday, Temple University Student Government hosted its only town hall of the Spring 2022 election Monday night, where candidates campaigning for the executive and legislative branches discussed topics like COVID-19 protocols, student safety and accessibility.
Temple United is the only campaign for TSG’s executive branch, and presidential candidate Gianni Quattrocchi fielded questions on behalf of the campaign. Vice presidential candidate Akshitha Ag did not attend due to scheduling conflicts.
Prior to the town hall, Quattrocchi and Ag expressed their disappointment in running unopposed.
“I don’t want it to be a hegemonic campaign,” Quattrocchi said. “I don’t want it to be the dominating voice.”
For Parliament, Ryan Quinn, an at-large representative candidate, and Oumar Traore, a commuter representative candidate participated in the town hall. There are seven Parliamentary candidates in total.
TSG’s Chief Judge Vince Warner hosted the town hall, and Fallon Roth, a sophomore journalism major and news editor of The Temple News, moderated the event.
Voting for the election began March 22 and will end today with the executive branch being elected, while the speaker of Parliament will be elected on March 28. The inauguration for both electees will take place on April 25.
Here’s a look at the topics discussed during the town hall.
Quattrocchi will advocate for the construction of a nondenominational prayer space on Temple’s campus. He plans to communicate with Stephanie Ives, dean of students and associate vice president, and the Board of Trustees to push them to commit to construction of the space.
Temple’s Muslim Students Association has advocated for a permanent prayer space on Main Campus for several years and reignited its campaign last November. Last month, the organization was granted a temporary prayer space in the Paley building until construction begins at the building later this semester.
Quattrocchi wants Temple to mandate booster doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Temple United also wants to combat misinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccines through town halls and TSG’s social media, like disproving the conspiracy theory that vaccines contain microchips the government uses to track citizens, Quattrocchi said.
“TSG would focus primarily on promoting the actual facts of the vaccine and COVID-19 through town halls and social media,” Quattrocchi said.
Throughout their administration, Temple United will continue RenewTU’s initiative to purchase and distribute N-95 and KN-95 masks.
Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness & Safety
Temple United is campaigning on educating students about the “red zone” — the period between August and November when most sexual assaults occur.
The executive team will raise student awareness regarding sexual assault prevention and awareness by launching sexual assault education programs for Resident Assistants and leaders from student organizations, Quattrocchi said.
They also want businesses on or near Main Campus to support sexual assault prevention and education by informing their staff about how they can contribute to protecting students on campus.
Quattrocchi wants to host town halls and use TSG’s social media to teach students about the blue light system, the blue emergency phones across campus that allow students to press a button and be connected directly with law enforcement. He also wants to see an increase in the FLIGHT system bus fleet, so the shuttles can travel farther and increase their operational hours.
Accessibility & Student life
Temple United plans to advocate for an increase in American with Disabilities Act coordinators to ensure all buildings and new construction are up to ADA standards. Currently, Temple has one coordinator and 17 liaisons between Main Campus schools, the Ambler Campus and the Harrisburg Campus who are responsible for compliance efforts in their areas.
Regarding student life, Temple United would like to see the Cherry Pantry – located in 224A in the student center – moved into a larger space on campus so it can store more food and supplies to accommodate more students, Quattrocchi said.
Temple United also wants to establish a refugee support system that would provide refugees with housing, food security and legal support. The goal was inspired by the Ukraine and Afghanistan refugee crises.
“We would provide a venue for international students who cannot feasibly return home as a way to remain with the United States and seek political asylum or refugee status,” Quattrocchi said.
Parliamentary candidates answered questions on Monday night about their goals and resolutions they want to propose.
Traore wants to advocate for the university to reduce the price of its university-wide parking pass for commuter students to lower the cost of parking.
Quinn would like to push for freezing or reducing tuition for the 2022-2023 academic year in light of the Board of Trustees’ decision to approve an average 2.85 increase in room rate and 4.5 percent hike in board rates for the 2022-23 academic year.
Correction: A previous version of this story misreported what Oumar Traore is advocating for in regards to parking passes. He wants to reduce the cost of Temple’s university-wide parking passes. It has been corrected.
Fallon Roth is news editor at The Temple News. She did not play any role in the reporting, writing or editing of this story.