Citing issues with its language, Student Body President Francesca Capozzi vetoed a Parliament resolution calling on the university to express support for Temple University Graduate Student Association. She approved two others on Nov. 15.
Capozzi has yet to make a decision on a fourth resolution concerning whether galas or formals should be eligible to receive TSG allocations, which are funds given to student organizations to finance their operations and events.
Parliament passed all four resolutions at their bi-weekly meeting on Nov. 11. Just one member voted against the TUGSA resolution, while all others were approved unanimously.
Amid a proposal by the National Labor Relations Board that would prevent graduate students at private universities from unionizing, TUGSA is asking Temple’s administration to release a public statement affirming their own right to unionize. The NLRB proposal would not impact Temple directly, given that it is a state-related university.
Parliament’s resolution also asked TSG’s executive branch to advertise TUGSA’s petition.
Capozzi vetoed the TUGSA resolution because of some “political wording” in it that she wanted to change, she said.
In the letter addressed to Parliament, Capozzi asked the legislative body to not characterize the NLRB as “Trump-appointed,” add language that indicates the proposed rule does not immediately impact Temple and address the letter to Temple’s administration as opposed to President Richard Englert.
“We didn’t veto the solution because we don’t believe in it, we just, it was just wording that needed to be changed,” Capozzi said. “But, as a whole, we very much do support that resolution and, you know, we value our graduate students, and we see them as more than just students.”
But Evan Kassof, TUGSA’s president, said that by the time Parliament amends the language and passes a revised bill, it will be too late to be effective.
“My concern is that, for better or worse, regardless of the efficacy of her concerns, the affect is that, the upshot of all of this, is that in the timeline that we have been acting on in order to get President Englert, if he is willing to capitulate … this won’t allow that timeline to be met,” Kassof said.
“The executive branch carefully read over this, and we believe that the veto was necessary and was the only response to go about this in a productive way,” Capozzi said.
Per the TSG constitution, the Student Body President has seven days after a resolution is passed to decide whether to sign it or not. If the seven days pass with no action, the resolution becomes binding upon TSG.
TSG leaders also differed on whether they believed that Parliament has the authority to override Capozzi’s veto and force TSG to adopt the resolution.
“There is not anything specific in the constitution that states that,” Capozzi said.
“Parliament can override a veto with a 3/4 vote,” wrote Rofiat Oseni, TSG’s chief judge, in an email to The Temple News.
“I’m fairly certain we do have the ability to override,” said Drew Gardner, speaker of Parliament.
Acts of Parliament require three-quarters of Parliament’s vote and are binding upon TSG, while resolutions need a simple majority to pass and require the Executive Office’s approval, according to TSG’s constitution.
On Friday, Capozzi approved a resolution to hold Temple Facilities Management accountable for installing sanitary bins in all women’s restrooms.
Facilities agreed to install the bins after members of Parliament approached them before the resolution.
“We saw it necessary to call upon facilities to order them and make sure they were in the necessary bathrooms,” Capozzi said.
Capozzi also signed a resolution to form a TSG task force focused on assessing on-campus buildings’ compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Parliament unanimously passed the resolution after some students with disabilities told members that they could not access certain parts of buildings or bathrooms, Gardner said on Nov. 11.
“This is a great way for Parliament and the Executive branch to work together to make sure these buildings are up to code,” Capozzi said.