2021 was a year of influential news marked by COVID-19 vaccines, a new university president, severe weather damage, student campaigns and the Temple University community trying to get “back to normal” after COVID-19 shut down campus in 2020.
The News team at The Temple News compiled a list of 10 stories signifying important university events in 2021:
1. Temple tests students for COVID-19 as part of new $10 million plan
By Scott Sauer
In January, Temple rolled out a $10 million plan for mitigating the spread of COVID-19 on campus as in-person operations increased, including testing approximately 4,000 students twice a week and 1,200 students once a week for the virus. Students received their results between 12 and 36 hours after self-administering the test. Temple also built a new lab at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine that processed the tests.
2. Jason Wingard named Temple’s 12th President
By Amelia Winger
Jason Wingard, a former dean emeritus and professor at Columbia University, was selected as Temple’s 12th president on June 8, making him the first Black president in the university’s 137-year history. Wingard previously held administrative positions at the University of Pennsylvania and Stanford University. The Board of Trustees convened a Presidential Search Committee in September 2020 to identify candidates to succeed former President Richard Englert, who, in July 2020, announced his intentions to retire at the end of the 2020-21 academic year.
3. Former Fox Dean guilty of conspiracy, wire fraud
By Jack Danz and Lawrence Ukenye
In November, Moshe Porat, the former dean of the Fox School of Business, was found guilty of conspiracy and wire fraud for his role in leading the school’s scheme to submit false rankings data to U.S. News and World Report from 2014 to 2018. Fox misreported data on the number of students who submitted test scores, acceptance rates, undergraduate grade point averages and student debt. Porat’s trial began on Nov. 9 at the James A. Byrne U.S. Courthouse on Market Street near 6th. Porat’s sentencing is scheduled for March 11, 2022, and he could face up to 25 years for the most serious charge.
4. Temple mandates COVID-19 vaccines for students, faculty
By Fallon Roth and Amelia Winger
In August, Temple announced all students and employees must be vaccinated against COVID-19 by Oct. 15, unless they received a medical or religious exemption. Temple was one of the last local colleges to implement the mandate. The announcement came hours after the City of Philadelphia announced a vaccine requirement for health care workers, faculty and students of local colleges and universities. Following the city’s lead, Temple later extended the Oct. 15 deadline to Nov. 15.
5. The Victim Impact Statement at Ari Goldstein’s sentencing
By Madison Karas, Valerie Dowret and Amelia Winger
One year after Ari Goldstein, Temple’s former Alpha Epsilon Pi president, was convicted of three charges related to a February 2018 sexual assault incident, The Temple News published the survivor’s Victim Impact Statement. A Victim Impact Statement is intended to provide a judge at a sentencing hearing with information about the physical, emotional, psychological and financial effects the crime has had on a victim’s life.
6. Philadelphians get vaccinated after hours-long wait at 24-hour site
By Lawrence Ukenye
The Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium hosted Philadelphia’s first 24-hour COVID-19 vaccine clinic at the Liacouras Center from Feb. 19 to Feb. 20. Philadelphia residents 75 years and older, health care workers, individuals in high-risk ZIP codes, teachers, transit workers and first responders were eligible to receive the vaccine.
7. Biden signs bill giving stimulus checks to students
By Fallon Roth
In one of his first major legislative acts since taking office, President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act in March. The bill provided stimulus checks of up to $1,400 to newly eligible college students, who were dependents on tax returns. The act also issued $39 billion in grants to higher education institutions and $7.5 billion for vaccine administration and distribution. Previous stimulus packages excluded adults who were marked as dependents on others’ tax returns from receiving direct stimulus payments.
8. Temple Muslim Students Association campaigns for new prayer space
By Jocelyn Hockaday
After trying to get a new prayer space for several years, Temple’s Muslim Students Association announced a campaign at the end of October to move the organization’s prayer space from the Howard Gittis Student Center and Tuttleman Learning Center to the Paley Building. The new space would accommodate more students and employees and connect student and academic life to their prayer sessions. A new space would also provide convenient wash stations needed for wudu, a ritual before prayer.
9. Temple Ambler Campus to reopen after damage from tornado
By Micah Zimmerman
After a tornado struck Temple’s Ambler Campus on Sept. 1, the campus announced plans to reopen with in-person classes on Sept. 15, using only two buildings for instruction. The tornado inflicted serious damage to 16 buildings and stranded 27 students and faculty on the property overnight. No one was injured. Renovations to the campus are expected to last until the end of the school year.
10. The Temple News: How has it evolved?
By Fallon Roth, Micah Zimmerman and Monica Constable
To mark the 100th year anniversary of The Temple News on Sept. 19, the News editors went through The Temple News’ archives and examined how the paper’s coverage, format and style evolved throughout its century-long history. The Temple News has covered significant historical events like the start of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s presidential campaign, World War II, the civil rights movement, faculty strikes, the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001 and the election of former President Barack Obama.
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