Temple Student Government leaders are our direct link to the university administration. For TSG to serve as our collective voice, it is imperative that a diverse range of student perspectives are acknowledged, but right now that’s not possible.
TSG introduced Parliament about two and a half years ago with the goal of bringing in more voices and increasing its visibility on Main Campus. As a political science major, I’m aware of TSG because it’s in my best interest to keep up with its policies. Learning about politics is important to me, considering my curriculum.
But it was interesting for me to discover many students still don’t know about TSG’s purpose or even that it exists. We need to spread awareness of our student government so we can fully utilize its power.
TSG wrote in their weekly newsletter that student organizations are now required to attend one town hall per month to get their allocations, in an effort to improve engagement with the student body. This is admirable, but unfortunately, requiring one representative from each student organization won’t expand knowledge of TSG to students who aren’t involved in one.
Elliott Broaster, a senior entrepreneurship and innovation management major, said he heard a little bit about TSG during his freshman year but nothing much since then. He would’ve gotten involved in TSG if he knew more about it, he said.
“[TSG should] try to get seen by as many students as possible,” Broaster said.
Student leaders reaching out to students in person would result in greater knowledge of TSG. It would also make it easy and comfortable for students to get to know their representatives.
Cristopher Ruiz, a sophomore music performance major, was unaware of the existence of TSG.
“I’m not even sure how many people know we have a student [government], but I feel like it’s one of those things that should be more well-known because it is really important,” Ruiz said.
TSG has the potential to serve as an effective intermediary between students and the university. But to make that more than a theoretical idea, TSG leadership needs to tackle the lack of awareness of its existence within the student body.
Tyler Rodriguez, a sophomore music therapy major, said TSG should be “transparent with all its people…something accessible to everyone.”
And Student Body President Gadi Zimmerman agrees.
“It’s important for us to be out there more and to make sure that we are having pop-up events on campus, that we’re showing our faces, making sure that students know what student government is and the resources that we have for students,” said Zimmerman, a senior financial planning major.
“We are constantly listening to students, getting emails, answering emails and hearing what people have to say,” Zimmerman said. “Then we’re able to sit in on meetings with the administration to talk about concerns there are on campus.”
It’s nice to know TSG is responding to student outreach and communicating with the administration. But I don’t see how everyone can possibly be heard if not everyone knows we have a student government.
I’m glad IgniteTU, Zimmerman’s TSG administration, is working to broaden its scope. I just hope it starts paying off soon because it is important that students have the knowledge to hold student leaders accountable.
TSG has the potential to be an immensely useful tool, and I hope it reaches that potential. I want students to know how valuable TSG is for communicating with the university’s administration. If we increase its awareness, and if the students who are in TSG reach out to more students in person, more of us will be heard.