One year ago, Ray Smeriglio and his ticket, consisting of Blair Alston and Julia Crusor, were inaugurated as the next student body president and vice presidents for services and external affairs for Temple Student Government.
On April 27, the now-former student body president and his executive cabinet found themselves on the other side of the process as the three attended their last TSG student body meeting in their current roles, as the new TSG administration was inaugurated.
Smeriglio reflected on his time as student body president.
“I feel a little nostalgic,” Smeriglio said. “I’m definitely going to miss this role. There is a lot of fun to be had. There’s a lot of conversations with administrators and students and you have the capability to influence how things go at Temple.”
Crusor said that while the experience was tiring at times, it was well worth it.
“I’ve been part of TSG for three years,” Crusor said. “It’s been very rewarding, extremely rewarding. I think most students value those relationships that we built.”
Alston, the lone member of the team set to graduate this week, said that although he’s sad about his time ending at Temple, he’s excited for the next part of his life.
“It’s pretty surreal, it’s very exciting, but it’s definitely bittersweet, just looking back at my experience at Temple,” Alston said. “But it’s also very exciting to go and start the next chapter of my life, and have the opportunity to learn and grow some more.”
When the three ran for office, they campaigned on the platform of improving dining halls, building security as well as expanding LGBTQ safe-zone training programs among other things.
Smeriglio and Crusor admitted that while not everything the team set out to accomplish was completed, the key points were – like improving dining services at Morgan Hall by working with the national branch of Sodexo to increase traffic flow on the dining facility’s upper level.
Yet perhaps the biggest success of their administration, they said, was TUnity, an initiative that calls for mutual respect among students regardless of differences. In early April, the initiative earned TSG the Student-Driven Program of the Year Award, given by The Association of College Unions International. The award goes to a program implemented by students that “represent standards of excellence in campus programming.”
One of the key goals that the team said they would have liked to accomplish was their Social Media Committee initiative, in which social media managers from different student organizations would become a loose-base collective – if there was ever an emergency on campus, the organization’s managers would notify students of the situation.
As their time in office was ending, the team waited to see who would become the executive officers of next year’s TSG. When he learned that Future TU had won the election to become TSG’s next senior leadership team, Smeriglio said he was “satisfied” with the outcome, and added that he is looking forward to what the new office will do.
Crusor said that she would like to see the new administration expand on the diversity initiatives that the outgoing one had started.
“I’m really excited to see what they do,” she said. “I would love to see them expand on diversity. I would love to see them bring something new to campus.”
With their time as TSG executives finished, Smeriglio, Crusor and Alston plan to move to their next phase. Alston, who is graduating this spring, plans on going to law school in the next couple of years. Smeriglio and Crusor have plans on graduating in the fall.
Smeriglio said that he will look to take his experiences from TSG and go into high education where he said he plans to work in strategic marketing at a school like Temple, focusing on alumni involvement as well as perspective and current student involvement in campus life.
“I would like to say ‘thank you’ to Temple and the student body for such a successful year,” Smeriglio said. “We definitely could not have done what we did without the support of the students and administrators.”
David Glovach can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @DavidGlovach