TSG announces Parliament candidates as campaigning begins

There are 50 candidates running for the 37-seat legislative body.

Freshman Nidhi-Amber Chotalia is running for the sophomore position on the Temple Student Government Parliament. | GENEVA HEFFERNAN / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Campaigning for seats in Parliament, Temple Student Government’s legislative branch, began  on Monday after candidates were announced in TSG’s general assembly meeting.

Fifty candidates are vying for 37 seats in Parliament. There are five at-large seats, one seat for each college or school on Main Campus, one for each class including graduate students and several special-interest seats for groups like athletics, LBGTQ students and commuters.

To announce Parliament candidates, TSG hosted a Meet the Candidates event after Monday’s GA. Students were invited by the current executive team to meet their representative candidates and hear about their platforms, but little conversation occurred between candidates and students.

Each of the 37 seats has a candidate running for the position, and there are competitions for 13 of the seats, including the disabilities seat and the sophomore class seat.

Students can vote for the executive branch between the Activate TU and Connecting TU ticket, as well as the Parliament seats that they are eligible to vote for on April 4 and April 5 online and in the Student Center’s atrium.

Nidhi-Amber Chotalia, a candidate for the sophomore representative seat, said she would have run for Parliament last semester if she had known it existed.

“I’ve always been interested in student government,” she said. “As soon as I saw that Parliament was a thing, I jumped right on it.”

Eight out of the 50 candidates for Parliament currently hold seats on the current Parliament and are running for reelection.

“I think that it’s really important that some of the veteran members here guide the new members that are going to be on this Parliament and make sure that we start on the right foot,” said Luke Tomczuk, the current representative for students with disabilities, who is running for reelection.

Those running for seats must follow the elections code set by TSG while campaigning. For Parliament candidates, their campaign spending cannot exceed $25 and they cannot accept donations from other organizations or third parties.

“I have yet to organize some stuff but I’ll probably talk in some of my classes, potentially make some flyers,” said Chotalia. “That’s where I’ll start anyway.”

Tomczuk hopes to be reelected so he can continue the work he started this semester.

“I’m very interested in protecting students with disabilities that are immigrants, undocumented or otherwise not American citizens,” he said. “The second thing I’d like to do is extend the accessibility task force and thirdly I would like to make people more aware of resources that DRS students can take advantage of.”

“I think there are some initiatives that have been started,” said Chotalia. “I would like to see those move forward and we’ll see from there.”

All candidates for Parliament must have at least a 2.5 cumulative GPA. Students will be eligible to vote for some, but not all, candidates based on their year and college.

Amanda Lien can be reached at amanda.lien@temple.edu and on Twitter at @AmandaJLien.

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