Campaigning for the 2018-19 election season officially began last Wednesday.
The three executive campaigns — IgniteTU, UniteTU and VoiceTU — have released their platforms online, and were given a chance to formally introduce themselves at the first debate last Thursday.
Each team outlined the goals that, if elected, they hoped to implement to improve students’ lives. Here’s what you need to know about each team.
IgniteTU wants to increase on- and off-campus safety by expanding TUPD’s patrol borders, add security and lighting to the Regional Rail station, improve the efficiency of the university’s shuttle service FLIGHT and promote police professionalism on campus.
UniteTU will enhance on-campus safety by increasing the number of AED defibrillators in buildings and “continuing to address students’ safety concerns.”
VoiceTU said it wants to implement active shooter drills. In June 2017, Temple Police conducted an active shooter drill on the Main and Health Sciences campuses.
Voice TU presidential candidate Tyler Lum said recent school shootings have affected his feelings of safety in the classroom.
“As a large university within Philadelphia, there is a risk that there is going to be a mass shooter,” he added. “Some safety things we can implement are basic, non-partisan things, like putting locks on doors.”
IgniteTU wants to create additional resources for transfer students by improving orientation and mentorship programs. The team also wants to provide resources for students struggling with substance use disorders by accelerating the implementation of Parliament’s current on-campus recovery housing initiative.
The campaign aims to help students experiencing food or housing insecurity by creating a “Swipe Out Hunger” program that gives students extra meal swipes.
On its platform, IgniteTU also promises to advocate for more funding and walk-in hours for Tuttleman Counseling Services. The ticket wants to create a Mental Wellness Week, and add mental health discussions to new student orientation.
“I definitely think that creating a conversation with incoming students is really important, especially given the tragedies we experienced this year,” said Trent Reardon, the IgniteTU vice presidential candidate of services. “Destigmatizing the conversation, teaching students the resources they can utilize, things like that are really important.”
UniteTU wants to improve mental and physical health on campus by developing a suicide prevention training program, adding talks about mental health to orientation and improving appointment times at Student Health Services.
The team also wants to prevent overdose deaths by promoting Narcan training for students and faculty. In December 2017, Parliament passed a binding resolution that called on the Wellness Resource Center to teach students to administer Narcan.
The ticket aims to advocate for LGBTQ students by creating more gender-neutral restrooms and housing around campus. The university added gender-neutral housing in Fall 2017.
UniteTU promises to advertise the Cherry Pantry and host fundraisers for students experiencing food insecurity if elected.
VoiceTU said it wants to create childcare options on or near campus, allow students to include their preferred names on their OWLcards and promote affordable housing on-campus.
VoiceTU said it will help students with addiction, mental illness and other “crises” by expanding on-campus resources and providing more safe spaces. It will also advocate for a crisis center to aid these students.
“We as the student government should have the power to improve the lives of students mentally and physically,” Bridget Warlea, vice presidential candidate of external affairs said.
IgniteTU wants to make dining halls plastic-free by 2020 and speed up Temple’s promise to be carbon neutral by 2050. The team also wants to get students and faculty involved by creating monthly block clean-ups and installing a compost facility for use by students and community residents.
UniteTU has no sustainability efforts on its platform.
VoiceTU wants to evaluate recycling options on campus and advocate for more LEED-certified buildings, which is already a university policy for all new construction projects.
All three teams oppose the university’s current stadium proposal and said they will advocate against it.
During Thursday’s debate, Lum of VoiceTU said he is “hardcore anti-stadium” until the university addresses the North Philadelphia community’s concerns.
BOARD OF TRUSTEES
The teams disagreed on how to best advocate for student needs to the Board.
IgniteTU wants to create a “student liaison” position unaffiliated with TSG — in addition to the student body president’s existing role as liaison — to advocate for the interests of the student body at Board meetings. This student would not receive a vote.
UniteTU said it feels a voting seat is not necessary at the first debate, and would advocate for grassroots activism by the student body.
“One vote will not make a huge difference to these individuals on the Board of Trustees,” said Danny Borine, UniteTU’s presidential candidate. “By bringing up the entire student body, that is how you can get the power. The voice of everybody is where the student lies, not just with one voting seat.”
VoiceTU wants to maintain TSG’s current seat on the Board for the student body president, but the campaign hopes to turn it into a voting seat.
All three teams said they would continue community forums, the Peer-Mentorship Program and Sexual Assault Prevention Week put in place by the current TSG administration.
IgniteTU wants to eliminate General Assembly meetings in favor of non-mandatory town halls and speakers. The team also wants to reform the current impeachment system and give Parliament a budget so the body has more autonomy.
“The issue with the current administration is miscommunication,” said Cameron Kaczor, vice presidential candidate of external affairs for IgniteTU. “IgniteTU will emphasize communication to minimize conflict. We will try everything within our power to create a cohesive, effective legislative and executive branch.”
UniteTU wants to limit disruption among members of TSG.
“I believe that infighting is pointless,” said Adrienne Hines, the UniteTU vice presidential candidate of external affairs. “We need to have a very united group of TSG officials and we need to have transparency.”
VoiceTU said it wants to make TSG and Parliament more accessible to the student body by improving communication and allowing ideas to be presented at General Assembly meetings.
The next debate will be held on April 2. Students can vote on April 4 and 5, and the winning ticket will be announced on April 6.
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