TSG candidates announced

Elections for the next student body president will be held on April 7.

The candidates for the 2014 student body elections were announced last night at the weekly General Assembly meeting of Temple Student Government. 

Under the TU Believe ticket, Ray Smeriglio will run for president, along with Blair Austin and Julia Crusor for vice president positions.

The second team, Renew TU, has Ifeoma Ezeugwu running for president, with Meghan Guerrera and Rachel Applewhite as running mates.

From now until the election days on April 8-9, the candidates will campaign on campus and through social media, with the help of the TSG election commissioners.

DeVaun Brown and Dylan Morpurgo will serve as the election commissioners this year, a job where each is responsible for ensuring the rules of the election are followed and encouraging students to vote.

The rules for running for president and vice president positions, Morpurgo said, are mostly university policies.

“When making fliers, they have to be approved by Student Activities,” Morpurgo said. “They can’t get their friends to sticker them all over campus.”

Additionally, Morpurgo said, student groups are allowed to endorse candidates as long as a written notice is given to the election commissioners prior to the endorsement announcement.

The election will be held online through a university secure network, as it has been in previous years. For the first time, the elections will be held through Owl Connect, Temple’s student organization database. Morpurgo said universities across the country have conducted student elections through Collegiate Link websites, the same system Owl Connect is based on.

Outgoing Student Body President Darin Bartholomew and his administration were elected in 2013 with a 64 percent majority out of 2,075 votes cast. The turnout for the 2013 election was a 20 percent decline from the previous year.

Bartholomew and his team, Temple United, ran on a platform of negotiating with SEPTA to have Owl Cards used to pay transit fare, among other issues. Plans with SEPTA were put on delay until 2018 when TSG learned current card technology would not be compatible with the transit authority’s New Payment Technology plan, set to be implemented this year.

After the registration for the election ended Thursday, the commissioners had to confirm the candidates were in good academic standing. Then, Brown and Morpurgo met with the candidates before their public introductions Monday, a meeting Morpurgo said was necessary to make the competing teams familiar with the rules and responsibilities of running for student office.

If the candidates or their supporters break university rules while running, Morpurgo said they could be censored, denied the right to participate in TSG-organized events to promote the campaigns or be asked to go quiet on social media until any damage is fixed.

“The campaign is a joint effort between the election commissioners and the candidates,” Morpurgo said. “We want to get the message out and have them interact with students.”

Students will be able to meet the candidates and ask them questions at an upcoming “caf-jam” event at the Morgan Hall cafeteria, Morpurgo said. The date has not yet been set.

As the campaign comes closer to the election days, TSG will host two debates, Morpurgo said. The first will be held at the March 31 TSG General Assembly meeting, and the second will be held the week of the election.

Joe Gilbride can be reached at joseph.gilbride@temple.edu.

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