Temple Student Government debated last night in room 309 of the Student Activities Center in preparation for elections April 10 and 11.
By end, nearly 50 students were in the room watching the debate and taking part by asking questions.
The two slates included New University and Collective Voices. New University included T.J. Baker for student body president, Nicole Viscomi for vice president of student affairs, and Cara Mufata for vice president of student affairs.
Collective Voices was composed of Sharese Shedrick for student body president, Ciana Acqui for vice president of academic affairs and Kaliah Greene for vice president of student affairs.
The meeting was in three parts. In the first part, each slate presented their mission statement. Following that the current parliamentarian asked each slate questions and allotted them a time limit to answer each question.
Collective Voices prided itself as being the voice of Temple University. New University represented the University that Temple could aspire to be.
During each slate’s mission statement, they described their goals and plans for the university.
One of the questions asked by the parliamentarian was how familiar the students were with University policies and regulations. New University emphasized that they were very familiar with Temple’s policies.
Collective Voices stressed that they were not familiar with all of the University’s polices and regulations but Greene said that she was willing and able to learn them.
When asked what specific issues would be addressed New University said that housing, communication between organizations and students and making students more aware of policies and regulations, among others, were their primary goals.
Baker spoke of how he would like to have Coretta Scott King speak on campus one day, along with increases the number of speakers overall.
Collective Voices addressed the question by saying that the commuters needed to be represented, the mentor program needed to be better known and utilized by students and informative and scholastic programs needed to be improved.
The slates addressed the weaknesses and strengths of Temple University. New University said that our strength is diversity but the weakness of the school is availability and office hours of the faculty.
Collective Voices responded by saying that one of our weaknesses was the lack of communication between the administration and the students. They also pointed out that diversity is both a strength and a weakness.
The final part of the meeting included an open forum, where the audience was allowed to ask questions of the slates. One student asked how each slate would desegregate the campus, particularity the sororities and fraternities on campus.
Greene said, “we [Temple Students] don’t have a common understanding.” She said that we needed to have organizational meetings where all the organizations meet together.
Mufata stressed that common hours where students both resident and commuter students come together and interact were needed to break barriers. They also mentioned the success of the Temple Culture Fest as well as cultural programming with cultural awareness themes.
On encouraging participation and eliminating apathy, Collective Voices said that the promotions for organizations needed to be upgraded and bettered. New University brought up the technological progress in the University.
Baker introduced the idea of turning email accounts into a blackboard for each student. On this blackboard, each student could have his or her own personal website with posted student’s activities. The posted activities would include contact info. He also noted that each organization would have a common email address.
One student in the audience expressed concern about the transfer of information to new students. Collective Voices said that campus organizations needed to be present for new students in summer orientations. She noted past missed appearance by student organizations during orientations.
Baker responded by saying that there should be a “How to at Temple U.” manual that would cover everything such as how to pay your telephone bill and a phone list of important numbers all in one pamphlet.
On how to involve organizations, Greene stated that the head person needed to be enthusiastic and get involved. New University said that the organizations needed to get “out there” and be involved. They also emphasized the importance of using listservs as a way of spreading and exchanging information.
The most important question of the evening came from the current President of TSG, who asked what each slate member saw as the requirements to their positions and how they would deal with them.
Each team took time to think through their questions before answering. Each member saw their position as very time consuming, but didn’t forget to mention attending classes.
New University members answered that question the best, bringing in what they had learned from previous experiences. Baker who was running for president received a loud applause from the audience for the ending of answer: “You don’t eat, you don’t sleep, you live Temple University.”
Polling places for students to vote are located at Speakman Lobby (on-line), Tuttleman Lobby (on-line), the Bell Tower, Johnston and Hardwick Cafeteria, Temple Towers Lobby, Anderson/Gladfelter Breezeway, HSC and TUCC.