The first of two debates to decide the next Senior Leadership Team of Temple Student Government was held Monday afternoon at the Student Center.
Candidates for RepresenTU and Future TU answered a variety of questions with the debate focusing primarily on topics that dealt with campus safety, campus life and diversity, academic, sustainability, and two wild card questions.
Each team was given a different question on each topic with two minutes to answer their allotted questions. Elections Commissioner Inella Ray moderated for RepresenTU. Tatiana Cook, a member of the TSG Election Committee, moderated for Future TU.
The debate open with a discussion on crime reduction in the Temple community and from there turned to campus life and diversity, followed by academic and funding for club programs with both sides given their ticket’s respective platform.
Perhaps the most heated part of the debate came when the issue of sustainability was asked.
When asked how RepresenTU would deal with excessive trash in some areas near Main Campus, Amber Navarro O’Brien, the ticket’s candidate for student body president, proposed legislating another trash day – a process which would ultimately have to go through City Hall
Future TU’s candidate for student body president, Ryan Rinaldi, quickly shot down his opponent’s proposed ideas, saying that RepresenTU’s proposal was not a feasible one.
“It’s unfeasible, considering that I think that a lot the local community would think that we are entitled to get another trash day,” Rinaldi said. “I think that we need to work together to clean up our own trash.”
Following the debate, each team gave stump speeches.
O’Brien noted the fact that her ticket’s candidates all came from different backgrounds and offered a unique perspective on issues that face Temple.
“There are a two things that really separate us from the other ticket,” O’Brien said. “One thing is the diversity of our ticket. Yes, the other ticket is diverse, but our entire team, not just our three ticket members…are all from completely different schools [within Temple], all from completely different backgrounds. We’re just different in everything we do. So to have all of those perspectives on our team and our team isn’t finished yet is amazing.
“The second thing that sets us apart is our experience. We’ve all worked as student administrators. We know what it takes to get things done in Temple Student Government and we know what’s feasible and what’s not.”
Future TU highlighted that while RepresenTU’s ticket started off as friends, their ticket chose the best person for each position.
“I know that the [members of the] other ticket are friends,” Future TU’s candidate for vice president of external affairs, Binh Nguyen, said. “Being friends is great, but we put our ticket together with the people we fell are the most qualified for the positions. Sure we’ve become friends, but we started as looking for the best people for the job.”
At the end of the day, Rinaldi said, he believed that his tickets platform was more feasible than RepresenTU.
“Unlike the other ticket, our ideas are simply and feasible,” Rinaldi said. “We have our three pillar platform that we know will work and had gotten great support from the administration. I know that President Theobald has given his support.”
RepresenTU also includes Tyler Sewell candidate for vice president of services, and Aaliyah Ahmad, candidate for vice president of external affairs.
Elections for the next TSG will be held March 31 and April 1.
The Temple News will moderate the second debate, scheduled for Thursday, March 26 at 5 p.m. in Mitten Hall’s Owl Cove.
David Glovach can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter @DavidGlovach.