The applause began slowly, initiated by a couple of representatives seated toward the back of Kiva Auditorium.
As Temple Student Government Vice President of Student Affairs Juan Galeano approached the microphone at the general assembly meeting Oct. 23, the applause reached full capacity.
Galeano, one of the principal organizers of 1K Help For a Day – an all-day event held last Saturday that was designed to get at least 1,000 students to volunteer their services and perform various tasks all over North Philadelphia – wanted to inform the general assembly of how successful the event was.
“It was a tremendous effort,” Galeano said. “But with the help of administration, [several] student leaders … and a lot of hard work and a lot of sleepless nights, we were able to come together and put this event on for everyone.
“After serving at five elementary schools, beautifying three parks, painting a basketball court, cleaning three churches, organizing five community centers and serving at 32 sites,” Galeano said, his voice rising with each task he stated.
“We had over 1,051 volunteers.”
Before Galeano could finish his sentence, he was bombarded by the cheers and applause of a raucous general assembly. Within seconds, the celebration turned into a standing ovation.
Galeano said he was appreciative of all the support he received in making 1K Help For a Day a reality.
“I’m really thankful for everyone who took a leadership role in the process,” he said. “Everyone on a committee or a leadership team that helped out so much is what made it the best for me.”
Because 1K Help For A Day reached its goal of getting 1,000 students to volunteer, TSG will try to hold the event again in the spring, Galeano said.
“After seeing the overwhelming response by students and having a lot of students come up to me afterwards and say that they would like to see it [done] annually, to show a stronger contribution to the community,” Galeano said, “it does make sense and we should go with it, so we’re going to go with trying to do it again.”
Parliamentarian Dorsey Spencer said the event was “amazing, just ridiculous.” He said the event was a great way to kick off Homecoming week.
Spencer, the Homecoming Committee chair, and TSG Student Life Chair Brendan Bailes, who was the advertising chair for the Homecoming committee, both encouraged students to participate in as many Homecoming events as possible. This is the first year that Homecoming will be organized by a student-run committee.
“A lot of people complain about how ‘Homecoming is this’ and ‘Homecoming is that’ and ‘Why isn’t [our] Homecoming like Penn State’s or Howard’s,'” Spencer said. “It won’t be like that unless you guys come and support the events that are planned].”
Bailes, who, like Spencer, delivered his speech from the middle of the circular Kiva Auditorium instead of standing behind the desk, reminded the general assembly that the Homecoming Committee was designed to better serve the interest of the student body.
“This is all for you,” he said. “People have been working very diligently to make sure that this week is like none other, to make sure that this week is something brand new, something that Temple has never experienced, and it is.”
Bailes said the excitement level for this week should be unprecedented.
“Homecoming is here,” Bailes said. “Feel that energy. It’s all around campus.”
Tyson McCloud can be reached at Tyson@temple.edu.