The current Temple Student Government administration campaigned on improving communication between TSG and student organizations, promoting inclusivity for marginalized students on campus and building a better relationship between Temple and the surrounding community.
Here is a summary of what the executive branch, which campaigned as BecomingTU, has done this semester in relation to its major platform points.
To improve TSG’s outreach to student organizations, the administration created “out-of-office office hours,” a requirement for members of the executive branch to attend at least two hours of other organizations’ meetings each week.
It was not realistic for every director to find a meeting that fits in their schedule every week, so the administration reduced the requirement to one meeting a month, said Student Body President Francesca Capozzi in October.
During the campaign, BecomingTU advocated for building a stronger bond between students and community residents.
Platform points included giving residents access to TUAlerts, inviting community residents to town hall meetings and conducting a group fitness class for residents.
Allowing community residents to receive TUAlerts has received pushback from Campus Safety Services, said Kaya Jones, TSG’s vice president of external affairs.
“They say it’s kind of impossible because if we add more people, the response to getting TUAlerts for students will be delayed,” Jones said.
“Currently there is no mechanism to add someone from outside Temple to the system,” wrote Charlie Leone, the director of Campus Safety Services, in an email to The Temple News.
Meanwhile, no community residents attended TSG’s community forum on Sept. 24, while three attended its Nov. 7 meeting, said Tajnia Hussain, TSG’s director of local and community affairs.
TSG will invite a community resident to speak at their Community Affairs town hall meeting in February, Jones said.
TSG held a community fitness day in Pearson and McGonigle halls on Nov. 16, which one community resident attended, Hussain said.
TSG plans to have more community events next semester, Jones added.
During the campaign, the executive branch pledged to advocate for the creation of a non-TSG student voting seat on the Board of Trustees and oppose the construction of any “multipurpose facility” on or near Main Campus.
So far nothing has been done in terms of having a non-voting seat on the Board, Capozzi said.
“I’m still researching and seeing what other schools have done in regard to this,” she added.
DIVERSITY & INCLUSION
To promote diversity and inclusion, TSG has been working toward creating an online “multicultural caucus” that allows leaders of cultural and international organizations on campus to communicate with TSG via a Google Form about the issues they see on campus.
TSG originally planned to host the forums in person but decided not to due to the large number of multicultural organizations on campus, The Temple News reported.
The form will be sent out by the end of the semester, said Ammani Khan, TSG’s director of campus life and diversity.
SEXUAL VIOLENCE AWARENESS
In collaboration with the Wellness Resource Center and other student organizations, TSG held various workshops and events to raise awareness of sexual violence on Temple’s campus as part of its third annual Sexual Assault Prevention Week from Sept. 9-13.
During the campaign, the team pledged to introduce mandatory training on Title IX procedures for all student organizations into STARS workshops. Directors in the executive branch are still researching how this can be done, Capozzi said.
During the campaign, BecomingTU pledged to support the Office of Sustainability, advocate for zero-waste efforts on campus and endorse the university’s plan to be carbon neutral by 2050, according to its platform.
Kathryn Lyons, TSG’s director of grounds and sustainability, is promoting the use of zero-waste kits for campus organizations, advocating for lower SEPTA fares for students and partnering with the Office of Sustainability and Temple Community Garden on a pilot compost collection service, Capozzi said.
FOOD & HOUSING INSECURITY
To bring awareness to food and housing insecurity on Temple’s campus, the campaign pledged to create a director of student basic needs position in the executive branch, which is currently occupied by AaronRey Ebreo, a senior biology major.
TSG held its second annual Campus Hunger Awareness Week, aimed at raising awareness of food insecurity, from Nov. 11-16.
Events during the week included a video game tournament, a dodgeball tournament, a panel on homelessness, a food and clothing drive and a food distribution event in Center City, hosted in conjunction with Swipes for Philadelphia, a local food distribution organization found by Ebreo.
More than 400 nonperishable items were collected throughout the week and donated to the Cherry Pantry, Temple’s on-campus basic needs pantry, Ebreo said.
During the campaign, BecomingTU advocated for making Parliament, the legislative branch of TSG, inactive during the fall semester to examine how the 30-seat body could be more effective. Parliament, created in 2016, has historically struggled with filling seats and passing resolutions.
The executive branch walked back its proposal after Parliament filled two-thirds of its seats before the beginning of this academic year. Five seats are still open.
Parliament’s top stated priorities this year were to improve access on campus for students with disabilities, increase Parliament members’ participation in on-campus events and maintain a better record of the legislative body’s activities.
On Nov. 11, Parliament approved the creation of a task force to assess whether buildings on campus are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Capozzi approved the resolution on Nov. 15.
Parliament has passed four other resolutions this semester, including one to hold the university accountable to install sanitary bins in all female bathrooms, which Capozzi approved. Capozzi vetoed but later approved a Parliament resolution that expressed support for Temple University Graduate Students’ Association.
Parliament’s next meeting of the semester is on Dec. 9.