Despite rising student concerns, the restriction of Temple Student Government’s abilities to directly plan and fund social events will not adversely affect student organizations or social programs.
Therion Baker, Temple Student Government President, circulated a petition to passers-by in front of the Student Center during the afternoon’s lunch rush last Wednesday, Oct. 2 to fight what he felt was unfair treatment by members of the administration.
When asked to comment about the specifics of his petition, Baker said, “No interviews.
Don’t ask me no questions.”
However, Baker was overheard asking students to sign his petition because he said the vice president of Student Affairs Theresa Powell and Dean of Students James Fitzsimmons had taken funding away from TSG.
An unidentified TSG member, who was also collecting signatures, said that it was the policy of the TSG office to not speak with the press.
Shortly before press time, TSG Press Director Amit Kalarikade called the Temple News office and said he could not comment at this time.
Fitzsimmons said that the funding Baker referred to was part of a three-year-old experiment that had failed.
In 1999, Peter Liacouras, then president of Temple, gave TSG funding for organizing social and recreational events, according to Fitzsimmons.
He added that the Main Campus Program Board, which has been in existence for 20 years, organizes most social events on campus.
“This was an experiment that did not work as effectively as some people had hoped,” said Fitzsimmons.
“[This] attempt to have two groups doing programming just hasn’t worked out.”
“Each year we have had some difficulties with TSG in managing their social events,” Fitzsimmons said, “There have been a series of incidents where [the Office of Student Affairs] has bailed TSG out financially.”
According to Fitzsimmons, Powell decided to move the programming funding out of TSG control and into a special account with the Office of Student Activities after meeting with Baker, other TSG officials, and the president of the Programs Board, Andre Johnson.
TSG will still be able to plan social events, Fitzsimmons said, but they will have to coordinate with Student Affairs and the Main Campus Program Board.
Fitzsimmons said that this arrangement is an interim agreement that will probably only last during this academic year, but that the final decision is Powell’s. He added that Powell had sent a letter to Baker that clearly spelled out her conditions for this year.
Fitzsimmons would not comment on the specifics of the letter.
Powell was out of town for a conference and could not be reached for comment.
“[Planning social events] has not been a historic role for TSG,” Fitzsimmons said.
“TSG can now focus on governing activities,” he said, “and the Main Campus Program Board can focus on programming.”
Fitzsimmons also said that the Programs Board was the “best organization to plan social events” because it has strict guidelines and a series of checks and balances.
Some students are worried that this change in funding will affect the money available to student organizations.
TSG gives money to organizations for general activities through its Allocations Board.
Each organization can receive up to $1500 a year through the Allocations Board.
Since TSG received the additional funding in 1999, organizations have also been able to go through either TSG or the Programs Board to receive additional funding for special events.
Fitzsimmons said the change will have “no effect on [student organization’s] ability to get funds.”
TSG will still have the ability to allocate funds through the Allocations Board.
Organizations that want additional funding for special events can still go to the Main Campus Program Board, he said.
“There won’t be less money available [for special programs],” said Fitzsimmons.
Brian White can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org