TSG holds first State of Campus address

President Kylie Patterson says her goal is to have each student involved beyond the classroom.

Temple Student Government’s first State of the Campus address brought students, leaders, faculty and staff together in the Student Center yesterday afternoon to discuss summer’s changes and upcoming initiatives planned for the year.

The meeting started five minutes after the 4 p.m. scheduled time, as last minute stragglers arrived, signed in and took a seat to hear TSG President Kylie Patterson start the address.

Patterson updated students, faculty and staff and student leaders on campus developments that occurred over the summer.

She began with the university’s budget crises, stirring memories of the possible financial nightmares students may be facing had they not taken action against the appropriations put in limbo by Gov. Ed Rendell and the $5,000 tuition increase threatened by Rep. John Taylor after the university closed Northeastern Hospital.

Patterson commended all who called their state legislators to fight Taylor’s costly imposition on Temple.

“When I ran on the TUAction ticket, our slogan was ‘committed to achieving results,’ whether in the classroom [or the community],” she said. “If you were one of those students who called your [elected officials], bravo.”

After Patterson spoke, Elizabeth Householder, program director for the new Office of Leadership Development, and Aneesah Smith, assistant director for the Health Education Awareness Resource Team Office, gave presentations informing students of the myriad of leadership opportunities and student resources.

Householder said the leadership skills workshops, used to build leadership confidence, are “even better,” but mentioned shortly after that the university can’t financially support many of the workshops and programming because of budgetary issues, so outside fundraising will be completed by May 2011.

During her presentation, Smith introduced HEART’s new crisis intervention program for peers, “Say Something at Temple.” She also gave information on the office’s offerings, including LGBTQIA programs and workshops on every topic from safe sex to drug, alcohol and sexual assault awareness and prevention education.

“Our job is to help students live healthy academic and social lives,” Smith said. “When you request programming from us, it’s not just typical programming. You get what you asked for and even more.”

Patterson then held an open forum for questions, comments and concerns. She encouraged students at the meeting to use the time to speak their minds and make the rest of TSG aware of any observations.
TSG Vice President of Services John DeSantis brought up the issue of the shuttle buses to Center City being cut earlier this year.

DeSantis informed the assembly that the shuttle buses added up to a quarter of a million dollars, and when tuition was raised at a low percentage, certain services needed to be cut. He mentioned alternative modes of transportation, such as the Broad Street Line and SEPTA buses, which cost approximately $2.90 round trip.

“It was a sacrifice we were willing to make to keep tuition low,” he added.

“I hope students were given new information,” Patterson said after the meeting. “And I wish more students would’ve spoken up during the open forum. Hopefully more students will feel empowered to speak their minds if something goes on.”

Gina D’Annunzio, director of the Office of Student Activities and TSG faculty advisor, said she was extremely pleased with the way the meeting played out.

“I think TSG worked hard over the summer and they continued with that momentum,” D’Annunzio said. “Kylie’s introduction [highlighted] her hopes for this year, that TSG reaches out to every Temple student in some way, and I think that’s good.”

Josh Fernandez can be reached at josh.fernandez@temple.edu.

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