On Feb. 21, Temple Student Government held its second senate meeting of the semester where its members discussed upcoming initiatives and civic engagement.
Senators Sarah Khan and Subhi Zaman were both sworn in before the general statements and speeches.
In Student Body President Natalie Ramos-Castillo’s report, she wrote about the recent Rally for Higher Education, the upcoming tuition sweepstakes and a change in the weather policy.
“CFO Tony Wager will now drive to campus and walk around before making the decision,” Ramos-Castillo wrote, regarding inclement weather conditions and university closings. “This way he will be able to see how roads are to campus are and actually see if campus is cleared for students.”
In Senate President Colin Saltry’s report, he wrote that he is proud of TSG and the student body’s efforts at the Rally for Higher Education and hopes the state-related universities will continue to receive commonwealth support.
“We don’t envy the members of our General Assembly as they face this mounting challenge,” Saltry wrote. “However, we want to remind them of our struggles and of the importance our society places in higher education.”
Senator for the College of Education Monica Rindfleisch presented the report of the Academic Affairs Committee. Rindfleisch said the committee is working on a list of academic websites that are linked to error messages to take to computer services.
Also, Rindfleisch said, the committee wants to look into how students can access scholarship information, find out why there is a $54 fee to graduate and work on extending library hours.
Senator for the College of Liberal Arts Alyssa Ecker discussed progress made by the Academic Affairs Committee. Ecker said the committee’s off-campus furniture website has added a book-sharing portion and that they plan on looking into student-parking on campus and resulting finance issues.
Saltry initiated a discussion about civic engagement and how to improve student involvement in TSG.
Several TSG members agreed that the organization needs to reach out to smaller groups of students, depending on which schools or colleges they attend, in order to find out their specific needs.
Director of Student Activities Gina D’Annunzio said TSG’s Senate is set up so that it can represent specific constituencies, but it has not been doing so, leaving TSG to appear irrelevant to students.
D’Annunzio said TSG should try to “achieve some legitimacy” among the student body before attempting to increase civic engagement on campus.
“Until you achieve that legitimacy,” D’Annunzio said, “there’s going to be no value in trying to reach out to those institutions because no one thinks that you guys can bring your voice anywhere.”
TSG members then discussed whether or not students were apathetic in general, citing a lack of attendance at the Rally for Education and a small percentage of students involved in organizations on-campus.
“The overall student population is very apathetic here,” D’Annunzio said. “People care about things that are glitzy and glamorous.”
President Ann Weaver Hart is slated to speak at next week’s State of the Campus address.
Cary Carr can be reached at email@example.com.