TSG Parliament’s speaker and vice speaker step down

Members of TSG were unhappy with the way Parliament’s leaders handled the resignation of the former freshman representative earlier this month.

Issa Kabeer, a second-year diversity and leadership graduate certificate student and former Temple Student Government speaker of parliament, sits on a bench on Polett Walk on Sept. 4, 2020. | COLLEEN CLAGGETT / FILE

Issa Kabeer, the former speaker of Temple Student Government’s Parliament, and Arshad Shaik, the former vice speaker of Parliament, stepped down amid frustration surrounding their handling of a member’s resignation earlier this month.

Kabeer, a second-year diversity and leadership graduate certificate student, and Shaik, a junior neuroscience major, resigned their positions on Jan. 13 because of internal pressure from other members, wrote Bradley Smutek, a parliamentary counselor and a junior history major, in an email to The Temple News. 

Parliamentarians disagreed with the way Kabeer and Shaik handled the resignation of Karim Alazzam, the former freshman class representative, on Jan. 10 that came after he posted an anti-Semitic video on his personal social media account, Smutek wrote.

“There was internal backlash as members of Parliament didn’t feel that the situation was communicated or handled as well as it could have been,” Smutek wrote.

Kabeer and Arshad are still members of Parliament but in different positions, Smutek said.

Parliament elected Haajrah Gilani, the Klein College of Media and Communication representative and a sophomore journalism major, and Kiara Marable, the College of Liberal Arts representative and a senior philosophy and political science major, as speaker and vice speaker on Jan. 18, Smutek wrote.

Student Body President Quinn Litsinger and Mark Rey, vice president of TSG, considered impeachment against Alazzam before he resigned, The Temple News reported.

In his resignation letter, Alazzam wrote he stepped down because of his demanding position and workload, The Temple News reported.

Members of Parliament were unaware Alazzam resigned because of the controversial video until TSG released a statement about it, Smutek wrote. 

“When the press release came out and it discussed a resignation caused by an offensive post, many members of Parliament were upset and felt that Issa misrepresented the situation,” Smutek wrote.

Kabeer is now Parliament’s speaker emeritus, a position he thinks will better with his schedule, he wrote in an email to The Temple News.  

“Haajrah and Kiara both seem highly motivated and Mark and I are excited to work with them,” Litsinger wrote in an email to The Temple News. “Hopefully this will serve as an opportunity to address the issues that have notoriously plagued Parliament since its inception a few years ago.”

Haajrah Gilani is Co-Intersection Editor at The Temple News. She played no role in the writing or editing of this story.

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