TSG recruits Ambler students in fight for higher education funding

Temple Student Government is hoping to increase Ambler student participation in TALON, as Occupy Temple students plan a rally for higher education.

Temple Student Government officers reminded students to register with the Temple Advocates Leadership Outreach Network at the General Assembly meeting today, Feb. 20. TSG Student Body President Colin Saltry said he also visited Ambler Campus Monday to address the Ambler Student Government Association about TALON.

“We talked about how important it is not just for Main Campus students to but for Ambler students to go not just to Cherry and White Day in March, but to join TALON,” Saltry said.

TSG Chief of Staff David Lopez also appealed to students to use TALON to contact state legislators on behalf of Temple.

TALON, operating within the Office of Government, Community and Public Affairs, gives students a pre-written statement to send to state legislators to advocate for state funding for higher education. Cherry and White Day, when students and TSG members will return to Harrisburg to speak directly with state lawmakers, is scheduled for March 26.

Some students, like junior management information systems major Darin Bartholomew, have already used TALON to contact representatives.

“[I] signed up for TALON last year, used TALON already this year, so I’m a TALON supporter,” Bartholomew, vice president of Temple University College Republicans, said. “It’s important to use it for its intended purpose…just signing up to try to get tokens or stuff [from] TSG, you’re really not doing the university any favors.”

Others at the meeting said they know about TALON, but have yet to use it.

“I can’t afford for my tuition to keep rising. I’m in-state, and I already can’t afford it,” sophomore accounting and finance major Skylar Cox said. “I have financial aid, but my mom has five kids.”

Gov. Tom Corbett in his proposed budget earlier this month, outlined a 30 percent, or a near $42 million, cut to Temple’s state appropriation for fiscal year 2012-13.

“There’s nothing good that can come out of a budget cut,” Bartholomew said.

On Wednesday, Feb. 22, leaders of the state-related universities will speak before the Senate Appropriations Committee in Harrisburg. President Ann Weaver Hart and the the leaders of other state-related universities are expected to advocate for improved funding to the universities.

Also at the meeting, TSG Deputy Chief of Staff Brandon Rey Ramirez announced a rally sponsored by Occupy Temple on March 1. The student group is scheduled to congregate at the Bell Tower at 1 p.m. to promote higher education funding.

“This is about education, pretty much making a case for…student debt forgiveness, to actually raise funding for public universities and public schools, and to really put education first,” Ramirez said.

Ramirez said he plans to attend, though not as representation of TSG. The rally’s organizers plan to march from Main Campus to Corbett’s office on South Broad Street.

Amelia Brust can be reached at abrust@temple.edu.

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