TSG releases diversity statement

The TUnity statement will be added to the Student Conduct Code and classroom syllabi.

Dare To Dance performs at the TUnity statement unveiling at the Bell Tower on Oct. 28. Kara Milstein TTN

Temple Student Government unveiled the TUnity Statement at the Bell Tower on Tuesday night. TSG has been working on the statement, which promotes acceptance and diversity within the Temple community, since the beginning of the semester.

The TUnity Statement will be added to the Student Conduct Code and academic syllabi. Organizations will also be expected to uphold the statement, which will be introduced to incoming students in orientation.

“I have a goal that [Temple] will embrace what diversity means and a culture that will emanate from here on out,” said Jalen Blot, TSG’s director of campus life and diversity and the lead author of the statement. “TUnity is a process, a vision, a way of life. [It is] a set of standards, principles, and a precedent for Temple.”

Blot said Mayor Michael Nutter endorsed the TUnity Statement and declared Oct. 28 to be TUnity Day.

“It can’t stop here,” Blot said. “We have to take it where we want it to go. You are on the right side of history.”

Student Body President Ray Smeriglio said the next steps in promoting TUnity ideals will include an awareness campaign, which will utilize social media to inform more people about the statement. The statement will also be posted in the IDEAL Center in the 2000 block of North Broad Street.

Students at the TUnity event endorsed the statement with iPads and laptops provided by TSG representatives.

“It’s really cool to see that [Temple] is trying to do something different,” Eric White, a journalism and English major said.

“The Temple University community is somewhat separated,” journalism major Sean Haggerty said. “[Some] people don’t think highly of different organizations [on campus] and it’s good to get everyone to be accepting.”

Before unveiling the TUnity Statement, TSG showed two videos. One was a compilation of students describing what unity means to them, and the other was of students reading the statement itself.

“It’s good to have events to bring everyone together,” said Sharif Finch, a sophomore criminal justice major and defensive lineman on the football team. “It keeps the environment on campus fun.”

Music and free food was offered to attendees of the event. Other activities included face painting, henna tattoos, caricature drawing, and an area for printing Instagram pictures. There were also performances by the a capella group, Pitch Please, and the dance companies Dare to Dance, By Any Means Necessary and In Motion.

The day was marked by a Diversity Symposium held on the seventh floor of Alter Hall.

Lian Parsons can be reached at lian.parsons@temple.edu or on Twitter @Lian_Parsons.

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