TSG Senate meets, addresses concerns

TSG discussed plans for this year, as well as their concerns from previous semesters.

TSG discussed plans for this year, as well as their concerns from previous semesters.

Last night, Temple Student Government met for its first Senate meeting of the semester to review its goals for the year and to hear feedback from its various committees.

After the call of order and Owl pledge, the organization went through a series of officer, advisory and committee reports.

During the call of order, Senate President Colin Saltry addressed TSG’s overall goal this year: to pursue more student concerns and increase voter turnout for TSG elections.

Saltry said there was an 11 percent voter turnout this year. TSG aims to increase the turnout by 35 percent in the 2010-11 academic year.

“Generally, more home-grown meat-and-potato student issues are my No. 1 goal,” Saltry said.

Those issues include campus safety, meal plans and housing. Saltry said TSG wants to specifically focus on financial services and customer service in order to make the process easier for students.

TSG President Natalie Ramos-Castillo said the organization is currently working on a tuition sweepstakes, which would give students the amount of in-state tuition – $7,000 – for free.

“We need to affect individual students because individual students are the ones who are dropping out,” Ramos-Castillo said.

Increasing school spirit is another goal this year. Ramos-Castillo said TSG is working on a trade-in T-shirt day, so students with another school’s T-shirt can trade it in for a free Temple shirt.

“Another issue is working with the community and being involved with it,” Ramos-Castillo said. “We’re dealing with nutrition workshops, teaching the children of the area about healthy living.”

The nutrition workshop aims to teach those in the surrounding community, as well as students on Main Campus, about the importance of a healthy lifestyle.

TSG also plans to focus on the community through the Adopt-a-Grandparent program. Ramos-Castillo said it is a good way for students to do something nice for their neighbors.

“[It’s about] getting students out there in the community,” Ramos-Castillo said. “Realizing there is this sweet old lady that lives right next to you, so why not help her out?”

Ramos-Castillo said another TSG goal is to help students settle issues with off-campus housing, such as dealing with landlord problems or taking steps to break a lease.

TSG is inviting alumni lawyers to give advice to current students. They are also working on an off-campus housing website, which will include a list of rights and responsibilities that accompany a lease, a roommate finder and a “rate-your-landlord” feature.

During the committee reports, different representatives addressed their goals and concerns for the upcoming year.

Kyle Goldstein from the Special Committee on Sustainability said he and his committee “got off to a rough start,” but they are starting to work closely with other environmental groups.

Goldstein said they are teaming up with modeling organization XpressionZ to produce a show with all-recycled fashion wear.

Alyssa Ecker from the Committee on University Life brought up the problem of lost Owl Cards. She suggested temporary IDs as a solution, so students could still use their meal plan packages and Diamond Dollars.

Both Saltry and Ramos-Castillo said they want to find out what students’ and Senate members’ concerns were.

The pair plans to introduce a feedback tool, so students can call attention to their biggest issues. They are also introducing a poll at the upcoming State of the Campus address, slated to take place Sept. 27, to see what students are thinking.

“We’re showing the general body that administration is willing to work with us,” Ramos-Castillo said. “They really want to know what is affecting the campus because it affects them.”

Cary Carr can be reached at cary.carr@temple.edu.

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