Shortly after being inaugurated yesterday, Student Body President Bradley Smutek signed a Parliament resolution calling on Temple Student Government’s executive branch to advocate for a tuition freeze for the 2021-22 academic year to the university’s Board of Trustees.
Smutek also signed five executive directives instructing TSG to begin carrying out RenewTU’s platform points on sexual assault awareness, food and housing insecurity and neighborhood relations.
In its first meeting, Parliament confirmed all 20 of Smutek and TSG Vice President Samantha Quinlan’s nominees for the executive branch last night, Smutek wrote.
Smutek appointed 31 people to serve in the executive branch and only 20 needed confirmation, said Townley Sorge, a junior public health major and speaker of Parliament.
Here is what happened in TSG after the inauguration:
Parliament’s resolution calls on Smutek to present the tuition freeze proposal to the Board of Trustees in their May 11 meeting, Sorge wrote in an email to The Temple News. The resolution was introduced by Sorge and co-sponsored by Manny Herrera, a freshman biochemistry major and vice speaker of Parliament.
“The extent to which students have been financially impacted by COVID can’t be solved easily or quickly, and the financial consequences of COVID will be felt for a long time and may be difficult to recover from,” Sorge wrote.
The university is currently working through its budget, wrote Raymond Betzner, a spokesperson for the university, in an email to The Temple News.
“It is our primary goal to ensure Temple is as affordable as possible while being able to maintain the operations of the university,” Betzner wrote.
Temple’s Board of Trustees approved a tuition freeze for in-state and out-of-state undergraduate and graduate students for the 2020-2021 school year in May 2020, marking the second year in a row it had done so, according to a university press release.
The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education’s Board of Governors voted to freeze tuition for its 14 public state universities for the 2021-22 academic year, its third consecutive year doing so, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
Smutek’s five executive directives formally outline some of his administration’s goals for the upcoming academic year.
The first executive directive, also signed by Quinlan, renamed six positions in TSG’s executive branch to better clarify their purpose and updated bylaws for the new executive administration, according to the directive.
The second executive directive calls on TSG’s director of student health and wellbeing, department of communications and other applicable TSG personnel to “recommend all necessary efforts to combat sexual violence at Temple University,” according to the directive.
The directive instructs TSG members to communicate with the university administration, departments and student organizations, including Temple’s chapter of “It’s On Us,” a sexual assault prevention organization, to coordinate a sexual assault awareness campaign that would begin in the Fall 2021 semester, according to the directive.
The third directive calls on the director of basic needs to evaluate and recommend improvements for existing university programs that address students’ basic needs and evaluate “hostile architecture” on campus meant to deter people experiencing homelessness from sleeping in certain areas, according to the directive.
The directive also orders the director of basic needs to create a task force of TSG members, non-TSG experts and faculty to study food, housing and financial insecurity among Temple students.
The directive addresses period poverty on campus and indicates TSG will take action on supplying access to menstrual products to students.
The fourth executive directive orders the director of local and community affairs, deputy director of local and community affairs, director of sustainability, department of communications and other TSG members to begin efforts to create a biannual student day of community service, according to the directive.
The fifth executive directive calls on the director of student affairs, the deputy director of local and community affairs and other TSG members to propose reforms on how the Office of New Student and Family programs addresses topics, like TSG engagement, North Philadelphia’s history, accessibility, sexual assault and more, at new student orientation, according to the directive.