Temple Student Government held its first debate last Wednesday for the April 22 and 23 executive board elections. But few students attended the event in the Student Center Atrium.
The debate had two rounds of questioning. In the first, the slates were asked the same four questions, but in the second, they were asked two specific questions pertaining to their slate.
The three slates, Owl Opportunity, Temple Reloaded and Owl V.O.I.C.E.S., discussed relevant issues, such as campus involvement and housing. They also stated the reasons why each felt better qualified to run TSG next year.
“I think the thing that sets us apart from the other slates is the passion we have for Temple and everything we do,” said Nadine Mompremier, presidential candidate for Owl V.O.I.C.E.S. and current vice president of student affairs.
The other slates combated this assumption in later answers, saying that they were also passionate about Temple and the student body.
Apart from how they were different from the other slates, the slates answered questions on correcting problems on Temple’s campus, establishing new policies and handling criticism from the media and students.
“We would welcome it. We would work with it, and we would turn it into a constructive dialogue,” said Shiv Sethi, vice presidential candidate for external affairs for Owl Opportunity when asked about combating criticism.
The current executive board has gone through many changes this year to address the concern that many students are indifferent toward TSG. They have rewritten their constitution and have set up plans to establish a student senate next year.
“Once all the changes go through, we are going to be vulnerable. We need this slate to be strong enough for the change,” said Jeff Dempsey, presidential candidate for Temple Reloaded.
The senate will be made up of student officials selected by the deans of their appropriate schools. The number of officials will depend on the number of students in that specific college, ranging from two to four representatives. The senate will act as the legislative branch of TSG and will work with the executive board to address the needs of the students.
Many students questioned the balance of power between the executive branch and the senate and how the selection process would work.
“We want students to use it like we use our U.S. government,” said Nexus Cook, vice presidential candidate of external affairs for Owl V.O.I.C.E.S in a recent interview.
Confusion regarding the senate did cause a delay in the elections, but the current TSG executive board is confident in its future success.
“It will take a little bit of time for people to get used to it, but as people get more experience with it, it will get stronger,” TSG President Juan Galeano said in a recent interview.
Candidates will continue to campaign until elections next week. Each slate has a Facebook group, and both Temple Reloaded and Owl V.O.I.C.E.S have Web sites. Owl Opportunity can be seen around campus doing video interviews, asking students about the issues that are most important to them. The videos are posted to their Facebook group, Owl Opportunity 2008.
The elections will be on Tuesday, April 22 and Wednesday, April 23. The polling locations will be Tuttleman Learning Center, 1300 Residence Hall, the Johnson & Hardwick cafeteria and the Student Center Atrium. The polls will be open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on both election dates.
Students can also vote online at any time on the election dates using the Temple Student Government Elections Web site.
Rebecca Hale can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.