The Temple Student Government administration will introduce a parliamentary system with 36 seats to the current structure of TSG. Nearly every student government in the country has a parliament with student members, said TSG President Aron Cowen. He added that TSG has tried it in the past, but without success.
Cowen met with former TSG President Colin Saltry, who served in the 2011-12 academic year, to discuss the proposed system.
“[TSG] had something similar way back when,” Cowen said. “But it wasn’t going well, so they got rid of it.”
The new parliament will have one seat for all 13 schools with undergraduate students. The seat for each school will be open to any of its students, and will be elected by that school’s student body. Each graduating class will be represented by two seats, while transfer students and undergraduates in programs longer than five years, will each have one seat. The parliament will also include five at-large seats, open to any student at the university.
There are also eight seats available for multicultural organizations, Greek Life, the Residence Hall Association, commuters and athletes.
“We have to balance trying to get different opinions represented, being equitable and having roughly the same number of seats per group,” Cowen said.
The goal of the parliament is to increase student participation and representation in TSG.
“This isn’t here for me or my team, it’s so students can get involved and I hope they can take advantage of that,” Cowen said.
Cowen added that he wants TSG to increase its visibility and attend events held by different organizations.
“We’re going to make a big push to go out, go to organization events, talk with people on their home turf,” Cowen said. “People shouldn’t have to work to find us.”
Cowen’s former colleagues from last year’s administration, Brittany Boston and Binh Nguyen, said his experience with TSG as the Director of Governmental Affairs will help him as president.
“Because he was part of our administration he got to see the ins and outs of TSG, and it’ll be really vital and easier for him to hit the ground running,” said Nguyen, the former vice president of external affairs.
“Aron did great work as director of government affairs and he got to see how everything operates,” Boston said. “His experience being on TSG will serve him well and help him take Temple Student Government to new heights.”
Jonathan Gilbert can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Julie Christie contributed reporting.