TSG State of the Campus address encourages student participation

Student government held its first State of the Campus address last night, Sept. 27.

Yesterday, Sept. 27, at 4 p.m., Temple Student Government met for its first State of the Campus address of the 2010-11 school year.

Ken Lawrence, senior vice president for Government, Community and Public Affairs, was the guest speaker for the event. Lawrence is also on the Government Relations Staff for the Temple Advocates Legislative Outreach Network.

Lawrence said the governor will make the budget announcement in February. Because university funds are not part of the actual state budget, appropriations are voted on independently.

“Back in 2009, there were some legislators who wanted to target our appropriations because they weren’t happy with some of the decisions that had been made with regards to closing a local hospital,” Lawrence said. “[They] were actually advocating within their caucus not to provide Temple any funding.”

By partnering with TSG, Lawrence said, TALON was able to communicate with area legislators and get university appropriations back.

This year, the university received $7 million in stimulus funding from the federal government.

Lawrence said if the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania funds the university at the same level next year, there will be a $7 million cut because the stimulus money will no longer be there.

“It is incredibly important that next year we all work to communicate to the governor and communicate to our legislators the importance of funding higher education,” Lawrence said.

Because Temple is a state-related institution, Lawrence said, there is a close relationship with the University of Pittsburgh, Penn State University and Lincoln University in the fight for appropriations.

TALON is encouraging students, alumni and employees to thank legislators for university appropriations.

“You don’t realize how important your voice is,” Lawrence said. “If a legislator gets e-mails from 20 to 25 people on an issue, that’s significant to them. They count that.”

Afterward, Stephanie Catrambone, the Adopt-a-Grandparent chairwoman, presented an introduction to the program, including a short video promoting community outreach.

Catrambone highlighted program features, such as shopping for the elderly at the Fresh Grocer and bringing the goods back to their homes.

“Our goal of this program is to give Temple students an opportunity to create relations with the community directly,” Catrambone said. “Not many volunteer efforts within Temple can give you that opportunity.”

After the presentations, student organizations – which were required to attend the event in order to receive allocations from TSG – made announcements regarding upcoming meetings and events.

Students also had the chance to ask TSG members questions, most of which pertained to student-organization allocations and privileges.

Mark Quien, the allocations chairman, explained details of funding for student-organization transportation and on-campus conventions.

“Transportation can be funded if you’re going to an in-state conference,” Quien said. “If not, transportation fees are going to be a little harder to pull and are probably not going to be funded.”

Quien said conventions on campus are considered a general allocations event.

“The policy still stands that you can only get $2,500 per semester, each semester,” Quien said. “So we can’t give you more money, but money can go toward that.”

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

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