Temple Student Government tickets Activate TU and Connecting TU debated for the second and last time Monday night. The debate was the last formal change to make an impression, answer questions and sway students to vote them into office.
Both teams answered student questions sent in anonymously to TSG’s elections committee about the proposed on-campus football stadium, their vision of the relationship between Parliament and the Executive Branch and their qualifications for the executive roles.
When asked what their administration’s response would be to a board approval of the stadium, Activate TU maintained their opposition to a stadium, stating it would harm the North Philadelphia community.
“When it comes to working with administration, it’s all about active and loud communication,” said Paige Hill, vice presidential candidate of student affairs on the Activate TU ticket. “In my opinion, silence of the privileged equals oppression.”
Ari Abramson, presidential candidate on the Connecting TU ticket, countered that it is important to represent all voices of the student body and that they feel uncomfortable taking a stance on the stadium when some students are in favor of its construction.
“It is the responsibility of TSG to represent all students, not to say what’s right or wrong,” said Dalia Al-Bataineh, vice presidential candidate of services on the Connecting TU ticket.
Discourse between the two teams became heated and included personal attacks about the degree to which members were involved in HootaThon, the charity event.
The two teams clashed on how to best represent student issues, divided on whether or not it is the place of TSG to take sides on issues that face the student population.
Both teams agreed that they want to reform the way Parliament interacts with TSG’s executive branch but disagreed about what the change would look like.
Kayla Martin, vice presidential candidate of services on the Activate TU platform, promoted her campaign’s point to establish an ethics board to hold the student government accountable. She said her experience as auditor general would help her plan the structure of the board if her team is elected. She stepped down from her role to avoid a conflict of interest during the campaign because the auditor general oversees the elections commissioner.
Shawn Aleong, who served as deputy auditor general last year, stepped into the role for election season.
Abramson argued that an ethics board is unadvisable since Parliament is still in its early stages.
Voting for TSG’s Executive Branch and Parliament representatives will be open online until April 5 at midnight and in-person at the Student Center, where members of the elections committee will be present to answer questions.
“I think [tables] will increase [turnout],” said Noah Goff, TSG’s elections commissioner. “Having a physical location on campus will inform more students that elections are happening.”
All students in good academic standing will be eligible to vote and have the option to vote online as well as in the Student Center. There will be information about each candidate and campaign available on the voting website, he added.
After the debate, Hill told The Temple News that Activate TU hopes voters will consider both campaign’s experience and engagement when voting.
“I think the most important thing is looking at which campaign has the experience in getting things done and the commitment to getting things done,” she said.
Connecting TU hopes for a high voter turnout, regardless of who wins.
“Both of these campaigns have fought hard to reach out to every student on campus,” said Shiven Shah, vice presidential candidate of external affairs on the Connecting TU ticket. “We want students to come out and we want students to vote and get engaged with the community and our student body.
Online voting for the executive branch and Parliament begins midnight on April 4 and lasts until 11:59 P.M. on April 5. Election results will be announced at 9:30 A.M. on Thurs. April 6.
Amanda Lien can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @amandajlien.
CORRECTION: A previous version of the graphic detailing where candidates stand on key issues incorrectly stated that Connecting TU supports a voting seat on the Board of Trustees for TSG. Connecting TU does not.