Before polls opened, RUN TEMPLE and Temple Advocating Progress debated.
Temple Advocating for Progress and RUN TEMPLE engaged in the second executive ticket debate yesterday, April 2, in the Student Center atrium.
Candidates answered questions on student-administrative relations and restructuring student government, similar to the topics discussed during the first debate on March 26. Responses from each side became more personally defensive throughout the debate.
“We’ve been running Temple before we were RUN TEMPLE, and honestly I will say we were tapping in before they were ‘TAP in,’” Jaimee Swift, RUN TEMPLE candidate for vice president of external affairs, said, referring to TAP’s campaign slogan.
“We didn’t just show up a week before campaigning started to Temple Student Government,” Julian Hamer, TAP candidate for vice president of services, said in closing. “Running Temple is not just three people.”
TSG Elections Commissioner Shanee Satchell asked questions submitted after last week’s debate and then handed the microphone to audience members. Tickets had three minutes to answer Satchell’s questions and two minutes each to respond to audience queries, as well as two 60-second rebuttals per ticket.
Audience members asked candidates for specific examples of how the tickets planned to restructure TSG and how they would use TSG to help students not affiliated with student organizations.
When a student asked candidates how they planned to change the TSG allocations process, Brandon Rey Ramirez, TSG deputy chief of staff and RUN TEMPLE candidate for TSG student body president, repeated his team’s platform to make the process more transparent. Ramirez, a former member of the allocations committee, said he felt in previous years the process “was never a central part of the conversation.”
In TAP’s response to the question, Hamer asked, “The people who have been on the allocations committee for however long they have, if they’ve seen problems, why haven’t those changes been made already?”
Both tickets promised to make the process more “transparent.”
Malcolm Kenyatta, a senior communications major, asked tickets how they would work with their opponents after elections. When Kenyatta, who ran for TSG student body president on the Owl Future ticket last year, asked candidates how they intended to “change” the TSG elections process, he cited what he saw as a tendency for candidates to make personal attacks.
Ramirez said TSG elections “becomes a popularity contest.”
On the subject of student-administrative relations, Ramirez emphasized his ticket’s platform to make TSG more involved with student-advocacy groups, citing it as his motivation for joining student government. TAP spoke on its aim to promote more dialogue between students and administrators, making mention of a protest by Temple Community Against Mountaintop Removal at a Board of Trustees meeting on March 13.
“It was not brought to the attention of Temple Student Government first…When you have to come in with tape over your mouth to an event, well, there’s a better way of going about doing it,” David Lopez, TSG chief of staff and TAP candidate for TSG student body president, said.
Ramirez, who has participated in TCAMR events, rebutted the statement, saying the group has previously spoken with TSG directly.
The audience’s enthusiasm increased in the latter portion of the debate.
In his closing statement, Lopez spoke his loudest as the crowd’s volume increased.
“You talk about radical change, but I see no ideas…Your platform has changed non-stop since this campaign began every week,” Lopez said. “What you don’t understand is the only [thing] you’re going to run is run Temple into the ground.”
Voting lasts from midnight today, April 3, until 11:59 p.m. tomorrow, April 4, at www.uvote.temple.edu.
Amelia Brust can be reached at email@example.com.