The first debate between Temple United and Diamond Nation focused on how the campaigning TSG executive office tickets would address the current structure and initiatives of the organization – and on each candidate’s qualifications.
At the General Assembly meeting yesterday, April 1, Temple United, led by candidate for student body president Darin Bartholomew faced Diamond Nation and candidate for student body president Anthony Torres in a debate that at times became heated.
The first questions inquired into how the two tickets planned to build upon the successes of the current administration, led by TSG Student Body President David Lopez, and the effects the candidates hoped to have on TSG.
Diamond Nation members said the team would start a shadowing program for newly elected directors and create secretary and co-chair positions within TSG committees. Temple United highlighted its plan to continue to make the allocations process more transparent through posting approved forms online.
The debate became intense during the third question, when Elections Commissioner Fallon Roberson-Roby asked each ticket about changes they would make to the allocations process.
Bartholomew outlined plans to change the stars and diamonds program to focus less on mandatory workshops and more on the organizations’ activities and events.
During the rebuttal period, Torres said Temple United’s change to the stars and diamonds program would “make student organizations basically lazy.”
Torres was not available for comment after the debate, but Diamond Nation candidate for vice president of external affairs Danube Johnson said: “Anthony’s passion seems to kind of come off more aggressively than we would like at some points.”
“Basically what he was saying was that not forcing student organizations to go to workshops and stuff like that, you are essentially making it easier for them to have a better ranking and by virtue of that you are making the whole effort of being a substantial student organization easier.”
The intensity continued when the candidates were asked how their experiences have prepared them to become student leaders.
Torres spoke about his experience coordinating and implementing the Adopt-a-Block program and Diamond Nation’s candidate for vice president of services Patricia Boateng’s efforts as the current director of academic affairs. He continued by expressing that Bartholomew and Temple United candidate for vice president of services Cree Moore were not active TSG directors.
“I’m coming at the two directors that basically have one major initiative, I’m sorry, one opponent with one major initiative, not the other one,” Torres said during the debate before he was stopped due to time limits.
Moore immediately responded to Torres’ claims.
“You say that you want to be student leaders, of course, so we should understand that we should be students involved in student organizations, not just Temple Student Government because TSG is literally only a small percentage of Temple University as a whole,” Moore said.
Bartholomew, who is the current director of government affairs, pointed out after the debate that he organized the annual Owls on the Hill Day and initiated the first-ever Owl Academy.
Moore is the current director of recruitment and retention and is responsible for promoting TSG during various initiatives including open houses, getting freshmen involved in committees and recruiting students to sign-up for events.
“Our main goal is to always run a clean race and speak on our pros and not their cons. We don’t want to make it seem like choosing the [better] of two evils when it is really choosing the overall best candidate,” Moore said.
Temple United and Diamond Nation will face off in a second debate on Monday, April 8, at 6 p.m. in the Student Center Atrium.
Laura Detter can be reached at email@example.com.