TSG’s Parliament to remain active this semester

BecomingTU’s campaign stated it would request Parliament be inactive this semester.

Parliament Speaker Drew Gardner stands outside Temple Student Government’s office in the Student Center on Sunday. He leads TSG’s legislative body. | COLLEEN CLAGGETT / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Temple Student Government’s Parliament will remain active this semester despite proposals to make the legislative branch inactive.

Parliament will continue to operate because the branch filled vacant seats, said Student Body President Francesca Capozzi, whose administration ran on a platform that included shutting down the 30-seat body this semester.

During the first campaign debate in March, Capozzi, who was the presidential candidate for BecomingTU, said she would request that Parliament be inactive to fix internal issues like passing and making progress on resolutions, The Temple News reported.

“We need to take this time to take a step back and look at what’s the problem and go from there, so [Parliament] can not only be effective next year, but for years to come,” Capozzi said at the debate. 

Parliament wasn’t running as efficiently as it could have been last year and BecomingTU was trying to think of ways during the campaign to improve the legislative branch, Capozzi said.

Whether or not Parliament went inactive depended on whether there were enough seats filled at the beginning of the school year, said Issa Kabeer, the vice-speaker of Parliament.

Parliament filled approximately two-thirds of their seats before this semester, said Drew Gardner, the speaker of Parliament. 

Some seats that currently remain open include representatives for the Colleges of Science and Technology, Liberal Arts, Education, Social Work, Engineering as well as the senior representative seat, said Gardner.

“There are some seats that still need to be filled, and I’m going to be taking applications and appointing and interviewing for the rest of the seats,” Gardner said. “All of the seats for Parliament should be filled within the next few weeks and I’m going to be very aggressive about getting people filled.”

Parliament has a history of infighting and lack of student involvement, which prompted BecomingTU to request it be overhauled. In November 2018, the Ethics Board required that Parliament propose 15 new resolutions by the end of the semester after not passing any during the two months prior, The Temple News reported. It also had eight vacant seats at the end of Fall 2018. 

TSG created Parliament in the 2016-17 academic year to represent the interests of the student body. The thirty seats, excluding the speaker and vice speaker, include representatives within each school at the university, year and student groups like student athletes and commuters.

“Taking Parliament out of Temple Student Government is like taking the student out of Temple Student Government,” Gardner said.

The first General Assembly is on Sept. 9 at 4 p.m. in Student Center 200C.

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated the number of seats in Parliament and how many seats had been filled before the semester.

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