TU Nation clinches victory, prepares for fall semester

Winning TSG ticket TU Nation is preparing to assume office. Although current Temple Student Government Senate President Colin Saltry said he is excited TU Nation, his ticket, won the 2011 TSG executive elections, the new

Winning TSG ticket TU Nation is preparing to assume office.

Although current Temple Student Government Senate President Colin Saltry said he is excited TU Nation, his ticket, won the 2011 TSG executive elections, the new student body president-elect said there is a lot of immediate work to be done.

On April 7, TU Nation was announced the official winner, beating opponent Owl Future. Saltry will lead TSG with vice president-elect of external affairs Elliot Griffin and vice president-elect of services Ugochukwo Obilo.

Votes totaled 2,759 as TU Nation took 1,571 votes compared to Owl Future’s 1,188 votes.

Saltry, who said he was “humbled” after the win, said TU Nation’s immediate plans include a brief celebration before getting right back to work by lobbying for higher education funding and keeping “the money flowing to Temple” in the face of a proposed cut in the university’s commonwealth appropriations.

“This is a big deal,” Saltry said. “It’s going to affect what Temple’s like in the near future and in the long term.”

TU Nation, Saltry said, is also getting right to work on many of its platform points.

“We’re trying to get our own house in order, so we can hit the ground running in September,” Saltry said.

In addition to passing a new constitution, which eliminates the three separate branches and creates a general assembly, a recycling referenda, which calls for a recycling contract in which the university would recycle plastics Nos. 1 to 7, was also passed in the election.

Griffin said the restructuring of the constitution will help get more students involved in TSG by giving them more positions and offering more of a collaborative experience.

Winning the election, Griffin said, was “surreal” and after putting in the effort to get TU Nation’s “message out” to students, she is excited to start advocating for them.

“When people see that they can come to the TSG office, no matter whether their problem is big or small, we’re going to find a solution for [them],” Griffin said. “Then they’ll want to become more involved in the process.”

Griffin said meetings with administration are already planned for next week, and TU Nation plans on being out on Main Campus during Spring Fling to raise awareness about TSG.

Saltry said students can expect to see several changes next semester, including a publically available TSG budget along with the daily schedules of TU Nation and a YouTube video series called “How Temple Works.”

The big change from this year, Saltry said, is that TU Nation will make it easier for students to get involved by focusing on more “doing” rather than only talking at TSG meetings.

“It’s going to be different because we’re not going to be trying to pretend that we’re something that we’re not,” Saltry said.

Obilo said he “feels great” about the election and is excited to start working on some of the goals TU Nation set forth in its platform.

The first thing Obilo said he plans on doing is sitting down with the current Vice President of Services Alex Shelow, to talk about what his shortcomings were and to find out what to expect going forward. He also said he wants to raise awareness for student organizations, so they know what regulations they need to abide by.

“Being able to reach a large number of people – that’s the most exciting thing to me,” Obilo said.

Although Malcolm Kenyatta, who ran for student body president with the Owl Future ticket, did not win the election, he said he also plans on advocating for students next year, although it may not be with TSG.

Kenyatta said he had planned to take extra courses if he had won in order to remain student body president the entire school year but now will be able to graduate after the fall semester.

“It will be a limited time I’ll be here,” Kenyatta said, “but I still care about Temple students a lot, and I still care about TSG, and I hope that they do well.”

Saltry said one of his concerns with the election was that there was a lower voter turnout than previous years, despite the fact that the Elections Commission was funded more this year, which gave the Elections Commission more money to work with.

Elections Commissioner Christina Savage said in an email that the Elections Commission advertised for the elections through the TSG website, as well as its Facebook and Twitter accounts. She said a commercial was also played on the sites, as well as at the Reel. Fliers and advertisements were posted around campus, as well.

Some obstacles, Savage said, included restrictions on where signs could be hung up and the fact that some of the election posters went missing. She said she thinks there was less of a turnout because TSG did not hold an election for Senate.

“In prior years, Senate candidates worked with the elections commission and the executive tickets to inform more students on the importance of voting for Temple Student Government,” Savage said.

Saltry said every election is important and he plans on working on the strategy to get students to vote.

TSG will continue meetings this semester with an inauguration on April 18 and the first general assembly meeting will take place the following week, which will include voting on new bylaws.

“Knowing that I’m going to be in a meeting with Ann Weaver Hart talking about that kid’s problem is a big responsibility,” Saltry said in anticipation of next year. “I’m looking forward to it.”

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

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