UniteTU withdraws at final TSG debate

The crowd waits for the final Temple Student Government debate to begin on Monday in the Student Center. | VEENA PRAKRIYA / THE TEMPLE NEWS

UniteTU withdrew from the 2018-19 Temple Student Government executive election at the final debate on Monday in the Student Center.

UniteTU’s withdrawal comes three days after its Vice Presidential Candidate of External Affairs Adrienne Hines withdrew from the campaign, alleging UniteTU used her as a “token” because she is a person of color.

“Unfortunately, the current climate surrounding UniteTU does not lend itself to conditions that permit us to work toward change,” said Danny Borine, the former presidential candidate for UniteTU. “The blindsiding departure of one of our members has left a major hole in our ship.”

After UniteTU’s announcement, the debate began as planned. IgniteTU and VoiceTU disagreed about Temple Police, General Assembly meetings and sexual assault resources at Main Campus.

Similar issues were discussed at the first TSG debate on March 22.

IgniteTU’s platform states the team will “expand the borders of the TUPD patrol map to ensure off-campus students get home safely.” VoiceTU argued that expanding police patrol would be detrimental to the North Philadelphia community.

“Increased policing would disproportionately affect the community,” said Bridget Warlea, the vice presidential candidate of external affairs for VoiceTU. “I think there’s a way we can make sure students are safe without being a detriment to community members.”

Cameron Kaczor, vice presidential candidate of external affairs for IgniteTU, said the team will only expand Temple Police’s patrol borders, not increase police presence.

“We don’t want more police to be hired,” Kaczor said. “Temple Police, simply put, are not allowed to walk students home [outside of the patrol map]. We want to change that and make sure that all students are able to get home safely.”

If elected, IgniteTU plans to get rid of TSG’s General Assembly meetings and replace them with optional guest speakers, town halls and email listservs to streamline information for students, instead of forcing organizations to attend assembly meetings to be eligible for allocations.

“[General Assembly] meetings are not inclusive,” said Gadi Zimmerman, the presidential candidate for IgniteTU. “As the president of a small organization, I see this firsthand. None of the members on my [executive board] are able to make it to meetings, and then we can lose allocations.”

VoiceTU presidential candidate Tyler Lum said these meetings protect the allocations system and give students an opportunity to get involved in TSG.

“[General Assembly meetings] are not only a fantastic way for students and organizations to learn about what’s happening, but it’s also a fantastic way for them to build their STARS,” Lum said. “Making sure we are continuing having GAs where we have important conversations is really important to us.”

“STARS” are an accreditation measure earned by student organizations when representatives attend General Assembly meetings and give them the opportunity to receive money from the allocations committee.

VoiceTU and IgniteTU also disagreed about Temple’s sexual assault resources for students.

VoiceTU said they will provide resources at the “crisis center” mentioned in its platform, which aims to handle many types of crisis situations including sexual assault.  

IgniteTU said a crisis center would not benefit students. Instead, it would deter them from seeking on-campus resources if they had to visit a public building.

“If the building will say ‘crisis center’ who is going to want to walk in there?” Kaczor said. “Everyone will know what you’re going in there for. That is outing them and making them feel uncomfortable.”

In light of the recent allegations against Temple’s Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity, Warlea said VoiceTU will protect Greek organizations from being stereotyped by encouraging members to incorporate “positive peer pressure” into its culture.

“Rather than focusing on what we don’t want to do, we want to keep sharing messages of positivity,” Warlea said. “We should say that other sororities and fraternities are against [sexual assault] and so is Temple University.”

Alyssa Biederman
can be reached at alyssa.biederman@temple.edu Or you can follow Alyssa on Twitter @BiedermanAlyssa Follow The Temple News @TheTempleNews

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