Year in review 2020: News

From COVID-19 to a presidential election, police brutality protests and Ari Goldstein’s trial, a lot happened this year at Temple.

Protestors lie on the ground during a march against police brutality at Broad and Parrish streets on June 3. | JEREMY ELVAS / THE TEMPLE NEWS

1. PHA begins final phase of Norris Apartments development

By Colin Evans

A rendering of Norris Phase V shows plans to build 133 residential units and one commercial space on Berks Street near 10th. | COURTESY / PHILADELPHIA HOUSING AUTHORITY

The Philadelphia Housing Authority broke ground on the fifth and final phase of the Norris Apartments redevelopment project in January. Norris Phase V, located on Berks Street near 10th, will replace the original 147 units with 133 mixed-income units and one commercial space. The $125 million project was partially funded by a $30 million Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. 

2. Ari Goldstein guilty of attempted sexual assault, found not guilty of sexual assault

By Colin Evans and Valerie Dowret

Ari Goldstein, the former president of Temple’s Alpha Epsilon Pi chapter, leaves the Juanita Kidd Stout Center for Criminal Justice Center in Center City on Feb. 14. He was found guilty of attempted sexual assault, attempted involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and indecent assault of a Temple student in an incident in February 2018. | JEREMY ELVAS / THE TEMPLE NEWS

This February, a Philadelphia jury found Ari Goldstein, the former president of Temple University’s chapter of Alpha Epsilon Pi, guilty of three charges related to a sexual assault incident in February 2018. Goldstein was acquitted on similar charges related to a November 2017 incident. Read The Temple News’ accompanying coverage here.

3. Temple moves classes online, following other local universities

By Colin Evans

Students sit under the Bell Tower and on Beury Beach on March 9, the first day of classes after Spring Break. | JEREMY ELVAS / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Beginning on March 16, shortly after the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in the United States, Temple suspended classes for the rest of the spring semester after Philadelphia recorded one presumed positive case of COVID-19. Students living in on campus housing had 10 days to move out. Temple also suspended all university-affiliated international travel, like study abroad programs. 

4. Inside Temple University’s makeshift surge hospital

By Colin Evans

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will use the Liacouras Center as an overflow hospital space for patients in Philadelphia during the coronavirus crisis. | JEREMY ELVAS / THE TEMPLE NEWS

As positive COVID-19 cases continued to rise in the United States, the city opened Temple’s Liacouras Center as a makeshift surge hospital in April for overflow patients in Philadelphia’s hospitals. The hospital was outfitted to hold 200 patients. The hospital accepted its first patient on April 20 and closed a week later. 

5. Temple University announces plans for in-person and online fall classes

By Amelia Winger, Bibi Correa, Tyler Perez and Madison Karas

Temple University announced its plans for the Fall 2020 semester on June 2. | JEREMY ELVAS / THE TEMPLE NEWS

After finishing the spring 2020 semester online, Temple announced in June it would hold online and in-person classes for the fall semester. Temple outlined the four pillars of public health: face covering, hand washing, social distancing and health monitoring. The university also announced that COVID-19 testing for students would move from Student Health Services to Cecil B. Moore below Morgan Hall. 

6. PHOTOS: George Floyd protests come to Temple Main Campus

By Colin Evans and Jeremy Elvas

Protestors lie on the ground during a march against police brutality at Broad and Parrish streets on June 3. | JEREMY ELVAS / THE TEMPLE NEWS

On June 3, Temple students and North Philadelphia residents marched from Main Campus to City Hall to protest the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota on May 25. Protestors also marched to show support for the Black Lives Matter Movement, to pressure the City Council to vote against an expanded police budget and to call on Temple to cut ties with the Philadelphia Police Department. Temple for Bernie, Local Initiative Local Action and Party for Socialism and Liberation organized the march. 

7. President Richard Englert announces plans to step down from Temple University

By Colin Evans, Amelia Winger and Madison Karas

President Englert speaks at the State of the University Address at the Temple Performing Arts Center in 2018. He announced his retirement as president on July 7. | HANNAH BURNS / THE TEMPLE NEWS

At Temple’s Board of Trustees meeting on July 7, President Richard Englert announced he would step down from his position when his successor was chosen. He hopes to leave Temple by the end of the 2020-2021 academic year. Englert served Temple for 45 years, four of them as president.

8. Students and local groups protest Temple police, campus discrimination

By Colin Evans and Jeremy Elvas

Mecca Bullock, an organizer with the Party for Socialism and Liberation, speaks to a crowd of students at the Bell Tower on July 8. | JEREMY ELVAS / THE TEMPLE NEWS

During a summer marked by protests for racial justice, student group Temple University Coalition for Change organized a march around Main Campus in July to protest Temple’s police force and racist incidents within the student body. The protestors stopped at the Temple University Police Department Station for a moment of silence honoring victims of police brutality. Speakers from Stadium Stompers, the Institute for the Development of African-American Youth and the Party for Socialism and Liberation spoke at a teach-in at the Bell Tower after the march. 

9. ‘Hopefully we can stay’: Temple students return to campus housing

By Madison Karas and Amelia Winger

Katianna Lafontant, a freshman public health major, prepares to move her belongings into White Hall on Tuesday. | JEREMY ELVAS / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Temple students returned to on campus housing in August for the first time since March as there were two positive COVID-19 cases among students on campus before classes began. Many students were nervous about the university shutting down housing again if COVID-19 cases rose. The following month, after more than 200 students tested positive for COVID-19, Temple announced on Sept. 3 it would give students living in on campus housing a full refund if they moved out by Sept. 13, but it did not close residence halls. 

10. Temple students, faculty return to in-person classes

By Jack Danz and Victoria Ayala

Students work inside Charles Library during the first day of the fall semester Monday. | JEREMY ELVAS / THE TEMPLE NEWS

In August, Temple students and staff returned to in-person classes for the first time since March with mixed emotions. Some students were happy to return to in-person instruction, while others were nervous about COVID-19. Temple Coalition for Change and the Temple Association of University Professionals held protests on the first day of classes regarding the safety of students and staff returning to in-person classes.

11. Residents react to Temple students remaining in off-campus housing

By Miles Wall and Bruce Claxton

Christopher Brigette, who lives on 21st and Diamond streets, stands on Diamond Street as he walks home on Sept. 7. | MILES WALL / THE TEMPLE NEWS

After Temple suspended a majority of in-person instruction for the remainder of the fall semester on Sept. 3, students living near Main Campus were forced to quickly decide where they wanted to live for the rest of the semester as local and national public health officials gave contradicting guidance. Some residents felt compassion for students whom the university asked to leave. 

12. Temple announces $1 million anti-racist initiative, police evaluation

By Tyler Perez

An initiative from Temple to combat racism will include more funding for the Department of Africology and African American studies. | COLLEEN CLAGGETT / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Temple announced a plan for a $1 million anti-racist initiative on Sept. 16 after months of students demanding the university expand its anti-racist education and receiving two letters from the Department of Africology and African American Studies demanding increased funding and more autonomy. The initiative promised greater funding for the Department of Africology and African American Studies, required diversity training for faculty search committees, curriculum changes for the race and diversity general education classes, a scholarship-based summer bridge program for high school students in the neighborhoods surrounding Main Campus and the establishment of a center for anti-racist research at Temple.

13. Temple police conduct self-evaluation of policies, practices

By Amelia Winger

As part of Temple University’s anti-racist initiative, Temple’s police department is conducting a self-evaluation of its policies and practices. | JEREMY ELVAS / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Temple University Police Department announced it would complete a self-evaluation of its policies and practices as part of the university’s new anti-racism initiative in October. Temple is evaluating the police department using standards outlined in former President Barack Obama’s 21st Century Task Force on Policing.

14. Ari Goldstein sentenced up to seven years in prison

By Amelia Winger

Ari Goldstein crosses Filbert Street by 13th outside the Juanita Kidd Stout Center for Criminal Justice on Feb. 13. Goldstein was sentenced to 3.5 to seven years in state prison on Wednesday. | JEREMY ELVAS / THE TEMPLE NEWS

After a trial, which began in February, Ari Goldstein was sentenced 3.5 to seven years in prison for the attempted sexual assault of a Temple student in 2018. Goldstein will also have to register as a sex offender for life.

15. Students discuss top presidential election issues

By Victoria Ayala

Voters wait in line outside the Liacouras Center satellite election office on Oct. 19. | JEREMY ELVAS / THE TEMPLE NEWS

In November, students weighed issues they wanted to see the next president address as the general election approached. Some top issues for Temple students were climate change, immigration and student loans. More than seven million voters between the ages of 18- and 29-years old voted before by the end of October using the mail-in system.

16. ‘I feel like a part of history’: Temple students join Philadelphians in streets after Biden victory

By Amelia Winger, Madison Karas and Jack Danz

Zoe Hunchak, a junior musical theater major (center), and Connell O’Brien, a junior media studies and production major (right) stand behind a metal barrier on 12th Street near Arch in support of Joe Biden, who was announced president-elect today after winning Pennsylvania’s electoral votes. | COLIN EVANS / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Temple students joined thousands of Philadelphians around City Hall and the Philadelphia Convention Center on Nov. 7 celebrating Joe Biden’s victory. Kamala Harris will become the first woman, first Black and first Asian-American vice president. Biden and Harris flipped Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes, which helped secure their victory. 

17. COVID-19 departure testing opens at Mitten Hall

By Jack Danz

The university is offering free, rapid COVID-19 nasal swab tests at Mitten Hall for students who are planning on leaving campus for fall break. | JEREMY ELVAS / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Temple offered a limited number of COVID-19 nasal swab tests at Mitten Hall for students who were leaving campus ahead of fall break as the university closed some campus facilities on Nov. 20. Students were able to get tested until that day and received test results the same day via email. Many students were relieved about being able to get tested before returning to their families for the holidays.

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