TSG holds penultimate meeting

Temple Student Government held its second-to-last general assembly of the semester Monday, and announcements were made about a new role for TSG in Temple’s Board of Trustees and preparations for a transitioning to the next administration under Ray Smergilio.

Student Body President Darin Bartholomew announced that TSG will now be giving an address at each Board of Trustees general assembly meeting, starting on May 10. Bartholomew said he would deliver the first address, focusing on off- and on-campus security, alumni school pride and food services.

“I’m really excited because this is a way to get more student input to the board,” Bartholomew said. “They have been incredibly receptive about that.”

While TSG was previously allowed appointees to the board’s public committee meetings, it did not have a garunteed voice at gatherings of the entire board.

Incoming student body president Ray Smeriglio announced his administration is looking for students to fill TSG executive positions. Applications are due April 25.

Next week, TSG’s current administration will update the constitution before the new group takes office.

Morgan Jenkins, director of local and community affairs, invited students to volunteer for the Adopt-a-Block beautification program on May 3. In an open forum at the meeting, students discussed ways to use Adopt-a-Block to unify Temple and the surrounding community instead of just participating in a clean-up effort.

Captain Eileen Bradley of Campus Safety Services said that ideally block captains and residents work with volunteering students, but participation has died down since winter.

TU Believe win 2014 TSG elections

The results of the 2014 Temple Student Government elections were announced Thursday afternoon, and TU Believe won the leadership, defeating opponents Renew TU. Ray Smeriglio will take over as student body president beginning next semester, and his running mates, Julia Crusor and Blair Alston will serve as vice presidents.

“I had a small crying fit,” Crusor said of the victory. “This is something we really wanted for a long time.”

Rachel Applewhite, vice presidential candidate from Renew TU, said the loss was disappointing because her team worked very hard to win.

“I hope [TU Believe] will use some of our ideas going forward,” Applewhite said. “I would love to help out on TSG where I’m needed.”

A total of 1,716 votes were cast, according to a tally by TSG election commissioners. It was lower than the total from last year’s election, which counted 2,075 votes.

TU Believe won 961 votes, or 56%, and Renew TU received 755 votes, or 44%.

TSG election commissioner Dylan Morpurgo said the drop-in voter turnout meant TSG didn’t communicate as effectively as it could have to students.

“Voter turnout can always be higher,” Morpurgo said. “Because campus is so busy and diverse, people are not always connected to what’s going on.”

In other ways, Morpurgo said the election was an improvement. “Both teams made a really concerted effort to run a clean campaign,” he said. “The debates were very cordial. That wasn’t always the case in the past.”

Crusor said TU Believe has “big shoes to fill,” as they prepare to lead the student body in the fall.

Joe Gilbride can be reached at joseph.gilbride@temple.edu.

TSG meeting addresses issues with career center

Students attending the Temple Student Government General Assembly meeting Monday discussed their experiences with Temple’s Career Center.

Some had problems with the center not being specialized enough for their field of study. Others had issues with events like job fairs being too specialized, as employers were only looking for a handful of majors.

The Career Center is preparing to revamp itself in an effort to become a nationally recognized program, Student Body President Darin Bartholomew said.

Also at the meeting, Marylouise Esten, associate dean of the Beasley School of Law, announced that the school will introduce undergraduate law courses in the fall semester. Esten said Beasley will host a mixer at Klein Hall on March 26, where VIP tickets to former-President Bill Clinton’s April 10 speaking event will be raffled off. Former-Pennsylvania governor and Philadelphia mayor Ed Rendell will host a question and answer session after Clinton’s event, Esten said.

Andrew McGinley from the Office of Government Affairs encouraged students to devote time to lobby for Temple’s funding in Harrisburg on April 29. McGinley spoke about Owl Academy, a six-week crash course on Temple, government and lobbying the legislature, he said.

“We want you to get comfortable with talking with legislators,” McGinley said. “This is their chance to get to know the university and the students.”

The first Owl Academy session will be held Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. in 1810 Liacouras Walk. McGinley said there is no hard rule on how many meetings students have to attend before going to Harrisburg to advocate.

TSG announces support system for athletes of cut teams

At Monday’s General Assembly meeting, Temple Student Government introduced a plan to help student-athletes affected by the upcoming sports cuts.

Ray Smeriglio, TSG communications director, presented an overview of a new section of TSG’s website, which has features for affected student-athletes and students who want to support the sports that are slated to be cut.

The website has information for athletes who plan to transfer or to stay at Temple, including scholarship and financial aid resources, emotional and psychological aid and career help.

“We wanted to give them something to make the process easier,” Smeriglio said.

Additionally, Student Body President Darin Bartholomew announced a campaign to support affected student-athletes and their sports teams in the coming months. The university-wide Owl Days will be a partnership between TSG and the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, and will provide transportation for students to attend games. So far, dates have been set for rowing and crew, tennis, track and field, baseball, softball, lacrosse, and fencing.

Bartholomew said TSG has never before made a push for student support the sports, which normally see much lower attendance numbers than the university’s most popular sports, basketball and football.

“We hope to see tailgates at every event,” said Brooklin White, president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and a member of the softball team.

Also at the meeting, TSG reminded students to attend Owls on the Hill Day on April 29. In the wake of Gov. Tom Corbett’s proposal to keep funding for Temple and other state-related universities at the same level as last year, Bartholomew said it’s important to consistently have a presence at the capitol and keep Temple’s needs in the minds of state legislators.

Captain Eileen Bradley of Campus Safety Services made an offer to all student organizations interested in talking about safety. For free, a team from CSS will make a short presentation on some of their lesser-known resources available to students, including a walk-in escort program and “to your door” shuttle services.

TSG holds first meeting of 2014

Temple Student Government held its first meeting of the spring semester Monday, Jan. 27 in the student center.

Temple Athletics Marketing Manager Denise Fitzpatrick urged students to buy tickets to the women’s basketball game at McGonigle Hall Tuesday, Jan.28 where Temple will host No. 1-ranked University of Connecticut, who is undefeated this season.

Student Body President Darin Bartholomew spoke about safety in campus buildings, an issue where TSG has put more focus after a Temple professor was assaulted in October. Bartholomew said next week’s meeting will host a speaker from Campus Safety Services to discuss building safety.

Bartholomew addressed student concerns on campus food services and spoke about the results of a private meeting with Sodexo officials on Friday. Sodexo said it would introduce more healthy options, including salad bars on weekends at Morgan Hall and the Student Activities Center, and calorie-count menus at Morgan Hall. The food provider also said it would train employees to better handle long lines in the future.

TSG announced an update to their initiative to allow Owl Cards to be used in SEPTA’s new payment technology. TSG is working on three different proposals with SEPTA’s Youth Advisory Council, Bartholomew said, with the hope that the current Owl Cards can work as payment, despite SEPTA’s announcement that they would not.

The annual Owls on the Hill Day, where students visit the state Capitol and share issues with legislators, will take place in April, though a finite date has not yet been set, Bartholomew said.