TSG discusses amending Constitution, community service in weekly meeting

On Monday night, Temple Student Government’s general assembly met to discuss community service opportunities, askattendees for suggestions in dining changes, and announce the amendment process to the TSG Constitution.

TSG’s General Auditor Camille Bell will review the organization’s Constitution. The changes will be voted upon after fall break and must be ratified by a two-thirds majority of the general assembly.

One of the potential changes includes a removal of  Section 3 of the constitution, which authorizes the use of TSG funds by the organization’s Officers. All the amendments will be posted on TSG’s website.

“We want to be transparent,” Bell said. “We want to show that we’re not doing anything behind [the assembly’s] back.”

Committees discussed issues within Temple, including possible changes to dining services. Students suggested improvements in Sodexo employees’ customer service, longer operating hours for retail locations like Cosi and the vendors in Morgan Hall, and lower prices and better quality food at the Student Center food court.

Community service opportunities were announced, including the Children’s Holiday Party on Dec. 7 at the Liacouras Center. Volunteers are needed for the event, as well as for wrapping presents prior to the day.

The Battle on Broad Street will be on Dec. 9. The dance battle will be to raise money for the Lucy Fund, the National Foundation for Cancer Research.

The Student Organizations of the Week were Kappa Alpha Psi and Delta Sigma Theta. The two organizations collected 250 water bottles in their water drive last week.

Lian Parsons can be reached at lian.parsons@temple.edu or @Lian_Parsons on Twitter.

TSG discusses campus safety and community relations

By Lian Parsons

Charlie Leone, executive director of campus safety services, spoke about taking action against sexual assault at the Temple Student Government General Assembly meeting Monday evening.

“Alcohol is almost always a driving factor,” Leone said. “It’s time to step in.”

Leone emphasized bystander intervention and what people can do to keep friends and fellow students safe.

Leone also spoke of the importance of Temple’s relationship to the surrounding community and asked students what could be done collectively to improve this relationship.

“We can make a better community [and] see a cohesiveness start to build,” Leone said.

Regarding a policy for security guards on their cell phones, Leone said that phones are considered a distraction. Leone said there are also about 15 students who are hired by Campus Safety Services to check different buildings on Main Campus and send reports about cell phone usage.

Jalen Blot, director of campus life and diversity, unveiled a draft of a new unity statement. The statement stressed the significance of diversity and tolerance at Temple.

“TU is diverse in numbers, but not action,” Blot said. “The purpose [of the statement] is to change the perception of campus.”

The meeting outlined the Homecoming activities for next week and introduced the Homecoming Court.

The Student Organization of the Week was the Pan-Hellenic Organization. Over the course of recruitment for the five sororities in the Pan-Hellenic Organization, 290 new members joined sororities.

Lian Parsons can be reached at Lian.parsons@temple.edu.

Ray Smeriglio, TU Believe inaugurated

Following the inaugural ceremony, the newly sworn in administration cut a decorative cake to celebrate the occasion. JOHN MORITZ | TTN

Ray Smeriglio was sworn in as the student body president for the upcoming 2014-15 academic year on Monday, May 5. Darin Bartholomew, the outgoing student body president, introduced Smeriglio and his administration in the inaugural ceremony that took place in room 200c of the student center.

“The three individuals we’re about to swear in here today, I have full faith that they will accomplish a ton next year and make us all very proud,” Bartholomew said. “I’m really looking forward to seeing everything that these guys will do.”

Students, faculty, staff and family members attended the event, many personally congratulating Temple Student Government members from both administrations after the meeting ended. Blair Alston and Julia Crusor, Smeriglio’s running mates and vice presidents, were first sworn in followed by Smeriglio.

“You don’t get to this point without awesome support emotionally, physically [and] psychologically,” Smeriglio said in his speech following his inauguration. “Thank you guys so much. You all mean the world to mean and I’m so excited to be your next student body president.”

Smeriglio, Alston and Crusor ran under the TU Believe ticket, which won by more than 200 votes over Renew TU. The elections, which took place on April 8 and April 9 online via Owl Connect, had relatively low voter turnout falling nearly 360 votes short of last year’s numbers and more than 900 below the year before that.

Smeriglio’s previous position was as TSG director of communications. He thanked his communications team in his speech, among other friends, coworkers and family members. Following the ceremony, the newly sworn in administration cut a decorative cake to celebrate the occasion.

Marcus McCarthy can be reached at marcus.mccarthy@temple.edu or on Twitter @marcusmccarthy6.

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 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.

Student Government meeting of Nov. 12

A series of proposals to the university regarding campus safety were announced Monday at the Temple Student Government general assembly meeting in room 200c of the student center.

Temple Student Body President Darin Bartholomew read through the five recommendations which aimed at improving the TU alert system and addressing building safety.

The first part called for a website which records the messages sent out by CSS. Bartholomew gave the example of the University of Cincinnati’s public safety website as a model for Temple. The tool, a list that can be scrolled up and down, is a record of all messages organized by severity reported and is free to use.

The other two suggestions of the first part called for the use of the categorization “alert” in all cases to avoid dictating severity of a situation as well as asking that TU alerts be sent out via all contact points including email and text message.

The second part of TSG’s suggestions called for improved ways to check IDs in all campus buildings and a review of the security in the student center.

After explaining the proposals, Bartholomew asked for student opinion in an open forum session. Students showed skepticism whether the proposals would do enough to deter threats in campus buildings, with several people telling personal stories calling in question the ability of security personnel.

Bartholomew finished with a vocal general vote from the audience by asking one at a time for “yea” or “nay.” Although there were voices of opposition earlier, no “nay” was heard and the proposal passed to be sent to university administration.

The next TSG meeting will be held Nov. 18 in room 200c of the student center at 4 p.m.

Student Government meeting of Monday, Nov. 4

Senior Vice Provost Peter Jones spoke on a slew of topics for the majority of the Temple Student Government general assembly meeting on Nov. 4 in room 200c of the student center.

Speaking to an audience of roughly 200 people, Jones mostly explained the e-SFF data which is now available on TUportal. This is a database which is in its first semester of full activation, containing student reviews of all Temple teachers.

Jones argued that this new system is more reliable than the popular ratemyprofessor.com since the e-SFF data was collected from students guaranteed to have taken that teacher.

Of all the multiple-answer and open-ended questions filled out by students on the s-SFF forms, only four of the multiple choice questions go into the grading of the teachers on the viewable reviews.

The system caught a lot of student flak for its policy which requires students to have participated in the review process in the spring semester in order to access the grading reviews this semester.

After answering questions and concerns, Jones quickly wrapped up speaking by finishing with discussing other initiatives. The university is looking into a more advanced alternative to SafeAssign, an anti-plagiarism program that filters through its database of work to ensure original ideas. A required gen-ed class may also be instituted next school year which focuses on ethics along with an honor code put in place for all students on a similar time frame.

After Jones was finished speaking, a noticeable amount of various students left the meeting.

Afterwards Dylan Morpurgo, TSG director of government affairs, urged students to vote on Tuesday, Nov. 5 in the general election.

Tom Montalbano, TSG co-chairman of allocations, announced that there are $76,000 left in allocations for student clubs.

The next TSG meeting will be held Nov. 11 in room 200c of the student center at 4 p.m.

Marcus McCarthy is the TSG beat writer for The Temple News. He can be reached at marcus.mccarthy@temple.edu or follow on Twitter @Marcus.McCarthy6

Student Government meeting of Oct. 28

Temple University Alumni Association will be holding 21 events on one day across eight states and out of two of Temple’s international campuses Christine Brady, director of alumni offices said. Brady discussed the event with an audience of roughly 200 people at the Temple Student Government general assembly meeting in room 200c of the student center on Oct. 28.

Brady, the only guest speaker of the meeting, explained that students are invited and encouraged to attend any number of the 11 events TUAA is hosting in Philadelphia as part of the Global Day of Service on Nov. 9.

The day of events is intended to demonstrate how the Temple community can change the world, according to the event web page. Participants can RSVP to any number of the Global Day of Service related events on this web page.

Chris Carey, director of student activities, was scheduled to speak next but was not present at the meeting.

The director announcements were held next with Evan Raines, TSG director of campus life and diversity, starting off. Raines announced collaboration with Temple NAACP to hold an event to discuss self-segregation. This event is scheduled to be in room 217d of the student center at 7 p.m. on Nov. 12.

After the announcements, Student Body President Darin Bartholomew led the open forum on the topic of instituting an honor code. These are a group of student-made rules which are in place at other universities such as Harvard, Penn State, and UPenn, aimed at keeping students academically honest.

Students seemed interested with the exception of a few who questioned the point of instituting a code all together.

“There’s no problem in holding ourselves to a high standard,” Bartholomew said after the meeting ended.

The meeting came to a close after the organization announcements.

The next TSG meeting will be held Nov. 4 in room 200c of the student center at 4 p.m. Dr. Peter Jones, senior vice provost, will be speaking further about an honor code at this next meeting.