Suspect arrested in robbery of a student

Temple Police have apprehended a suspect in connection with the robbery of a student on 18th and Berks streets around 2:45 a.m. Saturday.

Edward Randall, 19, of the 2400 block of Garnet street was arrested around 4:30 a.m. Saturday, Executive Director of Campus Security Charlie Leone said.

Leone said in an email that two males approached a student before one displayed a gun and took the student’s cell phone before fleeing west on Berks Street.

A TU Alert was sent out around 3:00 a.m. No injuries were reported.

Another TU Alert was sent out around 8:00 a.m., informing of Randall’s arrest, who was in possession of the student’s phone, Leone said.

Lian Parsons can be reached at or on Twitter @Lian_Parsons.

Kenney visits Main Campus to talk marijuana decriminalization

Students and faculty attended a panel discussion, “The Decriminalization of Marijuana and its Effects on Policing,” on Tuesday morning.

The discussion was held at 10:00 a.m. in Alter Hall and concluded soon after 11:00 a.m.

In October of last year, Philadelphia decriminalized the possession of under 30 grams of marijuana, reducing the sanctions from arrest to a civil violations notice and a fine of up to $100.

The panelists in attendance were James Kenney, councilperson of the City of Philadelphia, Lieutenant Brian Sprowal from the Philadelphia Police, Charlie Leone, executive director of Campus Safety Services, Tondala Bausano, assistant director, of the Philadelphia Police Scientific Services Division and Mark Denys, director of Temple student health services.

Panelists took questions from the audience and addressed topics including changes in drug trafficking patterns, the possibility of expunging past drug offenses from offenders’ records, and fully legalizing medicinal marijuana in the future.

Health risks associated with smoking marijuana were also emphasized.

Leone addressed the possible effects of the policy on the Temple community. He cautioned against purchasing marijuana from unreputable or unknown sources.

“You’ve got to be careful what you’re buying … [Decriminalization] doesn’t mean [marijuana] is legal,” Leone said. “Some of the students get involved in the purchase and selling of marijuana and that puts them at risk for a lot of things.”
Lian Parsons can be reached at or on Twitter @Lian_Parsons.

Store robbed near HSC

A store was robbed on the 3400 block of Germantown Avenue, near the Health Sciences Campus around 12:45 p.m.

Charlie Leone, executive director of Campus Safety Services, said a suspect was armed with a gun, which he showed to the store clerk before taking cigarettes and $150.

The suspect fled east on Russell Street, Leone said.

There were no injuries reported, and no Temple-affiliated people were involved.

Lian Parsons can be reached at or @Lian_Parsons on Twitter.

Suspect apprehended for two robberies

UPDATE: Executive Director of Campus Safety Services Charlie Leone said in an email that the suspect who was apprehended for Thursday’s incidents is 23-year-old Kareem Clancy, who is being charged with two counts of robbery.

Temple Police have apprehended a suspect in connection with two Thursday robberies.

According to a  TU Alert, the first robbery took place around 10:45 a.m. in the 1600 block of French Street, between Susquehanna Avenue and Diamond Street.

Charlie Leone, executive director of Campus Safety Services, said in an email that the suspect was armed with a gun and approached a male Temple student. The suspect took the student’s backpack, which contained his cell phone and wallet. There were no injuries.

A Temple Police officer apprehended the suspect shortly after the second robbery of another student, which occurred at Carlisle and Jefferson streets shortly after the first, Leone said.

A TU Alert sent out around 2 p.m. indicated that the suspect had been apprehended.

Leone said the suspect was found with property from both complainants, and had attempted to discard a pellet gun, which Leone said the suspect disguised to appear as a real pistol.

The suspect will be charged with both robberies, Leone said. His name will be released when he is formally charged.

Police are still searching for another suspect in connection with a robbery which took place around 7:40 p.m. Wednesday, when a male student was robbed near 18th and Arlington streets.

Two men had approached a student in that robbery, Leone said, one of them displaying a handgun.

The student in that incident surrendered his phone and wallet, but was not injured. The suspects then fled on foot east on Arlington Street, toward 17th Street.

Lian Parsons can be reached at or on Twitter @Lian_Parsons.

TSG holds weekly meeting on Cosby resignation, winter weather preparedness

Temple Student Government’s general assembly meeting convened Monday evening to discuss safety and winter weather preparedness and the resignation of trustee Bill Cosby.

Sarah Powell, director of emergency management, presented the assembly with tips for remaining safe. Powell emphasized campus resources like the walking escort program and encouraged students to think ahead for “everyday readiness.”

“Just remember that you’re thinking from the bottom up,” Powell said.

The TUmobile app and Temple’s social media supplies users with up-to-date information about emergencies on campus.

The Resident Housing Association is petitioning to bring gender-neutral housing to campus. A pilot program for gender-neutral housing will be in place for the Fall 2015 semester.

Ray Smeriglio, student body president, announced that Bill Cosby resigned from Temple’s board of trustees. Smeriglio read Cosby’s statement and Temple’s reply to the assembly.

“I have always been proud of my association with Temple University,” Cosby’s statement read. “I have always wanted to do what would be in the best interests of the university and its students. As a result, I have tendered my resignation from the Temple University Board of Trustees,” Cosby said in a statement released by the university.

The dance competition “Battle on Broad” will be on Dec. 9 at the Temple Performing Arts Center. Proceeds will benefit cancer research.
Lian Parsons can be reached at or @Lian_Parsons on Twitter.

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 or @Lian_Parsons on Twitter.

Attendees at TSG meeting offer opinions on TU Alerts, dining options

On Monday afternoon, Temple Student Government surveyed attendees at its weekly meeting with a poll via text message. Students were asked about possible improvements in TU Alerts and dining options.

In light of this weekend’s incident in which a Temple student was shot, participants of the poll expressed concerns about TU Alerts. Students suggested faster response times from both the Philadelphia and Temple police, and greater Temple Police presence at late hours.

The poll also surveyed ideas for possible improvements to Temple’s dining choices. Healthier options like more fruit, vegetarian meals and adding a Saladworks on Main Campus campus were popular opinions. Later hours for the dining area in the lower level of Morgan Hall and the food court at the Student Center were also suggested.

During the next week, TSG is filming organizations taking a pledge as part of the It’s On Us campaign, which seeks to keep people safe from sexual assault.

There are around $80,600 available in allocations for events, and it was announced at the meeting that organizations must apply by Thursday to be considered.

The Organization of the Week was Hootathon, which raised more than $119,000 this past weekend for the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. The organization is also expanding its executive team and is seeking applications.

TSG is considering applications for a new elections commissioner and auditor.

Lian Parsons can be reached at or @Lian_Parsons on Twitter.

TSG discusses sexual assault in weekly meeting

On Monday afternoon, the Temple Student Government general body meeting assembled to discuss Temple’s efforts to prevent sexual misconduct on campus.

Ray Smeriglio, student body president, announced an executive update about the university’s steps towards creating a safer environment for students.

Climate surveys have been sent by email to students to gauge how individuals feel about their personal safety on campus. Students have also been asked to join focus groups to discuss issues like sexual misconduct.

“[These] will give a snapshot of what it’s like to be a Temple student here,” Smeriglio said. “Temple is at the forefront of addressing the problem off the bat.”

Smeriglio also said that executive leadership from TSG went to Washington, D.C. to speak with government staff about handling the national issue of sexual violence.

President Barack Obama launched the campaign in September to recognize, identify and intervene when sexual misconduct is occurring.

TSG hopes to launch It’s On Us on campus and include the Temple community in taking the pledge.

Committee meetings discussed various issues of the week, including the election. Government Affairs stressed the importance of voting and considered the reasons why college students typically have a low voter turnout.

Jalen Blot, director of campus life and diversity, announced that a TUnity committee will be created. TUnity was the diversity event held on Oct. 28 at the Bell Tower.

“The TUnity committee is being assembled to make sure that the movement grows and that the campus has ambassadors for it to continue to grow and reach out to other students with different perspectives,” Blot said in an email.

The student organization of the week was the Temple Vietnamese Student Association for a successful Miss Temple Asia pageant last weekend. The Vietnamese Student Association will also be holding a Mr. Temple Asia pageant in the spring semester.

This Saturday is the global day of service as well as the last “Adopt-A-Block” opportunity for the fall semester.

Lian Parsons can be reached at or on Twitter @Lian_Parsons.


TSG discusses library and related programs at weekly meeting

The Temple Student Government general assembly convened in the Student Center on Monday afternoon to discuss additions to academic resources on Main Campus.

Steven Bell, an associate university librarian, discussed the new library that is scheduled to open in 2018.

“I do see that it can be a challenge for students to find good study space [and] good computing space,” Bell said. “We lack many of the amenities that allow students to be successful in the 21st century.”

Bell also mentioned the Alternative Textbook Project, which provides grants to 10 faculty members per semester to replace textbooks with alternative material for their courses. The goal is to save students money on textbooks.

“The amount of open material is increasing and [there is] leverage in library content and other open material,” Bell said.

Bell also emphasized the current resources the Paley Library offers such as one-on-one research assistance from librarians and the reservation system for study rooms.

“The library is not just books on shelves and chairs to study in,” Bell said.

The Paley Library will have a gaming room on the third floor, which is in coordination with the gaming club at Temple.

A Digital Scholarship Program System will also be available on Paley’s lower level in the Spring 2015 semester.

“[The system] is an intersection of computerization and humanities,” Bell said. “It teaches undergraduates how to do research in humanities and the social sciences.”

Trustees will vote on the design of the new library next month.

Bell also discussed a quad to be built near the Bell Tower after the demolition of Barton and Beury halls. He said that all the academic services will be around the one quad space.

“I think the design will be amazing for our campus,” Bell said. “I believe there will be nothing else quite like it.”

The TUnity release event will be at 7 p.m. tonight at the Bell Tower. Students will be able to endorse the statement with the laptops and iPads that will be provided.

The Student Organization of the Week was Delta Phi Epsilon. The sorority raised around $16,000 through the fundraiser D for Dude, which benefitted the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Lian Parsons can be reached at or on Twitter @Lian_Parsons.

Temple student robbed in Progress Plaza parking lot

UPDATE: Per a TU Alert issued around 9:50 p.m. Friday, Philadelphia police had arrested three females in connection with the robberies.

Temple and Philadelphia police searched this evening for two suspects in connection with the robbery of a female Temple student around 4 p.m. today in the parking lot of Progress Plaza on the corner of Broad and Oxford streets.

Charlie Leone, executive director of Campus Safety Services, said in an email that the two suspects, armed with a box cutter, approached the student and fled with her bag, which contained an iPad and $300. The student was not injured.

The entire incident happened in about 15 seconds and was captured by security cameras, Leone said. Temple Police have reviewed the footage and confirmed that the suspects were the same people from yesterday’s attempted robberies, he said.

Around 4 p.m. yesterday, a female described by police as around 18 years old and 5 feet 3 inches tall struggled for a bag with a female around 20-24 years old before slicing her arm and forehead with a box cutter.

The attempted robbery occurred in the 1400 block of Diamond Street and was followed by another on the 1500 block of North Broad Street. The victim from the Diamond Street incident, who is not affiliated with Temple, was sent to Hahnemann University Hospital and was not seriously injured.

Leone said the suspects in both Thursday and Friday’s incidents drove a 2005 white Buick LaCrosse with a sunroof and the license plate number JRH-9730.

According to a TU Alert which was sent out about today’s incident shortly before 4:30 p.m., the suspects fled west on Oxford Street in that car.

After today’s robbery, Temple Police sent a description of the suspects and their vehicle city-wide through the Philadelphia Police communication center, Leone said. Temple and Philadelphia police are currently collaborating to arrest the suspects.

Bystanders in the area said they were not aware of the robbery.

A security guard at Fresh Grocer who wished to remain anonymous also said he was unaware of the robbery.

“If there’s two armed robberies in the area, I don’t understand why it’s not on the news, or why there isn’t more security around here,” he said.

Lian Parsons can be reached at or on Twitter @LIan_Parsons.