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Meet the Presidential Candidates for the 2019-2020 TSG Elections

We see powerful women everywhere we go. We learn about them in our history textbooks, we watch them on our TVs, we read about them on the Twitter trending page, and, apparently, we attend Temple University with them.

Sophomore Francesca Capozzi and junior Alexandra Gordon are two perfect examples of powerful women that walk the same campus as you and I — and they want to make Temple University the best that it can be if elected into Temple Student Government.

Capozzi, the Presidential Candidate for BecomingTU, and Gordon, the Presidential Candidate for Rise TU, both hope to aid the Temple student body, administration and neighboring community if elected into office. With the 2019-2020 Temple Student Government elections taking place in less than a week, it’s time we get to know our two presidential candidates.

Francesca Capozzi, sophomore Political Science and English major, Presidential Candidate for BecomingTU

Her Campus: What are BecomingTU’s main goals/values?

Capozzi:  We want to ensure that, as an administration, we are making Temple the best it can be. We want to become one with not only the students and administration, but also with our community. We want to ensure that everyone is being the best version of themselves through our three pillars: be celebrated, be inclusive and be transformed.


Her Campus: Why did you decide to be a part of BecomingTU?

Capozzi: So, I currently serve as the Director of University Pride and Traditions for Temple Student Government and I also worked as an Owl Team Leader this past summer, and through both of these positions, I’ve been able to create so many relationships and connections with not only students, but also [with] administration and our community. And through this, I’ve kind of seen the concerns and the wants of these different aspects of Temple and I’ve been able to see the impact that student government can have and so I just wanted to be an even bigger part of that than I already am. I want to ensure that every student is being heard, their voices are being used so that Temple can be the best it can be.


Her Campus: Is there a particular Temple-related matter that you’re especially passionate about? If so, what?

Capozzi: One thing that I’m super passionate about is alumni — I think alumni are great. We’re all eventually going to become a Temple alumni… so something that I definitely want to push for if we are in administration is to ensure that these relationships and connections with alumni are being made. We want to do this by collaborating with the Young Alumni Association to hold school-wide networking events and have a peer mentorship program, just so that students can connect with alumni from all different corners of life …  Another aspect is our community, right now there is a lack of relationship and … transparency with our community … So, BecomingTU really wants to bridge that gap and make sure that these relationships with the community are being made. So, through that, we want to have group fitness days with our community members — have them come in, have different fitness things going on, such as yoga or Zumba and whatnot. … We also want to work with the Office of Orientation … So, right now, the Office of Orientation does tours for the students and the families through an outsourced company, the Philadelphia Mural Arts Tour. … Instead of doing that, we want to reallocate that money and allow our neighbors of the North Philadelphia community to give tours to the students and families, allowing for these relationships to be made right when students get here.


Her Campus: Why do you think it’s important for women to run for positions in organizations like TSG?

Capozzi: Just to give representation to women leaders.


Oftentimes, women leaders are overlooked and that’s what a big part of BecomingTU is, we want to ensure that everyone knows [that] no matter your gender, no matter your race, no matter your religious beliefs, no matter how you identify — that doesn’t determine your ability to be a leader. It’s your passions, your determination, your talents — all of that determines your leadership [abilities].


Her Campus: What else are you involved in at TU?

Capozzi: I am a sister of Delta Phi Epsilon, which is a sorority on campus. I am also currently the Director of University Pride and Traditions for TSG and I was also an Owl Team Leader this past summer.


Her Campus: Best place to study on campus?

Capozzi: Hands down, second floor of the Paley Library — catch me there all the time. Like, all the time. It’s the perfect balance between quiet, but also conversations. So, you can take that time to really focus on your papers, but if you also just wanna sit back, relax [and] just listen to the conversations around you, you can do that. That’s where I literally am at all times of the day.


Her Campus: What is your favorite Temple memory?

Capozzi: The first week of school, first week we moved in… me and my roommates were trying to make friends… so we opened our door and put music on and had food and put sticky notes following into our room … No one came in and it was super embarrassing, but it was so funny and that really just set the tone for my relationship with my roommates, who are now my best friends.


Her Campus: Favorite thing to do in Philly?

Capozzi: Honestly, just get lost and finding different aspects. It’s funny because I feel like I always get lost in Philly, but always end up getting back to Rittenhouse somehow. Like, I could walk anywhere and 10 minutes later, I end up back at Rittenhouse and I’m like “how does this happen?” … So, definitely just getting lost and finding these hidden gems around Philly.


Alexandra Gordon, junior Political Science and Africology major, Presidential Candidate for Rise TU

Her Campus: What are your team’s main goals/values?

Gordon: Our team’s goals and values are reflective in the mission statement that we made, so Rise TU is a Temple Student Government campaign for the 2019-2020 school year that is committed to advocating, uplifting and building the Temple student body through alliship, initiative and inclusion.


Her Campus: Why did you decide to be a part of Rise TU?

Gordon: To be a part of Rise TU …  I honestly attribute that to my two vice presidential candidates — both of them have had experience with student government and they’ve noticed the leadership skills that I do have. We want to shake things up and just make Temple Student Government more representative of what Temple is and bringing in some student government experience has been something we think can be able to do that. … With my majors and everything, I’m just thrown into all of Temple. I went to Israel this summer, I met some amazing people from different pockets of campus. I went to an international high school so I learned the Arabic language, so I’ve always had a different outlook on life and just [have] been aware of other people’s struggles…

Being cognisant of that, [Rise TU] wants to incorporate that into this campaign by … being a search for a change and that’s accomplished by looking at all students’ struggles and trying to rectify them in a feasible and attainable way.


Her Campus: Is there a particular Temple-related matter that you’re especially passionate about? If so, what?

Gordon: One, diversity is a big one for me, just because … we don’t do anything about diversity. Diversity needs to be matched, it is compatible with inclusion and it means we need to have programs for that. Whether it’s that No-Hate initiative — saying we’re gonna explicitly take a stance against any bigotry, racism or discrimination that occurs, whether it’s outside of Temple and it affects an identity on campus or at Temple… Then, prayer rooms — having people, you know, have an adequate space to be able to do that. We have a large religious population when it comes to different Abrahamic religions or outside of that, and we need to provide them with adequate spacing. SNAP is a big thing, 35% of students are food insecure — let’s talk about it. Whoever can actually qualify within that FDA ruling for SNAP, they can get food and not have to really worry about the fact that they can’t afford a meal plan or where they’re going to get their next meal from. And then Title XI is also a big thing, making sure we have more resources… [And] making sure that there’s some streamline for [sexual assault] cases to be taken seriously, because Temple has failed with sexual assault and we all know that. And then, lastly, just talking about mental health. Tuttleman Health Services is another big platform that we have [and] making sure that we have a more localized streamline to help students.


Her Campus: Why do you think it’s important for women to run for positions in organizations like TSG?

Gordon: I think it’s important because we are a part of the population … [We need to] stop stigmatizing women in offices, and when we are in offices, we can embrace our femininity… Oftentimes when we’re in it, we’re just in the pantsuit or we’re wearing the bland colors — no, we can be women and show our true selves and be as fluid as we want to be and take charge. A lot of times, there’s questioning of emotional intelligence — “are you stable enough to do this?” — yes we are and we can lead.


Her Campus: What else are you involved in at TU?

Gordon: The two main organizations [that] I’m a part of are the NAACP, and that’s as the second Vice President, and the Black Law Student Association, Pre-Law Division, as a Campus Outreach Chair.


Her Campus: Fave food truck on Temple’s campus?

Gordon: I think my favorite food truck is the crepe one. We were joking around the other day, we walked past it, and we [were] like “oh my gosh this smells so good” and I was like “I think that attributes to my Freshman Fifteen.” We used to stop there every morning before class.


Her Campus: Fun fact about yourself?

Gordon: Honestly, people laugh at this, but I played golf when I was younger. I did this program called The First Tee. So, it’s a program typically found in more inner-city areas and [it] honestly just provides life skills and golf skills in one… I’ve also met a lot of people with [The First Tee] … So, again, people from different socioeconomic statuses, identities — it definitely allowed me to make a lot of friends outside of my city.


Her Campus: A song to describe your college career thus far?

Gordon: Honestly, my favorite artist is Lauren Hill and when I think about this … this song was actually in a movie about suffrage and it was talking about the 1920’s, making marches and making sure that legislation was passed, but [it’s called] “Everything is Everything.” So, just take everything in, this is life, not everything is going to be detrimental, and at the end what will be, will be… So just trusting that everything is going the way it’s meant to be, you’ll go through some struggles, but the struggle is not going to last longer than the happiness that you’ll receive after it.

The next debate takes place Monday, April 1 and voting will take place on April 2 and 3 — get involved and vote for the girl boss that you’d like to see lead our university.

If one thing is for sure, both candidates are capable and empowering women who should inspire us to take on leadership roles as well.

The 2019-2020 election is going to be a milestone no matter the outcome, for it will be the first time since the 2010-2011 TSG election that a woman will take on the presidential role. Your move, United States of America.

When Rachel isn't obsessively drinking iced coffee by the gallon or binge watching true crime videos on YouTube, you can probably find her writing about her failed love life. She is currently a  junior (*she's ancient*) journalism major at Temple University, and is a Her Campus Temple Campus Correspondent, a Temple Student Government Social Media Manager and a 2020 Owl Team Student Coordinator. 
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