**Disclaimer: Her Campus Temple has endorsed IgniteTU for Temple Student Government.
On Thursday, March 22, the first Temple Student Government debate between candidates for the 2018-19 school year was held in the Howard Gittis Student Center. Each team explained their views on certain subjects and overall priorities and goals within their platforms.
Each team––IgniteTU, VoiceTU, and UniteTU––was given the opportunity to debate on subjects such as the status of TSG General Assembly meetings, how to deal with racist or homophobic remarks, the suggested on-campus stadium, and more. The teams agreed on some matters, but differed vastly on other issues.
When it came to the possibility of an on-campus stadium, each team was overwhelmingly anti-stadium, stating that without the support of the surrounding community members, it absolutely cannot be done.
Tyler Lum, VoiceTU’s presidential candidate, calls his team “hardcore anti-stadium,” stating that “we know that it’s not going to benefit students if we build a stadium right here in North Philadelphia. It’s not appropriate whatsoever to even propose that idea.”
UniteTU’s presidential candidate Danny Borine takes a similar stance, calling it “unacceptable at the time.”
“Until we can see the plans, until we can see where this funding is coming from [and] make sure [the funding is] not coming from our tuition, we’re not going to have to pay more and that it’s not going to affect taxes in the community, there’s no discussion,” Borine said.
IgniteTU’s presidential candidate, Gadi Zimmerman, who is also very much against the idea of an on-campus stadium, promises to “do everything in our power to advocate on behalf of the needs and wants of the North Philadelphia community.”
According to Zimmerman, who has attended a few community forums, the community members have clearly stated that there is nothing that Temple’s administration can do to have the community’s support for the on-campus stadium. Because of this, IgniteTU will never support the proposed stadium.
On a completely different note, the three teams tackled issues of racism and sexism at Temple. Bridget Warlea, VoiceTU’s candidate for Vice President of External Affairs, advocates for educating people on differences to create a more accepting environment.
“Creating an atmosphere where we’re all eager and welcome and safe to talk can lead to people checking themselves and checking each other in a safe and comfortable manner,” Warlea said.
UniteTU’s candidate for Vice President of External Affairs Adrienne Hines expressed that UniteTU really emphasizes the issue of racism and sexism in their platform.
“We really want to be more proactive,” Hines said. “We want to create a dialogue between students and faculty and have it be priority so that we can begin to actually have a useful conversation that will actually see change in this problem.”
Zimmerman from IgniteTU notes that the other campaigns have expressed things that the Temple community can do to combat racism and sexism, but states that IgniteTU wants to devise an actual plan themselves. Cameron Kaczor, IgniteTU’s candidate for Vice President of External Affairs, agrees that we do indeed need to have these hard conversations about homophobia, racism, and more.
“We do need to have these conversations, and there are a lot of student orgs who already do,” Kaczor said. “So, TSG wants to uplift those organizations [and] collaborate with them and work together to educate the students about hate speech and so forth.”
Although the campaigns have similar views regarding some manners, the campaigns differed on the status of Temple Student Government General Assembly meetings. IgniteTU favored replacing the TSG GA meetings with town hall meetings, whereas UniteTU and VoiceTU support the already in place GA meetings.
Trenton Reardon, IgniteTU’s candidate for Vice President of Services, stated that the GA meetings are “not always inclusive and not always accessible for people who commute or might have a class during that time.”
Both VoiceTU and UniteTU acknowledge that the TSG GA meetings are poorly attended, but do not believe that replacing the meetings is a suitable solution.
Each campaign discussed a variety of other subjects such as LGBTQIA+ resources on campus, the Board of Trustees, and dealing with student deaths at Temple University. To get a better grasp of each team’s platform and ideals, join in for TSG’s second debate on April 2 in Room 200 at the Student Center immediately following the TSG General Assembly meeting. Voting takes place April 4 and 5, with the winning team being announced April 6.