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THE TEMPLE NEWS

TUESDAY, APRIL 2, 2019

COVID-19: SIX MONTHS IN The Temple News mapped the university’s pandemic response, from closing Main Campus in the spring to reopening and moving classes online this fall. Read more on Pages 4,5

WHAT’S INSIDE FEATURES, PAGE 17 A new mural on Diamond Street will portray residents’ stories about North Central. SPORTS, PAGE 26 A senior forward helped recruit her old teammate to Owls’ women’s basketball.

VOL 99.5 // ISSUE 2 SEPT. 8, 2020

temple-news.com @thetemplenews


The Temple News

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THE TEMPLE NEWS A watchdog for the Temple University community since 1921.

Madison Karas Editor-in-Chief Bibiana Correa Managing Editor Colin Evans Digital Managing Editor Tyler Perez Chief Copy Editor Valerie Dowret Assignments Editor Jack Danz News Editor Victoria Ayala Assistant News Editor Amelia Winger Assistant News Editor Christina Mitchell Opinion Editor Magdalena Becker Essay Editor Emma Padner Features Editor Natalie Kerr Assistant Features Editor Lawrence Ukenye Assistant Features Editor Dante Collinelli Sports Editor Isabella DiAmore Assistant Sports Editor Adam Aaronson Assistant Sports Editor Nico Cisneros Intersection Editor Rayonna Hobbs Assistant Intersection Editor Rjaa Ahmed Audience Engagement Editor Iris Wexler Asst. Engagement Editor Maggie Fitzgerald Asst. Engagement Editor Colleen Claggett Co-Photography Editor Jeremy Elvas Co-Photography Editor Erik Coombs Multimedia Editor Matthew Murray Assistant Multimedia Editor Ingrid Slater Design Editor Hanna Lipski Assistant Design Editor Tyra Brown Alternative Story Format Editor Maryam Siddiqui Web Editor Carly Civello Advertising Manager Kaila Morris Advertising Manager Luke Smith Business Manager

Follow us @TheTempleNews

The Temple News is an editorially independent weekly publication serving the Temple University community. Unsigned editorial content represents the opinion of The Temple News. Adjacent commentary is reflective of their authors, not The Temple News. The Editorial Board is made up of The Temple News’ Editor-inChief, Managing Editor, Digital Managing Editor, Chief Copy Editor, Assignments Editor, News Editor and Opinion Editor. The views expressed in editorials only reflect those of the Board, and not of the entire Temple News staff.

ON THE COVER Students emerge from the Aramark STAR Complex after being tested for COVID-19 on Sept. 7. COLLEEN CLAGGETT / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Contacts Visit us online at temple-news.com News Desk 215.204.7419 Email section staff news@temple-news.com letters@temple-news.com features@temple-news.com intersection@temple-news.com sports@temple-news.com The Temple News is located at: Student Center, Room 243 1755 N. 13th St. Philadelphia, PA 19122

CORRECTIONS An article that ran on Aug. 25 called “Student advocates push for social justice change” on page 24 incorrectly spelled Jason Del Gandio’s name. It also incorrectly stated his title. Del Gandio is an associate professor of communication and social influence. Accuracy is our business, so when a mistake is made, we’ll correct it as soon as possible. Anyone with inquiries about content in this newspaper can contact Editor-in-Chief Madison Karas at editor@temple-news.com.


The Temple News

NEWS

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COMMUNITY

Residents react to students remaining off campus The City Health Commissioner- through the experience. Like I said to my told students to return home, friend, ‘It is going to be uphill from here contradicting national guidance. and the years to come, and this is the BY MILES WALL and BRUCE CLAXTON For The Temple News

W

ith most classes online for the rest of the semester, some community residents disagree with Philadelphia Health Commissioner Thomas Farley’s recommendation for Temple University students to return home for the fall semester. On Sept. 3, four days after classes were suspended for two weeks, President Richard Englert sent an email to students announcing 95 percent of in-person classes would be moved online for the rest of the semester. Farley urged Temple students to return home to stop the spread of COVID-19 in North Central on Thursday, The Temple News reported. The university is providing full housing and meal plan refunds to students who leave university housing by Sept. 13, The Temple News reported. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, urged universities on Sept. 3 to keep students on campus, which contradicted Farley’s advice from the same day. As of Sept. 7, Temple has recorded 350 positive COVID-19 cases, according to the university’s online dashboard. Nadira Williams, a home health aide who lives on 24th Street and Montgomery Avenue, said she felt compassion for Temple students facing a sudden move. “It’s a lot because you pay to stay in your dorm or your room, wherever you choose to stay in Philadelphia, to go to your campus, and now you got to go all the way back out of state where you live,” Williams said. Students living off campus, like Collin Haber, a senior musical theater major, also empathize with the decision on-campus students are facing. “I feel like [moving classes online] is for the best,” said Haber, who lives on 17th Street near Diamond. “It sucks for freshmen because they’re not getting

safest, best option right now.’” Christopher Brigette, a resident who lives on 21st and Diamond Streets and works at the AMC Broadstreet 7, said he was happy students are on campus, adding that staying will keep them from spreading the virus to their hometowns. “I say, everybody should just stay in one place,” Brigette said. “If you’re here in Philly, stay here in Philly. If you’re out there, stay out there. Just relax. Stay where you are, and keep doing what you’re doing.” Toluwase Thomas, a freshman communications major who lives on 12th Street near Montgomery, is nervous that students who are staying near campus are holding social gatherings. These gatherings put students like her with “invisible illnesses” at risk, she said. “I feel like the [city guidelines] should be a lot harsher, a lot stricter,” Thomas said. “I think if they start fining students for having parties or having large social gatherings, [students] will hold back, and not be the reason why these cases are going so high.” The Philadelphia Department of Public Health issued guidance on Aug. 29 for all city university students to avoid social gatherings outside of their households. That night, Temple also instructed students to avoid any social gathering, The Temple News reported. George Mosley, who lives on 18th Street near Diamond and works as a waiter, said he had seen some “small gatherings,” but not large parties. “We would know because it’s, like, parades and parades of people walking down the street,” Mosley said. “Maybe small gatherings between friends, but I haven’t seen a party-party, because they usually go to like two o’clock in the morning.” Contact tracing showed many of Temple’s COVID-19 cases come from students who live off campus, some with three or more roommates, and have been hosting social gatherings, Farley said on Sept. 1, The Temple News reported.

MILES WALL / THE TEMPLE NEWS Christopher Brigette, who lives on 21st Street near Diamond, stands on Diamond Street when walking home on Sept. 7.

COLLEEN CLAGGETT / THE TEMPLE NEWS A sign hangs on a pole behind the Aramark Student Training and Recreation Complex, reminding students of the four pillars of COVID-19 prevention, on Sept. 3.

In addition to avoiding gatherings, local residents also emphasized the need for everyone to wear face coverings. Shania Hightower, who lives at Diamond and Camac streets and is working on returning to school, said she has seen equal numbers of students and local residents walking without masks since the fall semester began. “They should keep the mask on more, only because they may have it when they don’t know,” Hightower said. Brigette also highlighted mask-wearing, as well as other precautions students

and residents, could take to protect themselves and others. “We really going to see somebody walking down the street right now,” Brigette said, pointing to a pair of maskless men walking down Diamond Street. “So that’s a big deal. Always wear a mask, hell, wear gloves. Always have hand sanitizer.” Fallon Roth contributed reporting. miles.anthony.wall@temple.edu @miles_a_wall bruce.claxton@temple.edu


NEWS

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The Temple News

CORONAVIRUS

Mapping Temple University’s COVID-19 response

Students, faculty and local representatives have mixed reactions to Temple moving online. BY JACK DANZ and AMELIA WINGER For The Temple News

RESPONSES

COVID-19

TRACKING

Temple University received praise from Philadelphia city officials in March for transforming the Liacouras Center, a multipurpose facility home to the Owl’s men’s basketball team, into a makeshift surge hospital for COVID-19 patients, aimed at relieving pressure on crowded city hospitals. Mayor Jim Kenney commended Temple again last week, but for a different reason: the university shifted its plan for offering a hybrid of in-person and online classes for the fall semester as COVID-19 cases among Temple students and employees surged from 10 to 318 in the first two weeks of classes. “Temple is a shining jewel in our city, and I hope all Philadelphians will support the university and their students as they work through this period,’’ Kenney said. The decision to suspend in-person learning was not unexpected. In its initial announcement, Temple said it was prepared to move the semester online at any moment. “We’ve said all along that if the circumstances required, we would move to do exactly what it is that we’ve done, and clearly the circumstances required it,” said Ray Betzner, a spokesperson for the university. As COVID-19 cases plateaued in Philadelphia throughout the summer, Temple stood firm in its choice to bring students back to campus even as other

MARCH 10

First confirmed case of COVID-19 in Philadelphia.

MARCH 11

Temple moves all classes online.

MARCH 14

Temple student tests positive for COVID-19.

local schools, including the University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University and La Salle University, made last-minute decisions to close on-campus housing and hold nearly all classes online. All of that changed Thursday. Since the announcement, students have expressed a mixture of anger, fear and relief. Regardless of their position on the university’s decision to reopen, many are upset the pandemic has further disrupted their college experience. On Sept. 7, Temple reported 350 active COVID-19 cases. How did it get here?

‘STEPPED UP’

The initial outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic forced the closure of thousands of schools and universities across the United States in March. Temple was among the last Philadelphia-area schools and the last state-related school in Pennsylvania to announce its closure on March 11, requiring those in campus housing to leave within 10 days. In shock, students who were able to leave campus scrambled to return home as stay-at-home orders went into effect and the region entered what became a two-month-long partial lockdown to slow the spread of the virus. Three days after Temple’s closure, the university reported its first COVID-19 case: a student who lived off campus and had traveled to Spain over spring break. Before students returned to campus for the fall, 35 people at the university tested positive for COVID-19 between March 10 and Aug. 10. As Philadelphia approached its peak of COVID-19 cases in April, Temple, in Kenney’s words, “stepped up.” The Liacouras Center’s makeshift surge hos-

MARCH 16

Temple advises students off campus to return home. Gov. Tom Wolf orders statewide shutdown for non-essential businesses.

MARCH 17

Three total Temple students test positive for COVID-19.

MARCH 19

Temple Main Campus buildings close.

APRIL 1

Wolf orders a statewide stay-athome order.

COLLEEN CLAGGETT / THE TEMPLE NEWS Students walk outisde of a COVID-19 testing center at the Aramark STAR Complex on Sept. 7.

pital opened on April 16, operating for two weeks and admitting 14 patients in total, Billy Penn reported. Though most of the facility’s 200 beds went unoccupied, Kenney said it was “better to build it and they don’t come than to not build it at all,” Billy Penn reported. The peak passed. In May, Temple announced it convened a team of representatives from across the university to meet daily and plan out scenarios for Summer II and Fall 2020 semesters. In June, Temple announced its plan to reopen Main Campus in phases throughout the summer and resume some in-person instruction in the fall. Based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Temple outlined its four public health pillars for reopening: wearing face coverings,

APRIL 17

Philadelphia totals more than 8,500 COVID-19 cases.

APRIL 20

Liacouras Center’s makeshift hospital accepts first COVID-19 patient.

MAY 7

social distancing, frequent hand-washing and health monitoring. “I am confident we can open on time as a residential university, and operate in a way that reduces the risks to our community’s health while continuing to offer quality educational experiences to our students,” Englert said in the announcement. Beginning on June 23, the university offered virtual courses and a few in-person courses for the Summer II semester as a test run for reopening in the fall. Meanwhile, Temple installed safety measures across campus, like plexiglass barriers and hand sanitizer dispensers, in accordance with its four public health pillars and the city’s COVID-19 reopening plan, which moved into a modified green phase on July 3.

JUNE 3

Temple considers to reopen for Fall 2020.

Wolf lifts statewide stay-at-home order.

Philadelphia to move into yellow reopening phase by June 5.

Philadelphia moves into yellow phase.

MAY 22

JUNE 2

Temple announces hybrid format for fall semester.

JUNE 5

JUNE 26

Philadelphia mandates masks outdoors and in indoor public spaces.

JULY 3

Philadelphia moves in green phase.


NEWS

The Temple News

LOOKING TO REOPENING

When the Summer II semester ended on Aug. 11, Philadelphia was reporting 124 new COVID-19 cases a week on average. That day, Penn announced its plans to close student housing for the fall semester after moving almost all undergraduate fall classes online on July 31. Drexel and La Salle soon followed, announcing plans to transition classes online on Aug. 19 and 20, respectively. Temple’s push to bring students back to campus soon generated outcry from students and faculty who organized protests in the weeks leading to the start of the semester and on the first day of classes. Protestors expressed concerns for the safety of the community and themselves. Temple maintained that students said they wanted to be back on campus if it could be done safely, citing survey responses from students, faculty and staff. Move-in for campus housing began on Aug. 17. Students moving into residence halls or traveling from states with large COVID-19 outbreaks were tested at the Aramark Student Training and Recreation Center. Those who tested positive could either go home or stay in an isolation room in Johnson and Hardwick Halls for at least 10 days. “Our primary goal is to protect the health and safety of the Temple community,” said Mark Denys, director of Student Health Services, in an announcement on Aug. 13.. The Student Government called on Temple to close campus housing and transition to online classes on Aug. 21, three days before classes commenced. “As Temple students, it is imperative to recognize that we are guests in the North Philadelphia community,” TSG wrote in the statement. Nationwide, the dominoes began to

JULY 30

Temple tells students to quarantine before move-in.

AUG. 18

Students move back to campus residence halls. Temple reports two student COVID-19 cases on campus.

AUG. 20

Temple reports first off-campus COVID-19 case, five on-campus cases.

fall. Several schools that also reopened for the fall semester, including the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, the University of Notre Dame and James Madison University, were forced to end or pause in-person classes due to rising COVID-19 cases on their campuses. After the first week of Temple’s classes, the Philadelphia Department of Public Health advised local college students to avoid gatherings outside of their households in light of rising COVID-19 case counts. Temple then instructed students to not attend any social gatherings beginning Aug. 29. “Anything we can do to get Temple students to stop the spread of COVID between Temple students is something we wholeheartedly support,” said James Garrow, a PDPH spokesperson. On Aug. 30, with 103 reported active COVID-19 cases on campus, Temple announced it would suspend in-person instruction for two weeks and evaluate the safest way to continue the fall semester. Two days later, Philadelphia’s health commissioner Thomas Farley called the spike in cases at Temple an “outbreak.” “We are working closely with the city on our efforts regarding COVID-19,” Betzner wrote in an email to The Temple News on Sept. 1. “This is a serious situation and we are taking serious actions.” Then, on Sept. 3, with 212 active COVID-19 cases on campus, Temple announced nearly all courses would remain online for the rest of the semester. Students living in campus housing could remain for the rest of the semester but receive a full housing and meal plan refund if they moved out by Sept. 13. “Please know that if the data supported a decision to safely continue the fall semester experience on campus, we would have made every effort to do so,” Englert and Epps wrote in the announce-

AUG. 26

Temple opens COVID-19 testing center for students and faculty. Temple reports 25 COVID-19 cases among students.

AUG. 29

Philadelphia tells students to not attend social gatherings outside their household.

AUG. 30

Temple moves to online learning for two weeks, reports 103 COVID-19 cases among students.

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ment. “Unfortunately, the risks associated with the COVID-19 pandemic are simply too great for our students, faculty, staff and neighboring community.” Like the spring, students began considering their living options as they received conflicting advice from the city and the federal government about whether they should return home. On Sept. 3, Farley said all Temple students living off campus should return to where they lived over the summer if possible. Temple provided free COVID-19 testing to students choosing to leave campus on Sept. 5 through Sept. 7 at the Aramark STAR Complex. “Many people don’t have the greatest places to return to and might be safer in university housing,” said Robert Bettiker, a professor at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine. Joseph Crespo, a senior human resources major, said he was not surprised when Temple moved online. “We all assumed it was going to happen, and it was kind of just like a ticking time bomb,” Crespo said. “The decisions that were made were not in the interest of the greater Philadelphia community, and in the interest of the public health of our own Temple community,” said Student Body President Quinn Litsinger, a junior political science major. Contact tracing has shown many of Temple’s COVID-19 cases come from students who are living in apartments off campus and are hosting social gatherings, Farley said on Sept. 1. “We are in a highly residential, compact place with lots of people,” said Jackie Wiggins, a resident who lives on 20th Street near Diamond. “I’m glad they went fully online, but I really think that should have been the decision in the first place.” City Council President Darrell

SEPT. 1

City health commissioner calls Temple’s cases an “outbreak,” Temple reports 127 cases among students.

SEPT. 3

Temple moves most courses online for remainder of semester, students in residence halls to optionally move out with full housing and meal plan refund.

Clarke, who represents the Fifth Council District, supported Temple’s decision to halt in-person classes, he wrote in an email to The Temple News. “The significant increase in positive COVID-19 test results among students is very concerning to me, to parents and families and to the entire North Philadelphia community nearby,” Clarke wrote. State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, a 2012 strategic communication alumnus whose district encompasses Main Campus, stands with Temple’s faculty, staff and students in their efforts to be heard, he wrote in an email to The Temple News. Students were seen moving out of residence halls over Labor Day weekend. Freshmen in particular struggled with the decision of where to live, grappling with whether they should return home only weeks after arriving. “I am excited for when things go back to normal to actually get the real college experience,” said Sabrina Pulli, a freshman psychology major. Because most infections among students have been traced to those living off campus, who may be tied up in leases, it is unclear how the suspension of in-person classes will affect the number of cases associated with Temple. “I’m glad the university has seen the wisdom of moving to mostly, almost all online courses,” said Wende Marshall, an intellectual heritage instructor. “But the fact remains that there are [COVID-19] clusters around Temple, and that makes me sad and worried.” Nico Cisneros contributed reporting. john.danz@temple.edu @JackLDanz amelia.winger@temple.edu @AmeliaWinger

SEPT. 3 City Health Commissioner tells students off campus to return where they were living in the summer. First Temple employee tests positive.

SEPT. 6

Temple reports 350 COVID-19 cases.


NEWS

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The Temple News

TSG

Parliament charts goals for an online semester Issa Kabeer, speaker of Parliament, hopes to pass resolutions that make a “real difference.” BY JACK DANZ News Editor This year, Temple University Student Government’s Parliament filled its appointed seats before the semester started for the first time in its history. Now, it looks toward training new members and passing its first resolutions, said Issa Kabeer, a seventh-year graduate student pursuing a diversity leadership graduate certificate and speaker of Parliament. On Sept. 3, Temple moved classes online for the rest of the fall semester after the university reported 212 COVID-19 cases, The Temple News reported. TSG had already called for the university to switch to online classes on Aug. 21, The Temple News reported. “I think it’s really good to have [classes] online to protect the students and protect the student body and the staff,” Kabeer said. With classes online for the rest of the semester, Parliament will focus on accommodations for students in residence halls and ensuring students get the best education possible under the circumstances, Kabeer said. Parliament, which is onboarding new members, hopes to start passing resolutions, beginning with a disabilities resolution and a food insecurity resolution, in two weeks to a month, after the new members are trained in resolution composition, Kabeer said. “We’re not just passing resolutions to pass them,” he added. “We want to make real change and a real difference on campus, particularly at this moment in time, in this very difficult situation that we’re in.” Only six of Parliament’s 30 seats were elected in April, and all six ran unopposed. The other seats were appointed, said Jewel Thomas, a junior political science major and the junior class repre-

COLLEEN CLAGGETT / THE TEMPLE NEWS Issa Kabeer, an second-year diversity and leadership graduate certificate student and Speaker of Parliament, sits on a bench on Polett Walk on Sept. 4

sentative and secretary of Parliament. They’ve faced challenges with communicating while running meetings through Zoom, instead of in person, especially in training new members, Thomas said. “The process of onboarding is actually super messy right now,” Thomas said. “There’s not really a set schedule or anything.” Parliament usually holds a retreat at the beginning of the semester to teach new members how to write resolutions, Kabeer said. With the COVID-19 pandemic, that won’t be possible, so Kabeer and other returning members will have to hold resolution-writing classes over Zoom, Kabeer said. Parliament members hope to in-

crease communication between Parliament and the Executive Branch, Kabeer said. “We’re not just working as independent entities,” Kabeer said. “We’re working as a team . . . I go to all the senior leadership meetings . . . So we can make sure our [resolutions] are legal.” TSG needs to improve communication with the North Central community, said Jonathan Atiencia, Parliament’s disability resources and services representative. “We need to listen and walk with the community of Philly to know that we can have a good partnership and relationship,” said Atiencia, a sophomore communication and social influence major. Atiencia is surveying students on their mental health, learning accom-

modations and Temple’s support plan during the COVID-19 pandemic with Temple’s Disability Resources and Services, which will become a parliamentary resolution. Thomas is hoping to pass resolutions that help the North Central community, specifically, one that would ensure Temple’s extra dining hall food supplies be donated to a local food pantry or soup kitchen, she said. “Success would be helping as many people as we can,” Thomas said. “And not let [the] politics of student government get in the way of making an important change in our community.” john.danz@temple.edu @JackLDanz


The Temple News

NEWS

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CORONAVIRUS

Students enroll in new classes, consider time off Class registration is finalized five days after Temple suspended in-person classes. BY NATALIE KERR Assistant Features Editor Students are finalizing last-minute adjustments to their fall schedules as Temple University’s deadline for students to add or drop classes passes today. The university’s recent decision to keep nearly all classes online for the remainder of the semester complicates their decision. On Sept. 3, Temple suspended most in-person classes after reporting more than 200 active COVID-19 cases among students. The university’s decision came four days after administering a two week pause on in-person instruction. The add drop deadline, which is Sept. 8, remained in effect leaving five days between the announcement and the deadline for students to make changes. “We thought it was really important for students to have this weekend to make this decision about their futures,” said Ray Betzner, a spokesperson for the university. “We recognize that students need some time to sort through it, so that’s why we announced on Thursday in advance of the Tuesday add drop period.” Tyler Lindgren, a junior health professions major and Temple volleyball player, added three credits to her schedule after having more free time after her sports season was cancelled in late August. Usually, Lindgren enrolls in more difficult classes in the spring because the fall volleyball season prevents her from taking morning classes and typically causes her to miss Thursdays and Fridays for games, she said. “We were waiting because the add drop deadline was coming up and so we were hoping, we obviously wanted to play, but we were hoping a decision either to play or not to play would be made in time for add drop,” Lindgren said. “It was kind of a time crunch thing hoping all these decisions would be made and we

COLLEEN CLAGGETT / THE TEMPLE NEWS A person stands at the front desk of Temple University’s Office of the Bursar in Carnell Hall on Sept. 3.

could get the classes that we needed because our scheduling is way harder.” Jack Kelly, a senior ceramics major, had all his classes move online, which limited the amount of studio space he could access to work on projects. Many of Kelly’s professors were suggesting students take time off, but he said this is not a viable option for him. “I’m kind of stuck in a situation where I don’t want to be in college more than four years, so I didn’t have the option to say, ‘You know what this semester is messed up and I’m going to take time off,’” Kelly said. “I just said to myself ‘I have to get through school.’” The suspension will not require students to leave campus, but will make approximately 95 percent of courses online only. Classes are considered essential if their educational objectives cannot be achieved without all or some in-person instruction, according to the announcement. Students are also considering how their course choices will affect their tuition. Those who drop courses on or

before Sept. 8 will receive a reduction of their tuition and fees for the courses dropped, wrote Conrad Muth, the assistant vice president and bursar, in an email to The Temple News. Tuition payment is due Thursday. The Board of Trustees voted to freeze tuition for the 2020-21 year at its July meeting for the second year in a row. “From Temple’s perspective, we still have that same cost structure,” said Ken Kaiser, chief financial officer and treasurer. “In fact, [we have] even more of a cost base with COVID, whether we are online, hybrid or in person.” Reducing tuition was not an option because of “extraordinary costs,” like testing, Kaiser said. Monisha Sihana, a senior advertising major whose permanent residence is in New York City, New York, was taking three classes in person and three online before the transition to virtual instruction. She will likely return to New York for the remainder of the semester to

complete her online classes from her parents’ home, she said. “I’m an out-of-state student, and I pay full out-of-state tuition,” Sihana said. “It just didn’t make sense to sit at home and pay out-of-state tuition for online courses. If I had the option to take a semester off, I would, but I’m so close to completing my degree. It just doesn’t make sense.” Advising offices will remain open to students through virtual meetings to provide guidance as students make decisions about the semester, said Julian White, senior director for the Center for Undergraduate Advising at the Fox School of Business and Management. “This is a very fluid situation,” White said. “We continue to emphasize various levels of support available for students. We understand that. . . this was not an easy decision by Temple, but also one that will likely add to some level of confusion and uncertainty.” natalie.kerr@temple.edu @natliekerr


OPINION

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The Temple News

EDITORIAL

Protect community safety

On Sept. 3, Temple University moved 95 percent of in-person classes online for the remainder of the fall semester after reporting 212 active cases of COVID-19 among students and previously suspending in-person classes for two weeks pending a final decision on the semester’s fate. The decision follows weeks of demonstrations and protests by students, faculty and community members opposing the university’s reopening. On Sept. 1, Philadelphia Health Commissioner Thomas Farley referred to the rising cases as an “outbreak among Temple University students,” and on Sept. 3, he encouraged students living off campus to move back where they were living over the summer to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. On Aug. 31, the Editorial Board called on the university to swiftly cancel in-person classes for the remainder of the semester, citing an increase of nearly 100 cases of COVID-19 among students in one week, as well as the incalculable impact an outbreak could have on the nearby North Central neighborhood. In that editorial, we said this decision could not be made hastily or without clear forethought, but argued the university had ample time to reconsider their decision to hold in-person classes since the first announcement in June. Today, the Editorial Board appreciates the university’s quick decision to suspend nearly all in-person classes. We recognize choosing to suspend in-person instruction was not an easy decision, and understand this move may not be popular among all students and faculty. We, as students, value in-person instruction and look forward to the day these classes can return safely. Online instruction is the safest way to learn at the moment. We thank the university for recognizing this. Nevertheless, our fight to mitigate this outbreak is not over.

As we move into the rest of the semester, the university needs to continuously test students for COVID-19. This means continuing to make the protocol and locations for testing sites widely available to students, and expanding the number of testing sites, if resources permit. As long as there are students living in campus housing, Temple needs to ensure they have access to regular testing. On Sept. 1, Farley told Temple students they should assume anyone around them is infected with COVID-19. In line with this guidance, the Editorial Board calls on the university to expand testing for students as much as possible to mitigate any further spread of COVID-19. The Editorial Board also encourages the university to consider opening student and faculty testing sites to community residents. Given the potential effects of Temple’s outbreak on the spread of COVID-19 throughout North Central, we feel the university has a duty to provide testing services to community members. Despite the decision to suspend in-person classes requiring city intervention and more than 200 positive cases of COVID-19 among students, we are nevertheless relieved the decision was ultimately made. President Richard Englert wrote that the decision was “data-driven,” and we encourage the university to listen to the data surrounding the safe way to conduct instruction as we navigate the remainder of this semester. At this critical moment in Temple’s history, we have the opportunity to be the testament of the university’s motto, “Perseverance Conquers.” However, we can only do so if we listen to data and health professionals every step of the way. Temple, you made the right decision to cancel in-person classes. Now, it’s your time to keep our community safe.

THE ESSAYIST

My coping was unfamiliar A student writes about her history of stress eating and binge-watching movie afdepression and how her symptoms ter movie. My professors were quiet, probably as confused and concerned as I was, changed during the pandemic.

I

BY KELLY THOMPSON For The Temple News

started seeing a new therapist recently, and one of the first things he asked me was, “When did this

start?” This is a typical question to be asked at your first appointment. But it’s difficult for me because I don’t know when it started. What I do remember is that it got significantly worse when I was in 10th grade. I had days that year where the principal had to send me home because I’d break down crying for no reason and couldn’t stop. I had days when I wouldn’t eat or would take the bathroom pass and hide in the stairwell for as long as I could get away with. I would wake up some mornings and know I wasn’t going to get through the day. I don’t know how many days of school I ended up missing that year, but my grades were worse than they’d ever been. In Fall 2016, I started college at American University, where my depression hit physically. I couldn’t wake up on time and I was self-medicating. I cared very little for the classes I managed to attend. I had very few friends and hated where I was and what I was studying. After a year and a half, I reached my breaking point and took a leave of absence to work at Epcot Theme Park in Walt Disney World Resort for six months in January 2018. About a year after I came back from Florida, I finally found myself at Temple in Fall 2019. I loved my classes, the city and the friends I made. My depression, while always present, felt manageable, and I wasn’t as afraid of other people as I used to be. I was comfortable and doing very well. Then the COVID-19 pandemic happened. In the first days of the pandemic, it felt like the end of the world. I was burnt out,

but their silence only added to my uncertainty and paranoia. My mom wanted me to come home, so I went home for the rest of the semester. I’d make the same decision again, but I don’t think it was the best thing for me. I was trapped with my parents, and I am more self-sufficient when I have to rely on myself. In retrospect, there was no best thing. When I got home, my mental health deteriorated. My coping processes were strange and unfamiliar. Before the pandemic, I slept all day, I was not overly hygienic and I ate too much. As the pandemic began, there were nights I did not sleep at all, I became excessively meticulous and I would see how long I could go without eating some days. It felt like every second I spent not working — including seconds spent breathing, eating and sleeping — I was wasting time. I chastised myself for being unmotivated while I worked on two research papers at once, and I felt lazy going to sleep at 1 a.m. I cried, screamed and tried to tear my hair out, but I got everything done. I survived the spring semester because of the mercy of my professors. My depression felt like something I brought upon myself because I was lazy. On the contrary, I persevered because of my hard work and time management. I know better than this. I have a chemical imbalance in my brain, not a lack of discipline. But it’s still so hard to see my limitations as anything but self-imposed. I need to be kinder to myself this semester, and chances are so do other students. I am going to give myself the time to cry when my emotions are bubbling over. But I’m also going to pat myself on the back because I’m doing the best I can, given the circumstances. kelly.thompson@temple.edu


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OPINION

PAGE 9

COMMUNITY

Indoor dining during a pandemic isn’t worth it A student argues that city restaurants reopening for dine in eating today isn’t safe due to COVID-19. Indoor dining will resume in Philadelphia on Sept. 8 at a 25 percent capacity and only four diners at each table. Restaurants will be required to arrange MEREDITH HAAS For The Temple News tables at least six feet apart or have an impermeable barrier between them, have employees wear masks and be screened before shifts, prohibit bar service, close kitchens by 11 p.m. and install physical barriers in kitchens, at cash registers and food pickup areas, according to an Aug. 20 announcement by the City of Philadelphia. On March 16, Gov. Tom Wolf closed all “nonessential businesses,” which included indoor dining, in response to increasing COVID-19 case counts in Pennsylvania, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. On June 12, outdoor dining was permitted at reduced capacity, Philly Voice reported. On July 15, restaurants were barred from serving alcohol unless accompanied by a meal, Penn Live reported. The Philadelphia region is home to more than 6,000 restaurants, according to a 2019 report by the Philadelphia Department of Public Health and Get Well Philly, so permitting indoor dining after a six-month hiatus is vital for the survival of the city’s restaurant industry. In spite of federal assistance programs, such as the CARES Act, Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loans, the restaurant industry lost $120 billion dollars nationwide only three months into the pandemic, ABC News reported. People’s lives should not have a price tag — the City of Philadelphia must implement more financial relief programs for restaurants so that they do not need to put servers, hosts and diners at risk

LAILA SAMPHILIPOW / THE TEMPLE NEWS

just to stay above water. At least twenty-six restaurants in Philadelphia County closed between May 18 and Aug. 3, according to Eater Philadelphia, and more are sure to close in the upcoming months as cold weather inhibits outdoor dining and restaurants lose what little revenue they were gaining from this. Philadelphia has a high risk of community transmission, according to the Philadelphia Department of Public Health. A study that is in pre-print and has yet to be peer reviewed found that COVID-19 transmission indoors is nearly 20 times higher in comparison with outdoors, the Advisory Board Daily Briefing reported. Lizzy Friedman, a 2020 neuroscience alumna, runs local food blog @lowermerionfoodie on Instagram and said

indoor dining in the winter is a more feasible option. “Personally, I don’t feel comfortable dining indoors at this time,” Friedman said. “Outdoors is fine, but indoors is a little risky for my liking.” It’s been an uphill battle for restaurants, and while things are nowhere near normal, indoor dining is the closest thing to life before the pandemic. Katerina Vassil, a senior public health major, has already dined indoors in Lancaster since it was permitted on June 26. “I have been indoor dining for a good part of the summer at home, and there were ample social distancing measures in place, so I felt comfortable there and feel comfortable here,” Vassil said. Not everyone is so eager to eat indoors, however.

Ava Jancarski, a senior nursing major, agrees that the city is rushing to permit indoor dining before it is safe, and she will be taking a more cautious approach. “It will take me awhile to eat in an inclosed space comfortably with no mask,” Jancarski said. No matter what precautions are put in place, COVID-19 cases are likely to spike. Therefore, I am not comfortable eating indoors quite yet, and I don’t think I will be doing it any time soon. Restaurants should not be put into the position where they must choose between jeopardizing their business or endangering their staff and customers’ health. I will be sticking with takeout and delivery for now. meredith.haas@temple.edu


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OPINION

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TECHNOLOGY

Asynchronous classes are ideal for online learning A student argues for professors to switch from synchronous to asynchronous course formats. Students and professors around the world have transitioned from traditional in-person instruction to virtual learning in a matter of months. Only two weeks in, MICHELLE LEVIN Temple University stuFor The Temple News dents are already experiencing a number of issues. On Aug. 24, the first day of classes, Zoom, a video conference platform often used in synchronous remote learning, crashed early in the morning, KTLA 5 News reported. The website was down nationwide at perhaps the most inopportune timing. The problem was resolved within a few hours, but this may have foreshadowed what’s to come. Problems related to audio and visual, sharing screens, putting students into breakout rooms and sending meeting links are all common mishaps that could be avoided if classes were conducted asynchronously. President Richard Englert announced on July 15 that online courses will be offered asynchronously or synchronously. Students can view their class schedule on the Self Service Banner of TUPortal. Under each class, it will say “VIRT - OLL with reqd virtual meetings” or “OLL – Online.” Virtual classes with required meetings are synchronous, while online classes are asynchronous, according to the Office of the Registrar. The College of Public Health enforced a webcam and microphone requirement for students’ laptops this semester. Some professors, like Bari Dzomba, have been lenient and excused students from this policy. “I’m doing asynchronous classes for

THERESA HARRIS / THE TEMPLE NEWS

my graduate students and synchronous for my undergraduates,” said Dzomba, a health services administration and policy professor. “I prefer the trust, collaboration and communication with synchronous where everyone gets to see and hear each other live, but I do let students join by the phone due to laptop issues.” Temple doesn’t designate course formats for faculty, wrote Ray Betzner, a spokesman for the university in an email to the Temple News. “That decision is up to the faculty members, in consultation with their deans or department chairs in each school or college,” Betzner wrote. More professors should consider asynchronous courses, as it will lessen the burden on themselves and students.

Sarah Sassler, a senior psychology major, took an asynchronous class at Montgomery County Community College for credit before the pandemic. “My professors simply assigned work with optional meeting times once or twice a week to check in if students had questions,” Sassler said, “I preferred how self-paced they were.” Some students don’t have a quiet environment to attend Zoom classes. For students living at home or in cramped apartments, family members, roommates and pets create background noise. “One time, my cat was going nuts while I was trying to focus in class, so I eventually had to kick him out of the room,” said Mira Sadeghi, a senior public health major. “Another time, our main-

tenance man barged in without knocking and interrupted my class.” Asynchronous classes would allow students to work more hours and keep their old laptops despite the condition of their webcam or microphone. Professors would not have to worry about Zoom malfunctioning in the middle of class, and professors and students could teach or participate without interference. It’s a situation where both faculty and students win. Nobody asked to be going to college during a pandemic, but we need to make things easier for students, not more complicated. michelle.levin@temple.edu


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OPINION

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RESEARCH

Students shouldn’t risk their lives in research labs A student argues that pausing research or adapting labs to be virtual will save lives at Temple. As researchers worldwide work tirelessly on a vaccine for COVID-19, undergraduate research at Temple University has essentially been put on hold. MAYA RAHMAN For The Temple News Temple is a R1 university, meaning it is one of the most active research schools in the nation. A wide range of research is conducted at Temple in sociology, psychology, engineering and chemistry labs. COVID-19 has put research unrelated to the virus on the backburner, which is ultimately for the best since our main priority should be keeping students safe. Although research will be behind, in-person research should be prohibited until a vaccine or treatment is developed and students are no longer at risk. Researchers are allowed in lab spaces as long as they are screened prior to participating, regularly sanitize their hands, maintain a social distance and wear personal protective equipment if social distancing cannot be maintained, according to an update for human subject IRB guidance related to COVID-19 posted by the university on July 13. While research labs are surely panicking about not reaching deadlines or losing grant money, they should know better than to put students at risk. Joan Nicholson, a senior neuroscience major and research assistant in the Center for Applied Research in Decision Making, planned to use heart rate and eye trackers for her independent research project, but because it is now online, she’s had to transition to online surveys, which has affected the quality of it.

HOMA PARMAR / THE TEMPLE NEWS

“While things go faster online, it is hard to discern how accurate findings are,” Nicholson said. “With anonymity in surveys, people are more likely to click through and not think as critically compared to in a lab setting.” In-person labs are not sustainable and are likely to close if cases increase. Therefore, labs at Temple must figure out a long-term way to conduct their research effectively online and not require students to physically come into a lab. Chau Do, a 2020 neuroscience alumna, works with rats at the Center for Substance Abuse Research in the Lewis Katz School of Medicine. Researchers have to work in staggered shifts and perform necessary data analysis at home. “COVID-19 hinders learning expe-

riences and makes it harder for my coworkers to train and see what’s needed to be done when working on such a small scale,” Do said. In the Cognition and Learning Lab, which specializes in spatial skills and mathematical development, tested students in Philadelphia Catholic schools, according to their website. Now, researchers have had to learn how to use Slack, Zoom and email to communicate with students, according to Kexin Ren, a fifth-year psychology master’s student. Despite this adjustment, Ren has noticed some positive changes as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. “Previously all live research questioned the validity and reliability of on-

line testing,” Ren said. “But this has allowed a more diverse sample and can be done at different times and locations.” While this is not the ideal situation for researchers, research groups across the nation are adapting their protocol to make the most of the situation. With no vaccine available and social distancing as the only way of preventing COVID-19, research will continue to be delayed, and all undergraduate and graduate research must be conducted online for the foreseeable future. Everyone’s safety needs to be a priority in order to ensure the best work is being done. maya.rahman@temple.edu


LONGFORM

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The Temple News

JEREMY ELVAS / THE TEMPLE NEWS The North Philly Peace Park, located at 22nd and Jefferson streets, will start construction on a new pavilion project this fall featuring a solar-powered classroom space and kitchen facility. On Sundays, the park hold opens volunteer hours to distribute food to community members.

COMMUNITY

Sharswood works to build pavilion of its own amid development Volunteers hope a new structure will solidify North Philly Peace Park’s place in the neighborhood.

BY ASA CADWALLADER Longform Editor

T

J Holloway stood atop a shaded picnic table laden with boxes of fresh fruits and vegetables, intended to be given out to nearby Sharswood residents that afternoon. “This place is like a refuge,” said Holloway, an elementary school teacher. Several feet away sat beds of fruits, vegetables and herbs, alongside newly planted trees and a spacious grass lawn. “Just being around all the green stuff alone makes me happy,” he added. The North Philly Peace Park, located on 22nd Street near Jefferson, spans roughly the length of the city block. The only existing structures are two unrenovated rowhomes,whichvolunteers like Holloway are working on renovating.

Yet, in the coming months, volunteers expect a new state-of-the-art pavilion to be constructed in the center of the park, the park announced on its webpage. Park volunteers launched a crowdfunding campaign for the pavilion in June, which took less than two months to reach its fundraising goal. The campaign raised $59,894 and gained support from several large sponsors, like Bohlin Cywinski Jackson Architects, Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia and YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School, according to the campaign’s page. “The Campus of the North Philly Peace Park will be forever changed, and with everything else going on in the world our free programs and services will now be even more impactful thanks to you all,” the park posted to their Facebook page July 13.

A DYNAMIC DESIGN

The park has come a long way since its founding in 2012, when a Sharswood resident named Tommy Joshua Caison and a group of neighbors came together to repurpose a vacant, trash-strewn tract of land near 23rd and Jefferson Streets and turn it into a community garden, according to their website. In the eight years following, the park would become embroiled in a dispute with the Philadelphia Housing Authority which would eventually force the park to relocate, but also garner widespread support from the Sharswood community, reported Generocity. With fundraising and design efforts for the pavilion finalized, volunteers aim for construction to start this fall, acording to the campaign’s webpage. The pavilion will help solidify the park’s place within the Sharswood community, said Daniel Lee, principal at BCJ Architects.

He added it couldn’t have been done without the dedication of the park’s volunteers. Lead designer and volunteer Nyasha Felder, in partnership with BCJ Architects, spearheaded plans for the pavilion in 2018. The process began with a series of community meetings where Sharswood residents could provide input on the park’s expansion. Felder also called on local artists to submit proposals of their own for the pavilion, WHYY reported. Renderings of the pavilion on BCJ Architects’ website show an open-air structure, complete with classroom space and kitchen facility. The pavilion will be used for the park’s free educational programming, which ranges from health and wellness sessions to vegan cooking and green education, according to the project’s fundraising proposal. To accommodate programming needs, the structure will incorporate


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moveable partitions in the interior and include a wrap-around porch to make the pavilion more accessible from all sides of the park’s garden, Lee added. “Before even starting the design process, we really wanted to understand the park’s mission, as well as their goals and aspirations for the future,” Lee said. “Working closely with park leaders, we wanted to design a flexible space able to accommodate the many different types of programming the park does.” The park’s free programming centers around several action areas: organic urban farming, sustainable education, community building and “Green Wall Street,” a weekly pop-up market where entrepreneurs can sell natural products. These initiatives are aimed at addressing issues of displacement, food insecurity and poverty in the surrounding neighborhood, according to the park’s website. Owen Fitzpatrick, who moved to Brewerytown from Washington, D.C. two years ago, teaches yoga at the park Saturday afternoons and is looking forward to participating in programming once the pavilion is complete, he said. Fitzpatrick installed Wi-Fi in a row home nearby the park and hopes to teach a computer programming course and digital literacy in the pavilion, he added. “As a recent Philly transplant, I really wanted to take an active role in my community,” Fitzpatrick said. “After meeting [Caison] and learning more about the park, I wanted to contribute in any way I could.” Kermit Green, a middle school science teacher who volunteers at the park, is developing a community-based participatory research curriculum to encourage community members to take part in academic research. “There is often a disconnect between academic research and the communities they study,” Green said. “The idea with community-based participatory research is that the community is working directly with researchers to have their voices actually heard. It’s much more inclusive and produces better results.”

AN UPHILL BATTLE

As the volunteers planned the park’s expansion this summer, they also grappled with their dispute with the Philadelphia Housing Authority, which dates back to the park’s opening in 2012, said

LONGFORM

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JEREMY ELVAS / THE TEMPLE NEWS A mural with the words “Free The Land” is displayed on the side of the North Philly Peace Park administration building.

Sara Ozawa, a 2018 Haverford College alumna who wrote her thesis on the park. When PHA announced a 10-year redevelopment plan costing over $500 million for the Sharswood neighborhood in 2014, the fate of the park, which occupied city-owned land, looked grim. PHA planned to build a housing project directly on top of the park, according to their Sharswood-Blumberg Neighborhood Transformation Plan. “When PHA began their development of the Sharswood neighborhood, I think there was a lack of awareness regarding the sovereignty of the residents in that community,” Ozawa said. “The displacement of Peace Park was a prime example of that.” Back-and-forth between volunteers and the PHA resulted in the park’s relocation, but the dispute didn’t end there, Ozawa added. In July, volunteers formed the Peace Park Property Rehabilitation Brigade, which sought to repurpose the row homes on the park’s property that had long been blighted with drug activity and prostitution, according the park’s Facebook page. The volunteer brigade began clean-

ing and renovating the two vacant properties, aiming to repurpose the spaces for community healing, according to the park’s GoFundMe campaign. On the morning of July 20, however, approximately 25 PHA officers descended on the properties and declared them unlawfully occupied, according to the park’s Instagram account. A PHA spokesperson later apologized for the raid and both parties worked out an agreement to grant permission for the park to use both properties, one as an administrative building and the other for storage purposes, WHYY reported. As the park worked to further their vision for neighborhood revitalization, PHA continued with the Sharswood-Blumberg Neighborhood Transformation Plan, said Leslie Smallwood-Lewis, partner at Mosaic Development Partners, a firm contracted by PHA to build retail and housing units in Sharswood. Next developments on the Sharswood-Blumberg Neighborhood Transformation Plan include a supermarket anchored shopping center at 21st and Redner Streets, an amenity the Sharswood community currently lacks,

said Smallwood-Lewis. There needs to be more conversations between grassroots organizations like North Philly Peace Park and larger institutions like PHA, Smallwood-Lewis said. “If you are doing larger projects as a developer in these communities, you really need to find ways to roll-up your sleeves and be a part of the communities, working alongside [community development corporations] and other grassroots organizations to help move them forward,” Smallwood-Lewis added. As Sharswood and the greater North Philadelphia community undergo widescale change, organizations like North Philly Peace Park are more important than ever, Ozawa said. “Active members of the Sharswood community, whether acknowledged or not, have long been working to rebuild their communities by finding creative solutions to many of the issues they currently face to no fault of their own,” she added. “North Philly Peace Park is a testament to this exact strength, and resilience and should not be overlooked.” asa.cadwallader@temple.edu @asacadwallader


LIVE PHILLY IN

JEREMY ELVAS / THE TEMPLE NEWS A protester carries a sign reading “I Am A Man” at Dilworth Park.

A CALL FOR

JUSTICE Hundreds rallied against police brutality and systemic racism on Friday to demand justice for Jacob Blake. PHOTOS BY JEREMY ELVAS & ALLIE IPPOLITO STORY BY JEREMY ELVAS

On Friday, hundreds gathered in front of City Hall to rally for Justice for Jacob Blake and All Victims of Police Terror to condemn the shooting of Blake, a Black man, in Kenosha, Wisconsin. In a viral video on Aug. 23, Blake, a 29-year-old Kenosha resident, was shot seven times in the back by Kenosha police officer Rusten Sheskey, after walking away from police, the Wall Street Journal reported. Police were dispatched after a caller reported trespassing, CBS News reported. Blake was attempting to resolve a domestic dispute, according to Blake’s family attorney Benjamin Crump. During the altercation, officers attempted to arrest and taser Blake. After he walked away, Sheskey grabbed him and fired his service weapon into his back, according to a press release by the

Wisconsin Department of Justice. In a video published on Crump’s Twitter on Sept. 5, Blake spoke about the incident from his hospital bed. “Your life, and not only just your life, your legs, something that you need to move around and forward in life, can be taken from you like this,” Blake said in the video. The Wisconsin DOJ Division of Criminal Investigation, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Wisconsin State Patrol and Kenosha County Sheriff’s Office, have launched an investigation into the shooting. Sheskey has been placed on administrative leave, the Washington Post reported. The shooting sparked protests and rallies in Kenosha and nationwide to demand justice against police brutality and stand in solidarity with the Black Lives


MOVING CLOCKWISE FROM THE TOP RIGHT ALLIE IPPOLITO / THE TEMPLE NEWS A protestor holds up a “Stop Systemic Racism” sign outside the Philadelphia Police Department headquarters. JEREMY ELVAS / THE TEMPLE NEWS A protestor raises their fist while riding their bike in front of the march around City Hall near Market Street. ALLIE IPPOLITO / THE TEMPLE NEWS A Philadelphia police officer looks to a crowd of demonstrators marching towards the police department’s headquarters. ALLIE IPPOLITO / THE TEMPLE NEWS A’Brianna Morgan, an organizer with Reclaim Philadelphia, raises her fist in the air during a speech at Dilworth Park.

Matter movement. This comes after a summer of ongoing protests against systemic racism stemming from George Floyd’s Memorial day killing in Minneapolis, Minnesota after Derek Chauvin, a white police officer, knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes. Friday’s rally, hosted by the Philadelphia branch of the Party for Socialism and Liberation, began at 5 p.m. in front of Dilworth Park. Jack Fletcher, a junior legal studies major and co-founder of Temple University’s Coalition for Change, went to show his support. “The more voices that are at each of these events, the stronger the call for justice will be,” Fletcher said. The rally was endorsed by several organizations, like the coalition, the Philadelphia Community Bail Fund, Reclaim Philadelphia, Black Lives Matter Philly and Sunrise Movement Temple University. Attendees gathered along the intersection of 15th and Market streets to hear from speakers. A’Brianna Morgan, the lead mass liberation organizer for Reclaim Philadelphia, a grassroots, democratic organization, gave a speech about her experiences with racism growing up and hearing about the murders of Black people in the United States. “I realized I will never be safe in this country,” Morgan said. “Black people will never be safe. What’s worse is that even when we’re murdered, white people are going to dig into our past to find any shred of evidence to paint us as criminals and justify our deaths. Black people who have done illegal shit or caused harm deserve to live just as much as anybody else.” Afterward, the rally turned into a march down Market Street to the Philadelphia Police Department headquarters on Franklin and Race streets before returning to City Hall and ending at 7:30 p.m. Heather Marshall, a senior graphic design major and member of Sunrise Movement Temple University, a climate justice student organization, went to the rally. “We want equality for all,” Marshall said. “We have this huge momentum going on, tons of class solidarity among a variety of different people, and it’s important to take advantage of this and show our power.” elvas@temple.edu @jeremyelvas allison.ippolito@temple.edu


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CITY LIFE

Student advocates to end youth housing insecurity After living in foster care, a student works in city organizations to help housing insecure youth. BY SAMANTHA ROEHL For The Temple News

P

hiladelphia has the highest per-capita rate of children in foster care of any major city in the United States, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported in 2018. Philadelphia has approximately 5,000 children in foster care at any given time, according to an August update to the city’s website. Six years after entering Philadelphia’s foster care system at 16 years old, Liam Spady has now worked for five organizations fighting against youth housing insecurity. Spady, a sophomore public health major, experienced trauma from physical assault before entering foster care, leaving him in need of a trauma-informed foster home equipped to handle his epilepsy while being close enough to commute to Central High School. “I had so many big highs and big lows during that time,” Spady said. “I couldn’t focus on school because I didn’t have housing, and I didn’t have housing because I had epilepsy, and other places in the system weren’t doing their job. It was just problem after problem.” Spady’s case manager and social workers at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia supported him after the attack, which inspired him to become an advocate for young people experiencing homelessness, he said. In 2016, Spady co-founded the Philadelphia Office of Homeless Services’ Young Adult Leadership Committee, an organization that works to prevent and end youth homelessness. In January 2020, OHS recorded 958 unsheltered persons, or people in places not meant for human habitation. Of

those, 117 were youth aged 24 and under. “It just reminds me of how so many people don’t have [a support system] and how many people might have fallen through the cracks,” Spady said. “It kind of drove me to a passion that I have today, to kind of get into the service field, because it’s just critical that young people don’t feel that way and that nobody feels that way.” Spady began as coordinator for YALC, where he presided over recruitment and worked with leadership and other organizations and spoke at community events, Spady said. Last year, YALC worked with the School District of Philadelphia to create a training program to help staff identify young people who might be experiencing unstable housing, Spady said. They helped the Office of Homeless Services hire navigators to help young people understand OHS’s services, said Liz Hersh, director of the Office of Homeless Services. “I think the needs of young adults experiencing housing insecurity and homelessness, whether they’re couch surfing or they actually become homeless, I think they are sometimes not seen by the public and they are sometimes forgotten about, and we cannot allow that to happen,” Hersh said.Spady is now the co-chair of YALC and works at the Youth Collaboratory, where he focuses on communities outside of Philadelphia. Spady also works with the Philly Homes 4 Youth coalition as a youth co-chair, overseeing subcommittees for the organization. Tireless advocacy is required to keep youth homelessness a top issue, said Cameron McConkey, co-chair of mental health for the Philly Homes 4 Youth Coalition. “[Spady] has been tireless in advocating for the things that really need to

KAITLYN JEFFREY / THE TEMPLE NEWS Liam Spady, a sophomore public health major, sits at Liacouras Walk on Sept. 3.

It kind of drove me to a “passion that I have today,

to kind of get into the service field, because it’s just critical that young people don’t feel that way and that nobody feels that way.

LIAM SPADY Sophomore public health major

happen or to change in order for us, as a city, to end youth homelessness, or at least make a substantial impact in the experiences of young people who are housing insecure or homeless,” McConkey said. Spady plans to work in health education after graduating and hopes organizations will learn to appreciate the experiences of the people they are advocating for, he said. “Removing that barrier for people, especially of color and who have historical challenges as a community, to get into those leadership positions to really change these large systems that everybody has to sort of coordinate and walkthrough on a daily basis,” Spady said. “I think that’s one of the biggest things.” samantha.roehl@temple.edu @SamanthaRoehl


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ART

New mural is inspired by North Central residents Using stories from Diamond been really excited about it. So it’s really street residents, the mural cele- rewarding. It makes it worthwhile.” Mural Arts staff invited community brates ‘diamonds in the rough.’ BY JUSTINE IMBURGIO For The Temple News The walls of the SEPTA station on 10th and Diamond streets will soon be filled with a portrait of the Diamond Street community. A mural being painted in the underpass on Diamond Street between 10th and 11th began over the summer and is expected to be complete by Oct. 1. Its design shows images of residents amongst flowers, local architecture and alongside the words “community grows here.” The mural is part of the Railway Enhancement Project, an initiative led by Mural Arts Philadelphia to give voices to community residents while creating a cleaner and more attractive space, said Cathy Harris, director of community murals. “There was an overarching pride in the neighborhood and in the things they have achieved with assistance and on their own,” Harris said. “It was a very strong community group that we worked with who has done a lot in the community to keep the kids busy.” Community members who live on Diamond Street are shown participating in the local Dazzling Diamonds Drill Team, basketball games, local church services and other activities unique to the community, Harris added. Kien Nguyen, who’s painted for Mural Arts for 15 years, is the lead muralist for this piece and chose supplies and how the mural would be painted. Nguyen worked on a number of projects across Philadelphia, including a mural for a playground on 8th and Diamond Streets, and is acquainted with the surrounding community. “The response we’ve had on this project has been really positive,” Nguyen said. “As the mural progressed, people started to see it come to life. People have

residents to four information sessions in February. Staff stood on the corner of 10th and Diamond Street and handed out water ice. Community members then shared photos and stories of living in the community, Harris said. Together, staff and residents decided the themes they’d represent in the mural would be family, education, spirituality and community, said Andrea Legge, the head designer for the mural. Legge was inspired by quotes from local residents referring to themselves as “diamonds in the rough” because “it takes pressure to make a diamond,” she said. She symbolized these quotes with shiny paint, resembling diamonds over an uneven, jagged wall. “We can now be able to tell the story of those who have been put up as positive people in the community who have made a difference over the years,” said George Clark, president of the Advisory Council and 64-year-old resident, who lives at Franklin and Norris streets. “I think if you look at the pictures that were selected, it really represents the intergenerational aspect of our community.” Shawn Theodore, a photographer for Mural Arts, took photos of residents posed in various roles, like teachers, students and fathers. “All these sites being so close to Temple, longtime residents start to feel a little threatened and pushed out and so going through our community mural process, it’s an opportunity for them to have their voices and point of view on the wall so they can’t be [in] anyway displaced or forgotten,” Harris said. The mural is also seen as a way to welcome others to the neighborhood, Nguyen said, as the area intersects the Temple community and space of longtime residents. The mural is being painted at the perfect time, Clark said, who believes

TEJAS DODIA / THE TEMPLE NEWS The mural at Diamond and 10th streets reads “Community Grows Here” on Sept. 1.

TEJAS DODIA / THE TEMPLE NEWS Artists Doug Woods, Carolina Gomez and Monica Mathieu work on a mural at Diamond and 10th streets as part of Mural Arts’ Railway Enhancement Project on Sept. 1

engaging with the community in face of the COVID-19 pandemic and new Temple construction projects will strengthen community ties. “This has created energy now where people are seeing faces reflecting on how those faces have impacted on the

community,” Clark said. “Because the pictures are up there now, the energy is like, ‘Well how can I be involved?’ ‘How can I be engaged?’” justineimburgio@temple.edu


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The Temple News

ON CAMPUS

Students’ clothing business donates to nonprofits Written on Cloth designs shirts to raise money for nonprofits and promote social awareness. BY APOORVA SUDINI For The Temple News As a high schooler, Maanvi Nagireddy was motivated to spread awareness about social issues. In 2018 she started a clothing business, Written On Cloth, designing and selling shirts to donate profits to nonprofit organizations. “No one in my community was talking about the issues that were relevant and important to talk about,” said Nagireddy, a sophomore environmental science and biology major. “I believe that these stories need to be shared.” Written on Cloth is a company that designs and sells shirts promoting awareness of relevant social issues like the COVID-19 pandemic, gun control and Black Lives Matter. This summer, the company donated profits from their COVID-19 and Black Lives Matter shirts to Project C.U.R.E., which distributes medical supplies to communities in need, and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. The company describes their designs as minimalist, with basic black and white designs. This summer, their shirts displayed ‘support out healthcare workers’ on a medical mask and ‘NO JUSTICE, NO PEACE’ with raised fists. When she came to Temple University, Nagireddy decided to expand the business into Philadelphia and support more social causes. With Kashish Patel, Kelsey Jernegan and Olivia Bishop by her side, the four Temple students focused on the COVID-19 pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement. “These two issues have been at the forefront this year, so we felt it was im-

NIKITHA THUMMALA / COURTESY Sophomore environmental science and biology major and creator of Written on Cloth Maanvi Nagireddy wears a shirt made by her company in Plainsboro, N.J.

portant to put our other ideas on hold to support issues that are having the biggest impact in the present,” said Patel, a sophomore neuroscience major. Patel draws the designs on paper and shows them to the team for their opinions before finalizing the design using online software, she said. The process can take up to a few weeks depending on the amount of designs and how complex they are, Patel added. The team is taking on social issues in their work and learning to run a business as college undergraduates. Because they are passionate about the business, it is

easy to set time aside to work on designs, Patel said. “It can be tough handling a business while managing classes, but it’s also really exciting because we get to do something bigger than ourselves,” said Bishop, a sophomore psychology major. Nagireddy enjoys that she can publically share her support and opinions on different issues though the company. The amount of support and appreciation they’ve received from the community adds to their motivation to keep the operation running, Nagireddy said. This summer, Written On Cloth sold about 400 shirts and raised more than $2,000,

she added. The team plans to redirect their efforts to focus on the Philadelphia community by researching and reaching out to organizations within the North Central neighborhood. They want to continue to bring awareness to issues that may not directly affect all Temple students, but affect the surrounding community, Patel said. “Every voice deserves to be heard,” Nagireddy said. apoorva.sudini@temple.edu @apoorvasudini


The Temple News

FEATURES

STUDENT LIFE

Students learn to cook during COVID-19 After experimenting with recipes during quarantine, students are cooking more this semester. BY NORA KELLEHER For The Temple News When the COVID-19 pandemic forced him to stay inside, Seth Carney started to learn how to cook. Carney, a sophomore media studies and production major took inspiration from his trip to Thailand in summer 2019. “I just got really into that style of cooking and those flavors, and it’s also absurdly easy cuisine to make,” said Carney, a sophomore media studies and production major. “There’s just usually a few ingredients and they all melt together and make a really good dish.” With changes to restaurants and dining in the past six months due to capacity restriction from the COVID-19 pandemic, students have turned to cooking at home. Although some restaurants still offer takeout, an April study by Hunter Public Relations found that 54 percent of people surveyed cooked more because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Carney cooks most of his meals at home now, and uses ingredients he can find easily, like onions, garlic and ginger, he said Carney gets his recipes from researching on the internet, he said, but other students, like Garlie St-Cyr, have found inspiration in family recipes, YouTube channels and recipe books. St-Cyr, a junior public health major is Haitain, and usually cooks Haitain meals she learned from her mom, she said. Her favorite meal to cook is fritay, a medley of various fried foods. “We’ll have fried plantains, fried chicken, griot, which is fried pork and I make or Haitains make this condiment it’s called pikliz, which is basically like

spicy pickled cabbage with different other vegetables maybe carrots, and peas and stuff,” St-Cyr said. “It really just goes well with the fried food because it like lightens the entire meal.” She has been expanding the things she cooks during quarantine like adding more fish into her diet, since she has more time to experiment. “I have a recipe book so I try different American foods and stuff or what’s considered American,” St-Cyr said. “It’s definitely a mixture and I like it because I couldn’t eat the same thing over and over again.” Josef Dubashinsky, has been enjoying cooking for himself because he lives off campus this year and does not have a meal plan, he said. Dubashinsky is cooking “100 percent more” compared to previous years, he said. “I used my time [in the] summer to learn how to cook some basic meals so I’m not always eating packet ramen,” said Dubashinsky, a junior supply chain management major. “So I learned how to cook several dishes.” He gets most of his recipes from his mom and grandmother, but also uses websites to find inspiration, he added. Dubashinsky’s favorite meal to cook is grilled chicken, rice and salad with tahini sauce, an Israeli sauce. “It’s kind of like my own homemade halal,” he said. St-Cyr didn’t order much takeout food once the COVID-19 pandemic shut down businesses in March. Almost everything she ate was homemade because she was scared about transmission. She found cooking gave her a choice in her meals, she said. “If you can’t have any other choice in the matter, at least you have the choice in what you can eat,” St-Cyr said. nora.kelleher@temple.edu @norakelleher2

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VOICES

“Does Temple’s move to online instruction affect you?” MAGGIE CARRELL Senior psychology major Yes. It has impacted me because I am a senior and I had one in-person class that I was looking forward to being on campus for, and now with our fall semester senior year being virtual it is kind of a bummer. But, we are looking to make the best of it, and live off campus, so it doesn’t affect us too much.

ALIVIA THOMSON Junior health professions major No. It didn’t really impact me because all of my classes were originally online. A lot of my classes have labs that are really hands-on, and I’m not getting that hands-on experience.

JAKE MULDOON Junior human resources management major Yes. I feel like it has affected the way I can meet with professors. It is hard to find times to be able to meet over Zoom and establish a good relationship.

ELLE LABRIOLA Freshman neuroscience and biology major Yes. Temple’s move to online definitely affected me especially because of labs. But, I think all of the teachers are doing a really good job at trying to make the transition smooth.


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The Temple News

THE NEW DICTIONARY

Students question campus’ narrative of diversity Students and faculty discuss how a predominantly white institution impacts students of color. BY SAMANTHA ROEHL For The Temple News

M

aheen Shafi decided to come to Temple University to be among a more diverse crowd. But after two years at the university, the senior neuroscience major found herself disappointed. “I realized that by the end of my sophomore year, I was still surrounded in this largely white space because so much of Temple University is large white spaces,” Shafi said. “And so for me to break out of that, I had to specifically seek out pockets of non-white spaces.” Temple is a predominantly white institution, meaning white students make up 50 percent or more of the student body, according to the Encyclopedia of African American Education. Fifty-five percent of Temple undergraduates for the 2019-20 school year are non-Hispanic white, according to university research on 2019-2020 enrollment. On Aug. 19, Temple announced that 40 percent of this year’s freshman class are students of color. Yet Lindsey Farrell, a senior political science major, is skeptical that this announcement is nothing more than marketing. “Yeah, you can have a bunch of people of color in your freshman class, but does that mean that they’re actually going to have any influence or power in any decisions that happen in their classes?” Farrell said. “No, professors are still going to be able to do whatever they want with them. They’re still going to be able to make them feel ostracised, subject them to racism and microaggressions and things like that.” For the past four years, the university reported a 55 percent white undergraduate enrollment rate, which is a small decrease from the 2014-2015

HANNA LIPSKI / THE TEMPLE NEWS

school year, when Temple reported a 57 percent rate, according to the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment. Kimberly Goyette, chair of the sociology department, feels that Temple has not always been seen as PWI, but the changing perception might be negatively affecting non-white students. “I think this is a shift in how Temple is perceived, which certainly affects the student body, as an institution which has had a perception of being one of the more diverse institutions, it does shift that and perhaps in ways that feel less comfortable for students of color,” Goyette said. Valerie Harrison, the senior advisor

to President Richard Englert for equity, diversity and inclusion, believes a PWI can still provide a culturally relevant and affirming experience for students of color. Temple is surrounded by Black history: the Church of the Advocate on Diamond Street near 18th housed the Black Panther National convention in 1970, and the Universal Negro Improvement Association’s Philadelphia division is currently located on Cecil. B. Moore Avenue, Harrison said. “There’s all of this rich history and culture that is right here, so going to a predominantly white institution, but one like Temple, can still offer you a cul-

turally relevant experience,” she added. Farrell feels it is not enough for the university to have racial equity committees or commit to having a diverse faculty and staff. “Of course there’s the argument of representation and there are some people of color on the Board of Trustees and some people of color in power at Temple, but that doesn’t mean that they’re actually conscious of the power that they hold and it doesn’t mean that they’re actually trying to make a change for students,” Farrell said. samantha.roehl@temple.edu


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LGBTQ

Senior thesis film shares transgender experience Halloween 1987 tells the story of a young adults’ story of coming out as transgender. BY NICO CISNEROS Intersection Editor Hansen Bursic is taking viewers back to the 1980s to tell an important story about the transgender experience. “Halloween 1987” tells the story of Cory, a teenage boy whose girlfriend wants them to wear a couple’s costume to a Halloween party. She comes up with the idea that she dresses as Cory, and Cory dresses as her. Cory, although hesitant, agrees, and the night changes Cory’s life. The premise is based on the real-life experience of Jenny Jae Cory, a transgender woman from Towanda, a small, rural town in Appalachian Pennsylvania. Bursic met Jenny Jae Cory while working as the lead media coordinator for the Pennsylvania Youth Congress, the state’s sole LGBTQ youth advocacy organization, according to its website. Bursic, a 2020 film and media arts alumnus, was in Towanda to film the LGBTQ pride parade Jenny Jae Cory had organized. As they talked, Jenny Jae Cory shared her draft of her autobiography, which included the story about her epiphany during that fateful Halloween night. “[Jenny Jae Cory] is somebody who has history, important history, untold history, and that’s really why I want to tell that story,” Bursic said. For Bursic, this experience is the side of the coming out story he feels is rarely seen because there’s so much internal work going on. “Just as every queer person that I know and trans person that I know talked about you know the moment that they came out to another person, they also had a very distinct memory of when it clicked for them, when they finally were able to admit to themselves,” Bursic said. The actor who played Cory, Derek Van Holmes, had a similar experience when he realized he was transgender. “In the film you do see [Cory] open-

JOSH FIESEHER/ COURTESY Actor Derek Van Holmes poses as Cory in Hansen Bursic’s senior film project, Halloween 1987.

ing up, opening up way more when they are validated as themselves for the first time, and I related to that heavily,” Van Holmes said. “I understand what it’s like to be very uncomfortable with yourself, and much more reserved. And then once you start accepting yourself for who you are or seeing who you are, you start to be more confident with yourself and you don’t care what other people think because they just see you as you.” Van Holmes was a little hesitant to play Cory because he feared being typecast, or only chosen for transgender and queer roles. Despite his reservations, Van Holmes took the role because he knew it was bigger than himself. “I think honestly it was a good decision on my part because even if I’m not super comfortable being super out to the world yet,” Van Holmes said. “I think it’s

important for these types of stories to be heard and for actual trans and queer people to be playing trans and queer people in film and TV.” Jenny Jae Cory was impressed with the film, she said during a question-and-answer session following the film’s premiere screening. For Jenny Jae Cory, one scene in particular brought her right back to that night. In the scene, the character Cory has a moment of dizzying anxiety, and has to leave the party to get some air. “When I saw that, that tapped into a deep feeling inside of me that I’d forgotten,” Jenny Jae Cory said. Jenny Jae Cory remembered that, at that time, it was hard for her to figure out that she was transgender because of a lack of information. Back in the 1980s, her main resources for information were

her grandmother’s encyclopedia, her local library, and her peers. “The only information you got was from your friends, and it was that you’re weird and you’re a freak,” Jenny Jae Cory said. Although the film’s initial screening could not be done in person, Kenagh Babcock, the film’s producer and a senior film major, is working with the rest of the Halloween 1987 team to raise funds so the film can be shown at festivals in 2021. “I think the world needs films like this so people feel seen, or can be educated about the experience,” Babcock said. nicocisneros@temple.edu @nicomcisneros


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The Temple News

MUSTABIN HOSSAIN / THE TEMPLE NEWS

SPIRITUALITY

Religious students rely on faith during pandemic Students are streaming services on YouTube in light of COVID-19 protocols disrupting worship. BY NICO CISNEROS Intersection Editor life.

COVID-19 changed Lee Wilcox’s

As the virus spread across Philadelphia, the daycare she worked at shut down, her year of student teaching was cut short and she made the adjustment to online learning as Temple University suspended in-person operations in the spring. When she sat down to reflect on these changes, Wilcox, a senior early childhood education major, began tuning in to Catholic masses that were streaming on YouTube. “Because of this whole virus thing, I’ve found faith again,” Wilcox said. “This is time to reconnect with God.” Wilcox is one of the many religious Americans who were impacted by COVID-19, according to an April report by the Pew Research Center. The pandemic has forced the cancelation of in-person religious services and the loss of traditional gatherings for religious holidays, according to the report. But for some religious students at Temple, it did

not mean a loss of faith. Carly Goldberg, a senior communication studies major who practices Reform Judaism, sees parallels between her faith and the pandemic. She joked with her parents that they’re living through a modern version of Passover, a time in ancient Jewish history when 10 plagues descended upon Egypt. This humor is a hallmark of her faith that helps her during this time, Goldberg said. “I think something that’s very much valued in Judaism is perseverance, especially perseverance through tough times, and being able to look at that value of perseverance and have enough of a sense of humor about it,” she added. Anisa Ara, a 2020 business administration alumna, has also leaned on the values of her faith during the pandemic. Ara, who practices Sunni Islam, said her faith gives her hope because of the power of prayer. “Religious practice is between you and God, and I can ask [God] for forgiveness and I can ask [God] for help, and at this time, a lot of people need it,” Ara said. Although Ara continues her prayers, she misses being able to gather for Jum’ah, also known as the Friday prayer. This is when Muslims come together to

worship, followed by a sermon, or khutbah, from an imam, or prayer leader, according to Harvard University’s Pluralism Project. “Personally for me, it’s very heartwarming to hear [the sermon], because they provide history, they provide basic human things that we should be following but we almost always forget to do,” Ara said. Ara also misses Friday prayers because they gave her a sense of community, something that has been significant for her personal journey in her faith. She found her sense of Islam through spending time with fellow Muslims her own age during her time at Temple. Her faith was also influenced by the community found at her mosque, where she would hear the Quran, the holy text of the Islamic faith, read in its traditional Arabic. Since many Muslims’ first language isn’t Arabic, having a teacher read the text to people is important, Ara said. When in-person services were suspended because of COVID-19, Ara and her community lost immediate access to those teachers. Ara, like Wilcox, now streams religious services on YouTube and Facebook Live. Goldberg, a member of Hillel at Temple University, a Jewish student organization, feels that maintaining faith

communities, even virtually, is a way to help people who feel isolated during COVID-19. “Prayer isn’t a super big part of Judaism for me, but more so just having that culture and that community as a resource during difficult times, definitely makes me feel less alone,” Goldberg said. For Wilcox, reconnecting with her faith community online and spending more time in prayer during the pandemic has helped her feel more connected with people at a time when she can’t do so physically, she said. Wilcox felt empowered to persevere through the changes in her life after attending a global virtual mass held by Pope Francis, the leader of the Catholic church. During the mass, Wilcox and other Catholics prayed using a rosary, or prayer beads, to ask God for help for those suffering from COVID-19 and for all frontline workers. “More people started to join, and it just felt like I was not alone through this whole journey and that I had people with me, praying about this, making sure that we’re going to get through this together,” Wilcox said. “It was just so awesome to feel.” nicocisneros@temple.edu @nicomcisneros


The Temple News

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PAGE 23

ACCESSIBILITY

Students with invisible disabilities ask to be seen Some students feel having an invisible disability means they have to be their own advocate. BY NICO CISNEROS Intersection Editor Valerie Levy was not looking forward to another semester online. After abruptly having to end her semester abroad last spring, Levy, a junior English major, had to do “mental gymnastics” to adjust to online learning. The transition was made even more difficult by her ADHD, causing Levy to struggle to keep up with deadlines and Zoom classes, she said. “My ADHD makes it harder for me to navigate this semester than neurotypical students, so I really hope that when I send my [Disability Resources and Services] letters to my instructors that they take my accommodations seriously,” Levy said. Invisible disabilities, like ADHD, mental health disorders and chronic pain disorders, are not always physically visible to others but can impact how a student learns and communicates, according to the Invisible Disabilities Association. But a key barrier that prevents these students from succeeding is faculty who are uninformed, unresponsive, or don’t believe a student’s condition is legitimate, according to the National Center for College Students with Disabilities. Tiffany Coles, a 2020 communication studies alumna, said she frequently had professors doubt her need for disability accommodations. Coles has complex regional pain syndrome, a chronic pain condition that can cause constant physical pain, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. For Coles, this not only meant physical pain but cognitive issues, like forgetfulness and a lack of focus. When I would tell professors that I was in a flair, meaning for me my limbs were on fire, they were like, ’How are you just saying that so calmly, like what do you mean, are you sure that’s it?’” Coles said.

Coles felt she spent a lot of time fighting for herself and her accommodations while at Temple, especially when classes moved online in Spring 2020. “I felt like once stuff transitioned to online, professors would say, ’You have all the time in the world why can’t get your stuff done? Why is it a problem, you’re sitting at home all day!” Coles said. “But they don’t know what at home looks like for everyone, or what that does to people or what I feel like personally.” Coles was grateful to have support from her DRS advisor, who helped her when professors gave her a hard time. Andrea Vassar, director of DRS, said she hopes students know they can rely on advisors from the office for support. “It’s important that they let us know what those barriers they’re having because if we don’t know what’s happening, we can’t help,” Vassar said. “We don’t want someone with a disability who’s sitting there quietly not able to access what they need.” Emily Trott, a 2020 human development and community engagement alumna, served as the peer student leader coordinator for SHOUT, DRS’ peer mentoring program. She helped transition the group to online meetings and a group chat last semester. This helped group members continue to meet to support each other and gain self-advocacy skills. “With having a disability, you have to have advocacy skills and know what you need to succeed in your learning and what kind of support you need to learn at your best,” Trott said. This is an essential skill for students with disabilities, both invisible and visible when learning in an online environment, Trott said. “Something like switching to an online setting creates another new barrier because you’re having to learn how you learned again, so what worked in your in-person class or lecture, your accommodations...may not completely support you the same way in your online courses,” Trott added. “Learning how to figure out what kind of support you need and to communicate that to your coordinators can be very difficult.”

Learning difficulties or “disabilities or not, everyone is struggling. ” VALERIE LEVY Junior English major

Jonathan Atiencia, disability resources and service representative for Temple Student Government, hopes to help students with disabilities advocate for themselves by working with established student organizations like SHOUT to create Disability Rights, Education, Activism and Mentoring, or DREAM. “I want to have the DREAM as a student organization at Temple University that DRS Temple students can rely and

JACKIE ROSENZWEIG / THE TEMPLE NEWS

trust in us that we can be an advocate and activist for Temple students with intellectual and physical disabilities for their voices to be heard and their story to be told,” Atiencia said. For students who need to advocate for themselves now, Emily Madara, a junior entrepreneurship and innovation management and marketing double major, feels that communication is key. “It’s important to stay in touch with friends and family and loved ones, and please reach out to DRS if you do need any help during this transition, be communicative with your teachers,” Madara said. “I think that’s really important if you are struggling, especially for those of us in the ADHD and [learning disability] community.” nicocisneros@temple.edu @nicomcisneros


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The Temple News

THE ESSAYIST

My education should be considered essential

A student shares her difficulties with managing online learning amid travel restrictions in Brazil. BY RENATA KAMINSKI For The Temple News Having all classes online in a different time zone is complicated, but that’s what’s happening to me and thousands of other Brazilian students right now. Our lives have been full of anxiety since May 24 when a proclamation signed by President Donald Trump suspended the entry of all people coming from Brazil who stayed more than 14 days in the country. Recently, the United States government announced European students are exempt from the travel restrictions, a measure that gave me the false hope that soon it would be Brazilian students’ turn — poor, deluded girl. As of now, students from Brazil, China and Iran can’t go back to the U.S. to pursue their studies. We have absolutely no clue when this is going to change and when we will have control over our educational decisions again. As a Temple student, I have classes and work from early in the morning until late at night, and oftentimes I get confused with assignments, due dates and scheduled meetings, because of the time difference. It’s hard to adapt to my family’s schedule at home and the current stage of the COVID-19 pandemic in Brazil, lagging behind the U.S. Classes started two weeks ago, and I still don’t know if I will be able to go back to the U.S. for the semester. I pay rent to live in the U.S. and my job, obligations and belongings are all there. But I can’t access any of these because of the travel ban. Now, I am torn between my physical security at home in Brazil, and the un-

HANNA LIPSKI / THE TEMPLE NEWS

derstanding that my academic and professional life is in the U.S. It is mentally exhausting not knowing what to do next and not being able to decide for myself what is best for my situation. I would like to have the right to choose what is best for me. Many of us Brazilian students have jobs in the U.S., have required in-person classes or are seniors who need to be in the U.S. to apply for an optional practical training, among many other predicaments. We pay taxes, rent and university services fees even though we are far from our universities.

We have a huge part of our lives in the U.S., and the government is preventing us from having access to what we have already paid for. As an international student, the frustration I feel is overwhelming. First, after the ICE measures banning international students was first introduced, I felt rejected and unwelcome in a country that is known for being the land of new opportunities. And now, this uncertainty about the travel ban brings me so much anxiety. I could have everything planned, but a simple new announcement can change

everything. It is exhausting to feel I basically have no control over my life and I can’t make my decisions alone. It doesn’t make sense to me that some students can go back to pursue their education in the country they paid a lot to live in, while others can’t. Education is essential travel. The U.S. should exempt all the international students from the travel ban. We should have the right to decide what is best for our education. renata.kaminski@temple.edu @Renatabkaminski


SPORTS

The Temple News

PAGE 25

FOOTBALL

Owls’ veteran cornerbacks step into bigger roles Owls must replace a starting cornerback who was drafted in the fifth round of the NFL draft. BY DANTE COLLINELLI Sports Editor

Temple University football lost two key contributors at cornerback from last season, forcing three cornerbacks with multiple years of experience to compete for starting spots. Former cornerback Harrison Hand was drafted in the fifth round of the 2020 NFL draft and redshirt-junior cornerback Ty Mason opted out of the season, head coach Rod Carey said. Hand played in 12 games last season while leading the team with three interceptions. Mason played in 12 games last season while recording nine total tackles and one pass break-up. Here’s who could be stepping up for the Owls in 2020.

CHRISTIAN BRASWELL

Braswell, a redshirt-junior, played in 12 games last season and led the team with nine pass breakups. He also recorded one interception and 29 total tackles. He was awarded one of the Owls’ single-digit jersey numbers during the offseason, which are voted on by the team as the toughest players. “It was crazy,” Braswell said. “That whole thing was just amazing. Being in that category with those people who have got single digits is crazy because that is something that lives forever. I can tell my kids one day.” Braswell started games last season opposite Hand and is a presumed starter again this season, Carey said. “The biggest difference I have seen isn’t anything physical or in his play, it’s just his confidence,” Carey added. “There is no substitution for game reps, and he got a lot of them last year. He is a very confident person right now.” Braswell isn’t practicing due to a hamstring injury and is taking his recovery slow, he said.

J.P. OAKES / FILE Redshirt-junior cornerback Christian Braswell tackles then Terrapin sophomore running back Anthony McFarland Jr. during the Owls’ game against the University of Maryland at Lincoln Financial Field on Sept. 14, 2019.

LINWOOD CRUMP

Crump, a graduate student, only played four games last season due to a hand injury. In 2018, he played in 13 games and recorded three interceptions, two pass breakups and 13 total tackles. The coaching staff views Crump as a likely starter this season because of his experience at cornerback. Crump is also getting cross-trained to play the safety position, Carey said. “When I first came back, it was the speed of the game again, having to go at game tempo and having to catch back up conditioning, and getting back into the flow of things,” Crump said. “I think that was my biggest struggle last year.” Crump is viewed as a vocal leader for the cornerbacks by his teammates

and the coaching staff, cornerbacks coach Melvin Rice said. “That’s a guy who has really surprised me from a leadership standpoint,” Rice added. “Braswell is a guy that’s a silent assassin and silent leader … but Crump is the guy that gets everybody ready to go in practice. He’s correcting guys. He’s bringing that energy that we need.”

FREDDIE JOHNSON

Johnson, a graduate student, transitioned from playing wide receiver to cornerback before the 2019 season. Last year, he played in all 13 games but did not record a single interception or pass breakup. “This year you see a whole change in

[Johnson’s] attitude,” Rice said. “He loves football. He wants to get better. He’s not the most vocal guy, but his actions, a lot of guys pay attention to Freddie. He has had awesome first few practices.” The coaching staff is pleased with Johnson’s work on special teams, and how he’s stepped up as a leader so far during practices, Rice added. Overall, the coaching staff is happy with the work they have seen from the cornerbacks this summer. “Those guys have been doing a good job,” Rice said. “I like where our group is at. We got a lot of leaders. We got a lot of guys who have played a lot of football.” dantecollinelli@temple.edu @DanteCollinelli


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SPORTS

The Temple News

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

NICK DAVIS / FILE Senior forward Mia Davis goes up for a shot during the Owls’ game against the University of Tulsa at Pearson-McGonigle Hall on Feb. 29.

Team captain helps bring old teammate to Owls

Mia Davis and transfer guard ter last season where she averaged 5.3 over Zoom for Graves, who was look- ing workouts, Cardoza said. Their team is now back on camJada Graves met while playing in points per game and 4.4 rebounds per ing at transfer options in April, Graves game. said. pus, participating in basketball activiAAU leagues in high school. “I may have even guarded her, that’s

“It would have obviously been eas-

ties, but with limited access to coaches.

year as a grad student, so I hit her up and introduced her to Temple.” Davis and other upperclassmen on the team were responsible for helping out the freshman and transfer players get acclimated during the summer, said head coach Tonya Cardoza. “For some people, that’s uncomfortable being thrown into the mix as a freshman and you’re on a Zoom call,” Cardoza added. “I feel like a lot of the upperclassmen have taken the new guys under their wing and made them feel really comfortable.” Davis helped set up a virtual tour

work with what I had.” On March 7, Temple’s women’s basketball team played their final game of the 2019-20 season. Just days later, the COVID-19 pandemic forced the country to go into lockdown and NCAA to cancel all tournaments. During the summer, Davis bought basketballs at Walmart to practice dribbling in her driveway when gyms were closed, she said. This year might be harder for new players to get to know their teammates because they can’t “hang out like they normally would” with the team only do-

have since stopped due to the increase in COVID-19 cases on campus, Cardoza said. “We’re just trying to make sure they understand what is going on, taking care of their bodies and making sure that they’re able to express themselves if they need to,” Cardoza added. For the players, it is just nice to be back on the court playing basketball again, Davis said. “I’m excited to finally get back out there,” Davis added.

how I got to know her,” Davis said. “She ier if I could have toured the school in They were playing pickup games to “get BY JOSH GRIEB Women’s Basketball Beat Reporter told me she was looking to play another person,” Graves added. “But, I had to in the flow” of playing basketball, but Coming from Baltimore, Maryland, Temple University women’s basketball senior forward Mia Davis frequently played alongside transfer guard Jada Graves, an Alexandria, Virginia native, at various basketball camps and on Amateur Athletic Union teams in high school. During the offseason, Davis spent some time talking to and recruiting Graves, Davis said. Graves chose Temple because of her history with Davis, she said. She transferred from Elon University af-

josh.grieb@temple.edu @JGrieb10


The Temple News

SPORTS

PAGE 27

ALUMNI

Klein alumnus creates media for Philly sports teams A 2020 journalism alumnus is working with the Phillies during the COVID-19 pandemic. BY ARI GLAZIER For The Temple News

If 10-year-old Graham Foley heard he would be driving around Citizens Bank Park on the back of the Phillie Phanatic’s all-terrain vehicle as his job, he wouldn’t have believed it. Foley, a 2020 journalism alumnus, and a lifelong Philadelphia sports fan is a social media intern for the Philadelphia Phillies. His job includes filming the Phillie Phanatic and posting on the team’s social media during games. “My whole mom’s side of the family has had season tickets for the Phillies for years,” Foley said. “So I always went to games with them. I knew that when I was little that that was what I was passionate about.” He previously interned for the Philadelphia Eagles and the Philadelphia Inquirer where he interviewed players and wrote stories During those internships he grew accustomed to “surreal experiences,” he said, like running on a treadmill in the NovaCare Complex next to Nick Foles or hosting a Zoom call with some of the players from the 1980 Phillies championship run, Foley added. “You need to make it normal, or else you’re not gonna be able to do a good enough job,” Foley said. “You have to be professional with these people, and treat them as humans. I’m always forcing my-

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 28 FOOTBALL This summer, Blue trained to play multiple wide receiver spots because the team will be using a formation with five receivers on the field at the same time this season. This includes playing flexed outside and playing in the slot, he said. The coaching staff believe Blue’s versatility is one of his biggest strengths, said wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator Thad Ward. “[Blue] has a lot of different strengths

self to remember it’s normal to be doing this, but in the back of my mind I know it’s the coolest thing.” Foley grew up listening to Phillies commentator Harry Kalas, which prompted his interest in sports media. By the time he attended Downingtown High School West in Downingtown, Pennsylvania, Foley knew he wanted to be a sports writer, he said. When Foley came to Temple University, he started working in student media, and began covering high school basketball for City of Basketball Love, a news outlet dedicated to Philadelphia basketball. “He stuck out to me right away,” said Neil Ortiz, director of multimedia content for Temple’s journalism department. “He’s one of those students who constantly seeks out feedback. He’s constantly looking for ways to improve.” Once Foley saw Temple Athletics had little social media presence during games, he emailed them repeatedly until they hired him his sophomore year, he said. That same initiative led Foley to a job with the Eagles. “I expected to be in the mix of things, but I didn’t expect to be in the locker room literally every day,” Foley said. “I didn’t do any on-camera work before that. My very first day of training camp, he handed me a microphone and there was a camera guy behind me, and I had to interview Zach Ertz.” Selling 50-50 raffle tickets in Citizens Bank Park during the 2019 Phillies season helped Foley build relationships

that ultimately helped him land the job with the team, he added. Foley likes to write human interest stories on topics like an Eagles player’s favorite flavor of water ice or a father building a replica of Citizens Bank Park for his son, he said. “We want to make sure we’re reaching our fans every place that they are, and writing a wide variety of stories of interest fits into that strategy very well,” said Michael Harris, the Phillies’ vice president of marketing and new media. “That’s where he’s been very helpful and a key contributor.” Due to COVID-19 protocols, Foley

does not have the clearance to go on the field, but filming the Phillie Phanatic for the mascot’s Instagram page allows him to occasionally get in the stadium. Foley estimates only about 50 people are in the stadium for any given game, players not included. “When I was done with the Phanatic, I just went in the stands to watch the game, and I was by myself,” Foley said. “When we look back at this weird season a couple years from now, I’m one of the only people that got to see it in person.”

and gifts,” Ward added. “One of his gifts is we feel like we can pitch him the ball out of the backfield. We feel like we can motion him out of the backfield. We feel like we can flex him out wide and inside.” Although Blue is now a fixture of the Owls lineup every week, he’s come far from not being on the team before last season. Blue’s fellow wide receivers noticed a change in his mindset when he returned to the team last summer, said graduate student wide receiver Branden Mack. “He just came back with a strong

mindset like, ‘I’m gonna take over this year,’” Mack added. “What helped him is he came back positive. He came back more motivated. You could see him in practice. He just seemed way more motivated.” The receivers weren’t the only ones to notice Blue when he rejoined the team last summer. “From the first day I showed up [Blue], stood out,” Ward added. “He stood out as a human being. He stood out as a player. He’s just an awesome individual, super smart and super talented.”

The Owls’ first game is scheduled for Sept. 26 against Navy in Annapolis, Maryland. Blue is happy he’s earned the trust of this coaching staff and is looking forward to starting the season, he said. “Coach Ward puts a lot on me,” Blue added. “That’s because he trusts me. You wouldn’t rather be in any situation where your coach trusts you to put you in so many different positions for you to ultimately get the ball.”

MILES KENNEDY / COURTESY Graham Foley, a 2020 journalism alumnus, records the Phillie Phanatic in the stands for his and the Phillies’ social media platforms during the Phillies’ game against the Atlanta Braves at Citizens Bank Park on Aug. 7.

ari.glazier@temple.edu @AriGlazier

dante.collinelli@temple.edu @DanteCollinelli


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The Temple News

After a record-breaking 2019 season, Jadan Blue is looking to break his own record despite playing fewer games this year. BY DANTE COLLINELLI Sports Editor

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edshirt-junior wide receiver Jadan Blue feels he’s treated like a son by Temple University football’s coaching staff. Before head coach Rod Carey was hired in 2019, Blue was “off the team” and there was a chance he wouldn’t play for Temple again, he said. “When it comes to this staff, they welcomed me back,” Blue added. “They made me feel at home again.” Last season, Blue set a school record with 95 receptions and became the

first Temple player to eclipse 1,000 yards receiving, finishing with 1,067 total receiving yards. This season, Blue thinks he can break the records he set despite Temple playing fewer games than last season, he said. The Owls played 12 regular-season games last season, but their schedule for this year only includes eight games due to COVID-19 protocol. Because the Owls are limited to only 10 to 12 scrimmage plays each practice, Blue’s worked on learning the playbook and improving his football intelligence, he said. “The areas I’ve gotten better is my overall awareness and my ability to read the defense,” Blue added. “I feel like athletically I’ve gotten better. Things have gotten better for me on that end.” FOOTBALL | 27

COLLEEN CLAGGETT / FILE Redshirt-junior wide receiver Jadan Blue carries the ball during the Owls’ Military Bowl game against the University of North Carolina at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Maryland., on Dec. 27, 2019.

Profile for The Temple News

Vol. 99.5 Iss. 2  

Vol. 99.5 Iss. 2  

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