The Temple News Vol. 100 // Issue 1

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NORMAL? Temple students express both excitement and concern after returning to primarily in-person classes for the first time since the pandemic began. Read more on Page 18.


Read our breakdown on Temple’s COVID-19 requirements

VOL 100 // ISSUE 1 AUG. 31, 2021


North Central businesses give their takes on Temple students returning. @thetemplenews

The Temple News


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

Lawrence Ukenye Editor-in-Chief Jack Danz Managing Editor Amelia Winger Digital Managing Editor Natalie Kerr Chief Print Copy Editor Dante Collinelli Chief Digital Copy Editor Haajrah Gilani Assignments Editor Fallon Roth News Editor Micah Zimmerman Assistant News Editor Monica Constable Assistant News Editor Julia Merola Opinion Editor Kendra Franklin Essay Editor Samantha Sullivan Features Editor Mary Rose Leonard Assistant Features Editor Matthew Aquino Assistant Features Editor Isabella DiAmore Sports Editor Nick Gangewere Assistant Sports Editor Victoria Ayala Assistant Sports Editor Eden MacDougall Intersection Editor Emerson Marchese Longform Editor Maggie Fitzgerald Audience Engagement Editor Emily Lewis Asst. Engagement Editor Gracie Heim Web Editor Allison Ippolito Photography Editor Amber Ritson Assistant Photography Editor Erik Coombs Multimedia Editor Allison Silibovsky Assistant Multimedia Editor Hanna Lipski Design Editor Carly Civello Assistant Design Editor Olivia Hall Podcast Editor Scarlett Catalfamo 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 walking by Charles Library during Temple Fest. ALLIE IPPOLITO / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Contacts Visit us online at News Desk 215.204.7419 Email section staff The Temple News is located at: Student Center, Room 243 1755 N. 13th St. Philadelphia, PA 19122

CORRECTIONS 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 Lawrence Ukenye at

Reminder: All Temple students must be vaccinated by October 1st.

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What to know about Temple’s COVID-19 guidelines The director of Student Health Services expects Temple to have a highly-vaccinated population. BY FALLON ROTH News Editor


emple University will prohibit unvaccinated students’ access to campus and, potentially, cancel their enrollment if they are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by the Oct. 15 vaccination deadline. Students who have a medical or religious exemption from receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, must request their exemption by Sept. 17 to give the university enough time to consider the request, said Stephen Orbanek, a university spokesperson. Temple was one of the last local schools to issue a vaccine mandate for all students, faculty and staff, except those excused for medical or religious reasons. The university is requiring students to receive their first shot of a two-dose vaccine by Sept. 10 and their second by Oct. 1 to reach full vaccination status by Oct. 15, The Temple News reported. As of Aug. 27, roughly 85 percent of students living in on campus housing are fully vaccinated, pending verification from the university’s Data Verification Unit, Orbanek said. Roughly 80 percent of all Temple employees are fully vaccinated as of Aug. 27, also pending verification from the DVU, Orbanek said. There are 77 estimated active cases at Temple as of Aug. 27, according to the university’s case dashboard. Mark Denys, director of student health services, expects Temple to have around 100 active cases by Sept. 1, Orbanek said. Here’s what you need to know about Temple’s COVID-19 mitigation plans for the fall semester:


Temple’s vaccine mandate came hours after the City of Philadelphia announced on Aug. 13 that all students, faculty and health care workers affiliated with any university in the city must be

RYAN ENOCH / THE TEMPLE NEWS Freshman line up to participate in new student activities at the Bell Tower on August 20.

vaccinated by Oct. 15, The Temple News reported. Temple must follow city guidance when it comes to mask and vaccine policies, Denys said on Aug. 11, two days before Temple announced their vaccine mandate. “The city requires us to do something, we have to follow those requirements,” Denys said. “If the state requires us, you know, that usually falls right in line with the city, and we have to follow that guidance as well.” Drexel University, the University of Pennsylvania and Thomas Jefferson University first required vaccines in April, while Villanova University required vaccines in June and the Community College of Philadelphia required vaccines in August, The Temple News reported. Temple chose not to issue a vaccine mandate as early as other local institu-

tions, because it wanted to take an ”inclusive” approach, like allowing people to apply for exemptions, Orbanek said. Because of this, the university only encouraged, not required, students to be vaccinated before changing course on Aug. 13. Temple considers students fully vaccinated once they have uploaded a copy of their vaccination card to the student health portal, The Temple News reported. Zoya Gayle, a junior English major, is excited about the university’s vaccine mandate, she said. “I think it’s gonna make second semester just a lot easier,” Gayle said. Temple will not estimate the number of students fully vaccinated against COVID-19 until registration for fall classes ends in September, Denys said. He expects Main Campus to have a highly vaccinated population. As of Aug. 30, more than 883,000

Philadelphians have been fully vaccinated, according to the city’s vaccine dashboard.


Temple announced on Aug. 10 all students, faculty and staff must wear a mask while indoors and in enclosed spaces, regardless of their vaccination status, The Temple News reported. Temple chose to implement the mask mandate because research suggests fully vaccinated individuals can still get COVID-19, and cases are rising in Philadelphia, primarily due to the virus’ Delta variant, Denys said on Aug. 11. COVID-19 infections amongst fully vaccinated individuals are rare, but fully vaccinated people can still transmit the virus to others, according to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC recommended on July 27 that fully-vaccinated



Continued From Page 3 individuals wear masks in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high transmission. Temple students should also avoid crowded indoor spaces, according to Temple’s mask mandate announcement. Temple will not hold many in-person classes with larger enrollment this year or they will be conducted virtually, Denys said. However, as of Aug. 11 there are currently no size restrictions on gatherings or social distancing regulations, he added. Adeleke Goring, a freshman musical theater major, feels safe for the most part in all of his classes, but he wishes that Temple would provide guidance on what masks to wear and hold classes in less cramped spaces, he said. “A lot of times you have to sing and do things like that,” Goring said. “For the majority of my classes I feel safe, but I always feel like we can improve.” Temple will monitor the number of COVID-19 cases on campus, in Philadelphia and at local hospitals to decide if it will lift its mask mandate, Denys said.


Students who don’t submit their COVID-19 vaccination cards to the student health portal must be tested twice a week for COVID-19 and are restricted from group gatherings, activities and university-sponsored travel, The Temple News reported. COVID-19 testing for symptomatic individuals will be conducted at Morgan Hall, while the testing site for asymptomatic cases will be at Mitten Hall, Denys said. Fully-vaccinated students are able to get tested voluntarily at either site depending on if they have symptoms. As of Aug. 30, there are 569 new cases and a five percent positive test rate in the city, according to the Philadelphia Department of Public Health.


Temple’s contact tracing unit will be smaller than it was in the Spring 2021 semester, because the university anticipates having fewer cases, Denys said on Aug. 11. Temple has temporarily hired an increased number of contact tracers because the university expects a temporary rise in cases during the first few weeks of the academic year, which will hopefully

decrease by the end of September, Denys said. Anna Stewart, a senior psychology major, hopes classes will continue to be primarily in person and is worried classes will move online if Temple doesn’t hold students accountable to its mask, vaccine and distancing guidelines, she said. “I really really hope that sort of seeing campus in this like hybrid setup makes people want to be vaccinated,” Stewart said. Denys thinks Temple will only transition to primarily virtual learning if case numbers in the city, at local hospitals and other universities increase. The university would also look to see if the contract tracing unit’s system is unable to keep up with the number of close contacts, he said. The Student Health Services department had just set up contact tracing last fall, the large-scale asymptomatic testing was not yet available. Morgan Hall was in the early stages of becoming a testing site, making many of the processes, procedures, and programs inaccessible to the students. “This fall we’re in far better shape than we were last fall, you know, last fall a lot of these things we hadn’t done them yet,” Denys said. @fallonroth_

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RYAN ENOCH / THE TEMPLE NEWS Located on 10th Street near Berks, the NC Five apartment complex is set for completion by Oct. 1.

PHA set to complete NC Five construction in fall Tenants can be former PHA residents, Temple students and North Philadelphia residents. BY MICAH ZIMMERMAN Assistant News Editor The Philadelphia Housing Authority is set to complete construction of the NC Five apartment complex, located on Berks Street near 10th, by Oct. 1. The construction is part of the Philadelphia Housing Authority’s jurisdiction northeast of Temple University’s campus and it is the fifth phase of the PHA’s North Central Choice Neighborhood: Housing Plan, a five-phase project to provide affordable housing for the North Central Philadelphia neighborhood. PHA owns the construction, but Rose Community Management is in charge of finding tenants and maintaining the building, said Pat Coley, community manager of the property. “Our construction crews are definitely working on the final touches,”

Coley said. “We are going through our closing punch list to sign over the property for residency.” The goal of the project is to house local Philadelphia residents that belong to the Rental Assistance Demonstration program of PHA, which provides affordable housing to community members. The RAD program will get help from public housing agencies and city public equity to give community members access to long-term homes and sometimes home ownership, Coley said. NC Five apartments will also utilize the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program that is a part of the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, Coley said. “Many of the units have tax credit, which means there is a subsidy on the house,” said Donna Richardson, Norris Community Council president. “You get a four bedroom house with two baths, and where you have to pay $2,500 around the city, you only have to pay between $900 to $1,200. It gives people housing they cannot normally afford.”

Other units within the complex are available for anyone, including Temple students, Coley said. NC Five is replacing a 147-unit lowrise public housing development that was built in the late 1950s, The Temple News reported. “There were 147 homes present, and we asked to be given 147 units of the construction back to the people at PHA, and they did that,” Richardson said. The building will be used for residential units with the potential of one commercial space. “Ninety-nine point nine percent of the building will be residential, but we want to have one commercial space on the bottom floor,” Coley said. “Hopefully it’s a coffee shop.” NC Five will also offer studio apartments, as well as apartments ranging in size from one to three bedrooms, Coley said. The COVID-19 pandemic did not have a large effect on the construction of the complex but did stall construction

crews during the initial shutdown in 2020, Coley said. North Central businesses are not affected by the construction of the complex on the east side of Temple University, employees at local businesses said. “There is always a lot of construction happening around here,” said Lena Idrissi who works at Pharmacy of America IV on 9th street near Norris and Berks. “We do not really notice anything new, but we will take the new people around.” Tenants from PHA and from Rose Community Management, will be allowed to move into the new building once construction checklists are finalized and once residential inspections are completed, Coley said. “As long as we were given our 147 units back, we are happy, and the units can be filled with Temple students or Philly residents,” Richardson said. @micahvzimmerman



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Parliament starts the year with low participation The Parliament speaker hopes that there will be more members after the September election. BY GRETA MILLER For The Temple News This year, Parliament, the legislative branch of Temple University’s Student Government, plans to pass several resolutions during their term, despite only filling five out of 30 seats in this past April’s election. Townley Sorge, the speaker of Parliament and senior public health major, wants to pass 10 to 12 resolutions in the next two semesters during her tenure, she said. She hopes that once each subcommittee is chosen during their first meeting of the academic year on Sept. 20, they pass at least one resolution per semester. At its first meeting of the legislative body last April, Parliament members expressed interest in drafting legislation to address mental health, diversity and inclusion, and Asian American and Pacific Islander hate crimes, as well as creating a campus-wide, single-use plastic ban. Despite a low turnout for Parliament’s first election, 15 new candidates submitted applications to run in the second election, which will be held on Sept. 8 and 9. Typically, the September election is solely to choose a freshman representative, but this cycle all candidates are eligible to run due to a record-low number of applicants. Last year’s Parliament leadership discussed holding a special election alongside the freshman representative election in the fall to fill remaining seats in Parliament, as opposed to appointing students, The Temple News reported. “It definitely creates challenges when getting ideas or resolutions,” Sorge said. “But I will say that with only five people, things are always easier to do when you have a smaller group, but it’s definitely tough not having more people to come up with more ideas.” Emily Loehmer, TSG’s chief of internal services officer and a senior secondary education major, believes that there is low participation in Parliament,

because not enough students know about Parliament or its purpose, she said. “I’m really excited about this coming year because after Templefest, our applications for this year’s Parliament jumped up astronomically,” Loehmer said. There are roughly 20 applications in total for the upcoming fall election for Parliament seats, Loehmer said. Votes for Parliament candidates have decreased significantly since 2018, with 3,556 votes cast for Parliament candidates in 2018, 2,331 in 2019, 252 in 2020 and 141 in 2021, The Temple News reported. Manny Herrera, the vice speaker of Parliament and a sophomore biochemistry major, is finally getting used to his role in Parliament, despite a lack of support from leadership in the last year, he said. Now that he is preparing for his second administration, he is tasked with teaching the incoming Parliamentarians how to write resolutions. The executive branch of TSG has often worked independently from Parliament in years past, but Sorge hopes that increasing communication between branches and hosting a town hall with both executive and Parliament members will drive more productivity in student government. The executive branch is excited to collaborate with Parliament on ideas and resolutions,” Loehmer said. Last April, Parliament passed its first resolution within days of inauguration, calling on Temple to implement another tuition freeze this academic year. On July 6, the Board approved the first budget increase since the 2018-19 school year, which added 2.5 percent to in-state and out-of-state tuition, The Temple News reported. “I’m personally disappointed,” Sorge said. “I thought it would have been good for students because COVID has been so rough financially for so many people, and college is becoming more and more unaffordable.” Sorge also emphasized the importance of strong and organized leaders in Parliament as the driving force behind the group’s productivity. “We have really great leadership, and from the exec board as well, so

AMBER RITSON / THE TEMPLE NEWS Townley Sorge, a senior public health major, prepares notes for the upcoming parliament meeting.

“I will say that with only five people, things are always easier to do when you have a smaller group, but it’s definitely tough not having more people to come up with more ideas.” TOWNLEY SORGE Senior public health major

they’re gonna be a great resource to us here,” Sorge said. Parliament elects several members to represent different populations of Temple students. Kyle Sheaff, the Disability Resources and Services Representative, is proud to reflect the needs of his community in Parliament. “I’m looking forward to helping out with Temple students and planning fun activities,” Sheaff said. “I would like to be present to other Temple students.” Despite some setbacks in passing resolutions and considering the low turnout for candidates and voters in the past election, Sorge believes Parliament’s active presence in the Temple community will make a difference in TSG participation, she said. “If people know that we can do something, and they know what we’ve done, that would be really good for getting students to hear about us,” Sorge said. @gretamiller

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Anti-Racism center to begin construction this fall The center is expected to be complete by mid-Spring 2022 and has named its director. BY CHRIS DUONG AND JOCELYN HOCKADAY For The Temple News Temple University will begin construction of the Center for Anti-Racism in Anderson Hall this semester, as part of the university’s $1 million anti-racist initative. Once completed around the middle of Spring 2022, it will be open to all Temple students. Design teams met with representatives of the Africology and African American studies department during the past few months to refine the design of the center. The consultants for this project, Ian Smith Design Group and Pride Enterprises, are both owned by people from marginalized communities, said Martin Droz, associate vice president of Temple’s Project Delivery Group. Molefi Kete Asante, professor and chair of the Africology and African American studies department, appointed Timothy Welbeck, an African American studies professor, as the director of the center on Aug. 6 and announced his hiring in a department newsletter this week, after consulting with other faculty and administrative members. “He has always argued the position of justice, and he’s always been considered an activist in the field of civil rights,” Asante said. Welbeck hopes the center will dissect systemic racism to better understand how racism affects our society, he said. “I’m grateful for the opportunity, and I’m also grateful that Temple has embarked upon this initiative, and I’m also grateful for the leadership of my department and helping to push this initiative forward,” Welbeck said. Welbeck is an alumnus of Morehouse College and Villanova University’s Charles Widger School of Law and has been a professor at Temple for nearly ten years, Asante said. The center will also be available to students and faculty in local Philadelphia universities like St. Joseph’s, La

ALLIE IPPOLITO / THE TEMPLE NEWS Anderson Hall will house the Center for Anti-Racism, which will begin construction this semester.

Salle, Thomas Jefferson, Drexel and the University of Pennsylvania, Asante said. Other surrounding universities, like Villanova and West Chester University will also have access. The center will be located on the terrace of Anderson Hall, which was completed in December 2020, Droz said. The center will focus on researching structural and systemic racism and violence and attempting to end racial hierarchy, Asante said. “This is not just a Black center or a center simply dealing with one particular issue,” Asante said. “It is, of course, a center that will have a multiracial clientele and a multicultural pintail, and I think that that is essentially what we were hoping for.” The center will be able to host a diverse array of events and programs, said Marguerite Anglin, associate director of architecture for the Project Delivery Group.

Students and professors in the political science, psychology, sociology, urban education departments can lead informational workshops and promote real social and cultural changes in the center, Asante said. Temple’s Center for Anti-Racism will be an excellent place to teach, study and spread awareness about racial injustices to students and faculty, Asante added. Asante was inspired to create the Center for Anti-Racism after the death of George Floyd in May 2020 and by the book, “How to be an Anti-Racist,” written by former Temple doctoral candidate, Ibram X. Kendi. “Kendi was one of the first people to create a sense for anti-racist research in our Temple community,” Asante said. “It was only necessary.” Kendi was granted $10 million by a private source to create the premiere Center for Anti-Racism Research at Boston University, which also inspired

Asante’s idea for Temple’s new center, Asante said. Temple’s Board of Trustees approved $3.5 million in March 2021 for the construction of the center and improvements to the Africology and African American studies department’s space on the sixth and eighth floors of Gladfelter Hall, The Temple News reported. “It’s going to be really important to Temple and the community,” Anglin said.



Be proactive about COVID-19 Just two weeks before the Fall 2021 semester began on Aug. 23, Temple University announced that all students, faculty, staff and contractors must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Oct. 15, a change from the university’s announcement earlier this summer that it would relax its COVID-19 guidelines, The Temple News reported. The Editorial Board urges all students who are able to receive the COVID-19 vaccine to do so. Students who are already fully vaccinated should monitor their own health and be proactive in disproving misinformation about the vaccine, especially by having conversations with peers who are vaccine-hesitant. To be vaccinated by the Oct. 15 deadline, students must get their first shots by Sept. 3 for the Pfizer vaccine, Sept. 10 for the Moderna vaccine and Oct. 1 for the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Temple only considers students fully vaccinated when they have uploaded their vaccine card to the Student Health Portal, The Temple News reported. The Editorial Board commends Temple for requiring masks and vaccines but acknowledges that students must be responsible and advocate for public health to accelerate the end of the pandemic. In a May 2021 editorial, the Editorial Board urged students to be aware of their vaccine eligibility and to take the opportunity to get vaccinated when they become eligible. The United States has since reached a point where vaccines are significantly more accessible and still free. Those who go unvaccinated continue to perpetuate the spread of the outbreak, which will put more people unnecessarily at risk. While Temple has made efforts to restore Main Campus to pre-pandemic activity, the Temple community will not truly be safe until everyone is fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Students who do not upload

their COVID-19 vaccination cards by the Oct. 15 deadline and have not filed out an exemption form may be excluded from university premises like residence halls and face university sanctions, Temple announced on Aug. 16. Students should hold considerate conversations with their vaccine-hesitant peers to help them understand and avoid the consequences of not being fully vaccinated. Students can find guides on having conversations with vaccine hesitant individuals finding credible sources of information about the vaccine on the CDC website. As the Delta variant surges across the country, COVID-19 cases have risen sharply among unvaccinated people, and fully vaccinated people can still spread the virus, The Washington Post reported. This means fully vaccinated people must continue monitoring themselves for COVID-19 symptoms, and quarantining and getting tested if they are experiencing any symptoms, according to the CDC. The CDC has a Coronavirus Self-Checker tool to help individuals 13 and older tell whether they should seek medical care if they suspect they or someone they know has COVID-19. Three-quarters of students living on-campus have submitted their basic immunization requirements, of which 92 percent have submitted their COVID-19 vaccine card to the student health portal, The Temple News reported on Aug. 23. Though in-person classes and pre-pandemic activities have largely resumed, the COVID-19 pandemic still poses a threat to Temple students, staff and the North Philadelphia community. Students should actively work to prevent COVID19’s spread by getting vaccinated if they are not already, talking to their peers about receiving the vaccines and monitoring their health.

The Temple News


Getting the vaccine does not mean you are immune

A student describes the anxiety she experienced while having COVID-19 despite being fully vaccinated.


BY JULIA MEROLA Opinion Editor

’ve always felt the weight of the world on my shoulders, and that I’m responsible for many things that are out of my control. My anxiety has always told me that everyone and everything depends on me. When I received my second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, I felt like I was on top of the world. For the first time in almost two years, I finally felt protected from COVID-19. I continued to stay safe after being fully vaccinated by wearing my mask when going outside and in group settings, staying away from social gatherings and using hand sanitizer religiously. Halfway through July, I woke up experiencing almost every symptom of COVID-19. My throat was sore, I couldn’t breathe from congestion and I couldn’t smell anything. My mom was convinced it was just a head cold. The next night, I received a text message from my sister, saying she tested positive for COVID-19. I was terrified of passing the infection along to my coworkers, family and friends. Minutes later I was forcing my mom to come with me to get tested as she was still convinced I just had a head cold and that my test results would come back negative. I went to the local urgent care and told the nurse I needed a COVID-19 test. Deep down, I knew I had COVID-19, but I couldn’t admit it to myself. When the test result came back positive, I wasn’t surprised. My sister began contact tracing in our family to find the source of who gave her COVID-19. It seemed as though every half an hour there was a new negative result. I prayed for someone else to get a positive test result too so I wouldn’t be the one for my sister to blame. Unfortunately, all signs led back to me giving her COVID-19. I was an anxious mess for days. I stayed in

my room and refused to leave our apartment. I nervously waited for text messages from my coworkers telling me their results. While I kept my diagnosis to myself, my mom told all of her friends who are predominantly against the COVID-19 vaccines. Although she never told me their reactions, I already knew what they were thinking. “How did Julia get sick if she’s vaccinated? What’s the point of the vaccine? Why should I bother?” For the longest time, I felt like I was a spokesperson for vaccines. I wrote articles about the vaccines, sent credible information to family and friends and had important conversations about why I was vaccinated. By getting sick I felt as though I lost credibility with of all the anti-vaxxers I had been talking to. I had to realize it wasn’t my fault for getting COVID-19, and it wasn’t my fault when my sister contracted the virus. My county was experiencing high rates of transmission and there was nothing more I could do. While the worst of my experience with the virus is over, I’m still anxious about how people will react when I tell them I was infected over the summer. I often remind myself I’m not alone in feeling like this. There are hundreds of people who must feel similar to me, and I wish I could remind them it wasn’t their fault either. @juliaamerola


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Temple, require COVID-19 testing for all students A student argues that Temple should test all students for COVID-19 until Oct. 15.

JULIA MEROLA Opinion Editor

Getting tested for COVID-19 twice a week last spring made me feel safe. I found peace of mind knowing I did not have the infection, and neither did the people around me. Hearing that Temple would no longer test vaccinated students and staff

made me nervous. Vaccinated students who came into close contact with a student who tested positive for COVID-19 will be required to take COVID-19 tests, but we live in an urban environment. It is extremely possible that a vaccinated student could contract the virus from someone outside of the school without knowing or being tested. There are serious consequences to not testing all students for COVID-19, such as outbreaks in schools when students return, Tiffany Montgomery, assistant nursing professor. “It’s too much of a risk to not test everyone,” Montgomery said. “Just because you’ve been vaccinated does not mean you cannot be carrying the virus. It does not mean you cannot transmit the virus to someone else.” Although Temple has stressed the importance of health and safety by requiring students to wear masks and receive the COVID-19 vaccine by Oct. 15, the university must reinstate COVID-19 testing for all students, not just unvaccinated students. Temple does not require testing for all students because the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not recommend routine testing for fully vaccinated people, wrote Mark Denys, senior director of Student Health Services, in an email to The Temple News. It is recommended that fully vaccinated people with no COVID-19like symptoms and no known expo-


sure should be exempted from routine screening testing programs, according to the CDC. Crystal Wolfe, a freshman finance major, isn’t scared of contracting COVID-19, but is scared that Temple will have to switch back to virtual learning, she said. “I’m nervous that we’re not getting accurate numbers, and we’re going to underestimate it until it’s too late,” Wolfe said. “Instead of a short term break from classes, it’s all of the sudden going to catch up to us, and we’re gonna have to shut down. That’s what I’m really scared for.” The University of Pennsylvania required all students, regardless of vaccination status, to be tested for COVID-19 upon their arrival to campus. Beginning the week of Sept. 13, all vaccinated undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in an on-campus program will

be required to participate in mandatory screening testing twice a month at Penn, according to the University of Pennsylvania. Temple should follow Penn in implementing mandatory testing twice a month for all students to detect COVID-19 cases. Abby Rudolph, an epidemiology professor, would like Temple to enforce a testing mandate for all students until Oct. 15, she said. “I definitely think that there should be, at the very least, testing for everybody regardless of vaccination status before the vaccine requirement is effective,” Rudolph said. A testing policy for all students, regardless of vaccination status, would bring Temple up to the same level as other schools who require testing, Rudolph added. “The period of time I would be most

concerned about is the period of time leading up to Oct. 15,” Rudolph said. All healthcare workers, faculty and students of local colleges and universities must be vaccinated by Oct. 15, except in cases of religious or medical exemption, The Temple News reported. The Delta variant currently makes up 98.8 percent of all COVID-19 cases in the United States, according to the CDC. As of Aug. 27, there are 1,507 positive cases in Philadelphia, according to the Philadelphia Department of Public Health. Temple has an estimated 77 active cases of COVID-19 as of Aug. 27, according to Temple’s COVID-19 dashboard. By not testing all students, Temple will not be able to detect breakthrough infections, said Robert Bettiker, professor of clinical medicine at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine. “With the Delta variant, it does appear that people who are vaccinated and get infected, they can spread the infection potentially to others, especially if they’re not tested,” Bettiker said. By requiring all students to get tested weekly, Temple will be able to prevent a potentially more dangerous situation by getting a more accurate number of students who tested positive and negative for COVID-19. “If it’s a cost issue, let’s figure out how to pay for the tests,” Montgomery said. “If it’s an issue of not knowing how to get folks in to be tested, let’s talk to some public health experts and figure out how to get it done, but we cannot play around with people’s lives.” @juliaamerola


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Professors, be more mindful of pandemic brain A student argues that professors should be mindful of how online learning has affected students. BY JOHNATHAN TYSKA For The Temple News When I applied to Temple University in my senior year of high school I was ecstatic. The thoughts of living on campus and attending in-person courses sounded like bliss. That all changed when Temple shifted to virtual classes because of COVID-19 forcing me to spend my freshman year of college in my bedroom staring at a computer screen far away from my peers. For almost two years, I desperately attempted to keep my eyes glued to the Zoom lectures instead of my phone that sat less than two feet away from me. Even when I could keep my gaze on the computer screen, operating in a house with siblings, parents and a pet just added on to the stress. These were the signs of my first experience with pandemic brain. Pandemic brain is often associated with having trouble thinking, planning and completing tasks, according to Penn Medicine. The most common symptoms of pandemic brain include memory problems, lack of mental clarity, poor concentration, headaches and confusion, according to Healthline. Temple professors are not expected to act as therapists for their students, but they should be more understanding towards students’ behavior. Expecting students to be able to easily transition between online and in-person education is unrealistic. “Getting back into the swing of things has been kinda anxious, trying to make friends and stuff, I am vaccinated so I have hopes, but relearning how to be in a classroom can be kinda tricky after a year,“ said Dylan Michael, a sophomore liberal arts major. Isolation, which was caused by the pandemic and is connected with pandemic brain, is often associated with elevated risks for heart attack, stroke, chronic inflammation, depression, anxiety, perceived stress and loneliness, according to Harvard Health Publishing.


The isolation people are experiencing during the pandemic is completely unnatural. This is just not the way human beings are built, said James Byrnes, a psychology professor. “We need to be in constant contact with people, supporting each other, having conversations, and this has been quite a drain emotionally on a lot of people,” Byrnes said. This is my second year of college and my first year taking in-person classes moving from only online classes to in person feels just as strange as the original shift to online felt. Now having to work with peers and professors face to face under the guise of a normal academic environment feels absurd. While moving from online to in-person classes sounds perfect for pushing away pandemic brain, it raises its own set of concerns and anxieties. Issues, like maintaining a social life while abiding by COVID-19

regulations, adapting to in person classes and managing mental health, affect students returning to in-person classes. Throughout the pandemic, professors had to transform the way they taught their classes in order to adapt to online learning. In his experience, online education required Byrnes to think more about his lesson plans, he said. “Some things did work well and some things didn’t work well, and again from an instructional standpoint, it got me to really think about how to do things differently and how to do things better,” Byrnes said. Like Byrnes, Graciela Jaschek, an assistant epidemiology professor, is using her pandemic experience to change her own lesson plans to be more student centered. “The pandemic has transformed the way we look at education,” Jaschek said. “I think that I’m going to add lots of opportu-

nities for students to meet, do icebreakers so students learn to feel comfortable and create study pods or just groups where they feel comfortable to do group work.” While this transition will not be easy for anyone, it is unrealistic to expect students to immediately return back to a pre-pandemic mindset. We can use this return to create something new and special through an emphasis on group work and social activities that benefit the entire university community and, hopefully, clear some of the anxieties that pandemic brain causes. To do this, there must be better understanding and communication between students and faculty.



The Temple News


Stop downplaying the symptoms of COVID-19 A student argues that people must educate their loved ones about COVID-19 symptoms. BY LINDSAY GRIFFIN For The Temple News When a loved one of mine tested positive for COVID-19, I got chills. I couldn’t do anything about it, but sit back, mask up and watch people I care about suffer alone. Temple University students must have conversations with their family members and friends to inform them about the severity of contracting COVID-19. By informing them about COVID-19 symptoms compared to flu symptoms, we can limit the spread of misinformation. However, when a conversation turns into an argument, it is important to listen, understand and acknowledge different perspectives. I tried informing some of my unvaccinated family members about the seriousness of COVID-19 and its symptoms, but they had different beliefs. My brother doesn’t think COVID-19 is as dangerous as people believe. It may be more contagious than the flu, but people are overreacting, he said. COVID-19 symptoms generally take longer for people to show than flu symptoms, and people infected with COVID-19 can be contagious for longer. Most people with the flu will recover in two weeks or less, while long COVID symptoms could last weeks or months after infection, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The severity of COVID-19 and flu symptoms can range from mild to severe. Some people may have only a few symptoms, and others may be asymptomatic. However, some people with COVID-19 may experience shortness of breath and pneumonia that can last weeks or months after symptoms start, according to the CDC. People often downplay the symptoms of COVID-19, because they don’t fully realize how deadly this virus can be, said Krys Johnson, an epidemiology professor.


“COVID-19 is about 30 times more deadly than the seasonal flu,” Johnson said. There is little understanding of how severe the symptoms of COVID-19 are, particularly how quickly people can go from healthy one day to needing a ventilator the next, Johnson added. “If people had a better understanding of how severe these symptoms are and how quickly they can come on even for people who are young, healthy and have no preexisting conditions, then people would take it more seriously and be more apt to mask up,” Johnson said. Johnson thinks in the beginning of the pandemic it was easier for people in public health to compare COVID-19 to the flu, because we knew it was airborne, she said.

COVID-19 and the flu are both so widespread that contact tracers don’t have the capacity to track everyone who may have been potentially exposed. Someone can walk inside a grocery store and never know that they were in contact with people who were infected, Johnson said. As a result of a surge in COVID-19 cases, Temple has required all students to wear masks indoors this fall semester to mitigate against any further spread of COVID-19 and the Delta variant, The Temple News reported. On Aug. 23 the United States Food and Drug Administration approved the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for ages 16 years and older, according to the FDA. While millions of people have already safely

received the COVID-19 vaccines, the FDA recognizes that FDA approval of the vaccine may instill more confidence that people should get vaccinated, according to an FDA press release. COVID-19 and its Delta variant may never go away. It’s important for students to talk about the difference between symptoms of the flu and COVID-19 to prevent people diminishing the severity of COVID-19 and its symptoms. By having conversations, students will fight the misinformation that helps spread this deadly virus. @Gray29x

The Temple News



ALLIE IPPOLITO / THE TEMPLE NEWS Coley Newkirk, a 44-year-old barber at Mecca Unisex Salon who lives on 11th Street near Diamond, stands outside Mecca Unisex Salon on Aug. 20.


North Central community reacts to students’ return North Philadelphia residents are excited to see students come back but are wary of COVID-19. BY EMME MARCHESE Longform Editor


or Coley Newkirk, an absence of Temple University students impacts his career, income and day-to-day routine. With Temple students back on campus this fall, he wants to return to some normalcy, but still feels the threat of COVID-19. “It’s good that y’all are back around here, going to school and doing what y’all need to do,” said Newkirk, a 44-year-old barber at Mecca Unisex Salon who lives on 11th Street near Diamond. “We just gotta do what they are telling us to do to move forward and get through this together.” After three semesters of primarily virtual learning, thousands of Temple students have returned to North Philadelphia amid increased measures from the university to combat COVID-19’s spread. While many residents and local business owners are excited about in-

creased activity in the community, they are still nervous about a potential surge in COVID-19 cases. Many students were eager to return to campus when former Temple President Richard Englert announced in March that Temple would hold primarily in-person classes this fall. Cinco Small, a 21-year-old resident who lives on 20th Street near Gratz is excited that Temple is back in person, she said. Small likes Temple events and having access to off-campus parties that students host. “I live around here so of course I’m going to go to different things going on, it’s fun to have you guys back at Temple,” Small said.

SPREAD OF COVID-19 The spread of COVID-19 hasn’t stopped as its Delta variant has accounted for almost all cases in the Philadelphia area, said Dr. Frederic Bushman, chairman of the microbiology department at Penn Medicine, in an interview with 6ABC. Terry Freeman, a self-employed resident who lives on 16th Street near Mont-

gomery Avenue, is choosing to keep his distance from students living off campus. “Temple students coming back doesn’t really affect me,” Freeman said. “But you know, I stay my distance. I’m aware of COVID, but I’m not all geeked about students being back.” Some residents are nervous Temple students will spread COVID-19 by hosting parties and other large gatherings. Ahmed Leake, a 40-year-old barber who lives on Diamond Street near 11th and works with Newkirk at Mecca Unisex Salon, worries parties will contribute to the spread of COVID-19, he said. “It’s too many parties around here,” Leake said. “And I get y’all are here to have fun and learn, but it’s too many all the time.” Of the more than 37,000 students enrolled at Temple during the 2020-21 academic year, about 32 percent lived on campus or in the eight ZIP codes near Main Campus — 19121, 19122, 19123, 19125, 19130, 19132, 19133 and 19140. As students return to campus, it can be challenging to resist the sense of normalcy that attending large gatherings and reunit-

ing with friends after months apart provides, said Carlie Michaels, a junior communications and political science major. “At times I want to hang out in large crowds to be able to go out with my friends, and it might not be the best idea,” Michaels said. “I just need to keep that in mind more when I’m walking around the neighborhood and try to make good decisions.” Temple students who are reported for violating the Student Conduct Code’s policies about large gatherings or illegal activities will be subject to university discipline, wrote Stephanie Ives, the associate vice president and dean of students, in an email to The Temple News. On Aug. 10, Temple required students and faculty to wear masks while inside any Temple building and encouraged them to wear masks outdoors in crowded areas, The Temple News reported. “Even though I’m not exactly the biggest fan of wearing the masks, if that’s what people are comfortable with and can get me to have in-person classes, that’s what I’ll do,” said Michael McGill, a junior management information sys-


tems and accounting major. On Aug. 13, Temple required students, faculty and staff to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 15 in accordance with the City of Philadelphia’s vaccine mandate for all local colleges and universities, The Temple News reported. “Of course the most important thing is to get vaccinated, and all of our Temple community is required to get vaccinated,” wrote Laura Siminoff, the dean of the College of Public Health, in an email to The Temple News. More than 883,000 Philadelphia residents are fully vaccinated as of Aug. 30, according to the City of Philadelphia’s vaccine dashboard. Even though thousands of residents are vaccinated, Philadelphia’s vaccination rate plateaued significantly during the summer because of a lack of trust in the vaccines and few opportunities for certain residents to get their vaccine, Billy Penn reported. The College of Public Health, the Lewis Katz School of Medicine and Temple Health Systems offer vaccines to the North Philadelphia community and throughout the city, Siminoff wrote. Mandating masks and vaccines promotes the rest of the community’s health and safety, said David Choi, the manager of his family’s Korean restaurant called Crunchik’n on Cecil B. Moore Avenue near Broad Street. “I think everybody should be educated on the facts,” Choi said. “There are a lot of anti-vaccine believers, if you will, but ultimately, you can’t beat science. And it definitely prevents the spread of the disease, so I totally agree with Temple for mandating both.” Social media misinformation theories about the COVID-19 vaccine is a big reason why some are hesitant to get vaccinated, as many people are concerned about how quickly vaccines were devel-


The Temple News

oped, BBC reported. The United States Food and Drug Administration approved the vaccine as safe on Aug. 23, which means there is more than enough scientific evidence to back up the benefits of the vaccine. The National Institute of Health concluded that vaccinations have decreased the likelihood of being hospitalized and dying of COVID-19 by more than 63 percent. Even with evidence to support the effectiveness of the vaccine, Small believes mandating vaccines is an unnecessary burden for students and is not in favor of Temple’s mandate. “If I were a student I wouldn’t go back, I would just have to do online or something,” Small said. INCREASED BUSINESS The pandemic has disproportionately affected Black and minority-owned businesses, and many business owners have permanently closed their doors while others are still recovering from city-mandated lockdowns and the economic hardships they brought last year, The Temple News reported. “I’m excited to see Temple back, I think it’s like a test to see if things will be able to go back to normal with COVID-19, and the Temple kids don’t realize how much they influence our economy and businesses,” Leake said. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act that was passed in March 2020 helped small businesses stay afloat during the pandemic. Despite the aid it promised, the program failed to reach many Black and minority business owners, The Temple News reported. ​“We opened here about a month ago, and we didn’t really have like a grand open-

“I’m excited to see Temple back, I think it’s like a test to see if things will be able to go back to normal with COVID-19, and the Temple kids don’t realize how much they influence our economy and businesses,” AHMED LEAKE North Central resident

ALLIE IPPOLITO / THE TEMPLE NEWS Cinco Small, a 21-year-old resident who lives at 20th and Gratz Street, stands outside of Champ’s Diner on Aug. 20.

ing because of the pandemic,” Choi said. Crunchik’n is open for carry-out only, having to close their dine-in option due to COVID-19. Nearly 63 percent of small businesses in Philadelphia were negatively affected during the pandemic, especially during the first few months of the pandemic in the summer of 2020. This is the highest rate out of the 25 largest counties in the country, according to a June 2020 report from the Office of the City Controller. Students’ return to North Philadelphia has already begun to revitalize the local economy, and Choi has already noticed a large increase in business over the past week, he said. “We are really grateful for students and for the business they bring,” Choi said. “We definitely notice the pickup when students return, so it’s exciting for you guys to be back in the community.”

With the challenges of the last year and a half, Newkirk and Leake are excited to see students return because their absence last year hurt their business, they said. “That’s another positive, you guys really bring the economy back up and that’s a big part of our lives,” Newkirk said. “We need you guys in our neighborhoods to generate money so the businesses keep growing.” As the 2021-22 school year begins, students and residents alike are hoping to return to a more normal life, for the sake of local businesses and the North Philadelphia community as a whole. “COVID is gonna be here, we just gotta climb that mountain and move forward,” Newkirk said. @emersonmttn

LIVE Philly in


ALLIE IPPOLITO / THE TEMPLE NEWS Mazzie Casher receives his first dose of the Pfizer vaccine inside Smith Memorial Playground and Playhouse on Aug. 28.

Philly Truce hosted Vax Facts to help inform and educate people about the COVID-19 vaccine. BY ALLIE IPPOLITO Photo Editor


hilly Truce hosted Vax Facts, an event to help inform those interested in receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, on Saturday at Smith Memorial Playground and Playhouse in East Fairmount Park. Initial plans to have a vaccine clinic, DJ, food, games and other activities, were curtailed by the rainy weather that

canceled the event. However, it did not stop Mazzi Casher, co-creator and director at Philly Truce, from receiving his first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Philly Truce operates an app that provides mediation and intervention services for people in the city who may need assistance with potentially violent situations, especially involving gun violence. “A big part of what we do at Philly Truce is about helping people understand that there are resources available, there is help available,” Casher said. Saturday’s event was a way for

Casher to set an example as someone who made his own decision on getting the vaccine. “For me, that’s why I did it, to set an example of a free-thinking person of color,” he said. Although Casher never contracted COVID-19, he felt it was his responsibility to get vaccinated so he gained knowledge about the vaccine from a trusted source, Dr. Nina Ahmad, a molecular biologist that he partnered with through Philly Truce. “As a person in a sort of a leadership position, and very specifically, on the premise that I found a trusted source, far more knowl-

edgeable than myself, and that person gave me the information and the confidence, a lot of what we have to do at Philly Truce is lead by example,” Casher said. Cornelius Pitts, a pharmacist and director of the COVID-19 vaccine response team at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine, had conversations with those wary of the vaccine that made him aware that some vaccine hesitancy is due to deep-seated fear and anger in the community. “When we engage in that conversation, we’re actually sometimes able to get into the core of what

their reasoning is and what they’ve heard, and how can we dispel some of that misinformation,” Pitts said. Patricia Imms, a registered nurse at Miriam Medical Clinic, believes that education is extremely important for those concerned or thinking they are being forced into getting vaccinated. “You have to make this decision in your time with your own sense that this was the right choice for you and your family,” Imms said. “We are really committed to that message.” Imms aims to administer as many vaccinations as possible but acknowledges it is important for them to avoid forcing vaccines onto people. “Vaccinations are obviously our biggest goal because we really believe in it,” Imms said. “But the ability to provide accurate information to talk to people, we meet them where they’re at, no matter what theory they have of why they shouldn’t get it.”

MOVING CLOCKWISE FROM THE TOP RIGHT: ALLIE IPPOLITO / THE TEMPLE NEWS Mazzie Casher receives his COVID-19 vaccination card inside Smith Memorial Playground and Playhouse on Aug. 28. ALLIE IPPOLITO / THE TEMPLE NEWS A COVID-19 vaccine anaphylaxis kit sits on a table inside Smith Memorial Playground and Playhouse during the event Vax Facts on Aug. 28. | ALLIE IPPOLITO / THE TEMPLE NEWS ALLIE IPPOLITO / THE TEMPLE NEWS Vaccine syringes lay on a table during the Vax Facts event at Smith Memorial Playground and Playhouse on Aug. 28. ALLIE IPPOLITO / THE TEMPLE NEWS Mazzie Casher, fills out a registration form to receive his first COVID-19 vaccine inside Smith Memorial Playground and Playhouse on Aug. 28.

The Temple News




Return to in-person classes brings anxiety, hope Temple students express excitement and concern after their first week back to in-person classes. BY SAMANTHA SULLIVAN Features Editor Matt Hachten has been excited for the first day of classes since he was accepted to Temple University in Fall 2020. After taking a year off to avoid virtual classes, Hachten is eager to return to learning about and making music in person. “I absolutely despise online learning,” said Hachten, a freshman music technology major. “I decided to defer last year just because I was betting that hopefully this year campus would be open, which thank god it is.” On Aug. 23, Temple students returned to campus for the start of the fall semester, with the majority of classes held in-person for the first time since the pandemic began. After almost a year and half of virtual learning, many students were eager to return to campus, but some students do not feel entirely comfortable returning due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases in Philadelphia and the Delta variant. Ximena Javadpour, a senior statistical science and data analytics major, is enrolled in all in-person classes except a virtual one. However, she prefers remote learning. Taking all of her classes virtually was not an option for her this semester, because the majority of classes she needs to complete her degree are only offered in-person, she said. Javadpour works in the Philadelphia International Airport and already feels like she is at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19 because of the number of people she comes in contact with at work, she said. She also does not believe that Temple is doing a good job enforcing social distancing and masking guidelines. “I kind of sit away from everybody else, Javapour said. “I do notice that there

isn’t really much social distancing in classes, like I expected. I’ve noticed that some people will just take off their masks in the middle of class and eat a snack or have a drink. It’s kind of like, don’t you care?” Temple is requiring students to wear masks in buildings and get fully vaccinated by Oct. 15, in accordance with a mandate from the City of Philadelphia, The Temple News reported. While Temple plans to continue in-person classes and activities during the fall semester, it has plans in place to pivot to primarily virtual learning at any time, according to the university. As of Aug. 27, there are 77 estimated active cases of COVID-19 at Temple, according to the university’s COVID-19 dashboard. The positivity rate at Temple is 1.67 percent while Philadelphia’s positivity rate is 4.14 percent, according to the dashboard. More than 883,000 people are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in Philadelphia as of Aug. 30, according to The Philadelphia Department of Public Health. Caleb Pietrafitta, a freshman mechanical engineering major, is not worried about COVID-19 and is mainly excited about joining clubs and student organizations, he said. Pietrafitta intentionally chose as many in-person classes as possible, because he prefers the constant supervision of in-person classes. “I definitely like it a lot better than being virtual,” Pietrafitta said. “I don’t do well in a virtual setting. So I chose all in-person classes, because if I don’t have that monitoring I don’t get my work done.” Spense Dawkins, ​​a junior psychology major, does not learn as much in a virtual classroom as in person, they said. They also missed the campus atmosphere. While taking classes in person will improve their learning experience, it was the social aspect of being on campus that they missed the most when they

ALLIE IPPOLITO / THE TEMPLE NEWS Students and faculty walk down Pollet Walk on August 26.

started at Temple last January, they said. “I was a little upset, I’m sure we all were because everything was online and we weren’t seeing our friends or getting involved on campus,” Dawkins said. “Being back has been a nice breath of fresh air. Instead of school just being work, it’s also fun.” For Olivia Martinez, a senior global studies major, returning to campus was a shock. The first day of classes was her first time back on campus in almost a year since all of her classes were virtual during the past two semesters, Martinez said. “It’s super weird being back,” Martinez said. “I forgot how many students go here. It looks insane. I forgot there’s lines for everything. It just looks so crowded. It’s exciting but also scary obviously because of COVID and stuff.” The transition back to in-person classes feels like going back to normal, Martinez added. Sara Gingras, a senior graphic design major, is also excited to be back on-cam-

pus, especially since it’s her last year at Temple, she said. After spending the last year and a half taking online classes, she is happy to spend her last year on campus surrounded by her fellow classmates. “I missed being in Tyler, being around all the different types of people in Tyler, seeing everyones outfits, all the good energy and everything that comes with being around people that you just want to be around,” said Gingras. “Those are my people I feel like.”



The Temple News


Boyer College releases 14-track percussion album Marc Mellits’ album “No Strings Attached,” provides opportunities for Boyer students, faculty. BY ROSIE LEONARD Assistant Features Editor


lthough COVID-19 restrictions made it difficult to record live music, it did not stop the Boyer College of Music and Dance Records from releasing their second album, “No Strings Attached.” “It certainly was more difficult to get this done under those circumstances,” said Phillip O’Banion, director of Philadelphia Percussion + Piano Project and associate professor of percussion studies at Boyer. Last spring, composer Marc Mellits collaborated with BCM&D Records to produce his latest album, “No Strings Attached,” consisting of 14 instrumental songs. The album was produced through BCM&D Records and debuted on Aug. 20 on streaming services, like Spotify, Google Play, iTunes, Amazon, CD Baby and on CD, O’Banion said. Each song on the album was written and produced during a different time in Mellits’ career, with the oldest one, “Troica,” dating back to 1998, Mellits said. Although each song was composed years apart, it only took about four months to produce the album, O’Banion said. In addition to producing music, BCM&D Records strives to provide opportunities for students to get involved and gain more experience performing. “It’s really great for our students to give them a sort of real world, professional level, you know, chamber ensemble experience, and to get them in the studio and recording things,” O’Banion said. Alonzo Davis, a junior music education major at Boyer and member of the percussion ensemble at Temple, has had many opportunities to perform with O’Banion and other musicians while working toward his degree.

JOSEPH V LABOLITO / COURTESY Lucas Conant, a graduate student in the Master of Music in Percussion Performance program, warms up on the vibraphone before the recording session for “No Strings Attached” begins at the Temple Performing Arts Center on April 17.

Boyer’s studio consists of about 24 percussionists, ranging from first year music education and percussion students to graduate students, and sometimes professional studies students. Davis was selected out of the 24 to play percussion and be featured on “No Strings Attached,” he said. The album features 14 musicians, and Davis is on the first track of the album, “Black,” which is a quartet of four marimbas, he said. “It’s my first time playing on a Temple percussion album,” Davis said. “It was quite different from anything that I’ve ever done.” Every half hour, performers vacated

the Temple Performing Arts Center so the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system could exchange the old air with fresh to prevent the spread of germs, O’Banion explained. O’Banion grew familiar with Mellits and his work about nine years ago. The two joined a consortium commission, a group that commissions a composer to write a new piece, giving them exclusive access to the work, O’Banion wrote in an email to The Temple News. “[Mellits] writes, I think, really fascinating, exciting, interesting percussion music,” O’Banion said. “So when we were discussing possibilities for a project this year, during the pandemic, I

thought, well, I think this is stuff I can get done sort of in house here, with the players, the ensemble and the students.” If it weren’t for individuals and groups like BCM&D Records who are eager and willing to perform these pieces, there would be no record, Mellits said. “Together, we create this sort of magical thing that happens,” Mellits said. “When music leaves the stage and into your ears, or comes out of your phone and into your ears or whatever, like that experience is just magical. And I just feel like I’m part of that bigger picture.”

The Temple News




Temple graduate lands his dream role in TV show 2012 alumnus Benjamin Norris stars as “Trent” in popular Netflix series, “Never Have I Ever.” BY MATT AQUINO, ROSIE LEONARD and SAMANTHA SULLIVAN For The Temple News Benjamin Norris never considered becoming an actor until he began attending Temple University’s School of Theatre, Film and Media Arts in 2008, he said. “I always had dreams of doing this and to be a part of something that means so much to so many, especially young people around the world, is just a really cool thing,” Norris said. After years of studying writing and acting, he graduated from Temple 2012 and was cast last year as Trent Harrison in the Netflix series, “Never Have I Ever.” “Never Have I Ever,” co-written by Mindy Kaling and Lang Fisher, debuted April 27, 2020, on Netflix, with the second season released on July 15. The show centers on Devi, an Indian-American teenager in high school, as she navigates her way through crushes and the loss of her father. Norris appears in both seasons as Trent, the best friend of Devi’s crush, Paxton. Trent‘s character is laid back and serves as a source of comedic relief, a role that Norris has always wanted to play, he said. “I’ve always wanted to do comedies,” Norris said. “I’ve also always wanted to do an outlandish character. I never really had the vision for myself of being a leading man.” Although “Never Have I Ever” is a comedy-drama series, the presence of diversity and representation that many shows often lack, Norris said. “Not only is it a huge show, but it also seems to be a very important show,” Norris said. “It’s very cool to be a part of something that has cultural significance,

DEXTER LOSCHER / COURTESY Benjamin Norris, a 2012 film and media arts alumna, is starring in Netflix’s new show “Never Have I Ever.”

especially with the Indian-American culture and the Indian culture.” By his junior year of college, Norris decided he wanted to pursue acting after attending the Theater, Film and Media Arts study away program in Los Angeles with 2012 film and media arts alumnus Adam Segal, who is now Norris’s manager, Norris said. Norris began getting more involved in student film projects when he returned from the program for their fall semester in 2011, Segal said. Segal began meeting with him as a potential client post-graduation after seeing how talented he was at acting. “He just lit up on camera,” Segal said. “It just was so clear to me that he was a special performer.” Norris gained inspiration from his

Temple peers and professors, like Keir Politz, former film professor at the TFMA who taught him Screenwriting II, he said. Politz helped Norris strengthen his writing skills and better understand film, he said. “He taught me how to tell a story,” Norris said. “He taught us not to be afraid of throwing wrenches in our stories and sending our hero on a journey we never considered.” Norris was always eager to expand his horizons to become a more versatile actor, Politz said. “He had that enthusiasm, which, to me, is a sign that this is somebody that is going to go out and whatever they pursue, and whatever their interests and, you know, the shape that it takes, he’s

gonna find traction,” Politz said. Norris credits his career to his friends and professors from Temple, as they helped shape him into the actor he is today, he said. Landing this role was a dream, Norris said. “I’ve always wanted to be that other guy in a show that people tend to gravitate towards, and I seem to have found that,” Norris said.



The Temple News


Diamond Scholar investigates oak sapling growth Temple junior Chloe Gehret is conducting analysis on red oaks at the Ambler Field Station. BY MATT AQUINO Assistant Features Editor Curious about the interaction between trees and the environment, Chloe Gehret spent the majority of her summer in the Temple Ambler Field Station researching the red oak species. “It’s been a great experience to be able to go out and actually conduct research in the forest that’s run by Temple University, it’s kind of like a separate side of Temple but in nature,” said Gehret, a junior ecology, evolution and biodiversity major. During the summer, Gehret researched why the red oak species grew in specific areas in the field station. This fall, she will expand her research to see how red oak growth is affected by animals feeding on them. From her findings in the summer, Gehret concluded all the adult and sapling red oaks growing in the field station are in a cluster distribution, growing in proximity in specific areas and not equally spaced out. She noticed saplings were in close vicinity of adult red oaks and grew in areas where there weren’t many other plant species. This inspired her research plans for the fall to examine how animals, like deer, squirrels and insects, feeding on these saplings affect their growth, she said. Gehret will check weekly on differently sized cages that will be set up with seeds in them and also on seeds planted in the open to see which seeds are being fed on, she said. Gehret joined professor Amy Freestone, director of the field station and Temple’s ecology, evolution and biodiversity program lab her freshman year of college. Gehret conducted computer research and worked with biology graduate students Mariana Bonfim and Mary Cortese.

JOSEPH V. LABOLITO / COURTESY Chloe Gehret, a junior ecology, evolution and biodiversity major, ropes off a section of old growth in order to complete a forest census near Temple University Ambler in July 2021.

Cortese has enjoyed watching Gehret grow as a researcher and individual, she said. “She’s always one to do a little bit more and push her research a little bit further, which is really exciting to watch, Cortese said. After COVID-19 restrictions eased, Freestone offered Gehret a position at the Temple Ambler Field Station in the spring of 2020. The field station enables students to conduct fieldwork on the 187 acres of old growth and secondary forests, meadows, streams and gardens on the Ambler campus, which opened in Fall 2020. “It was my pleasure to invite her to have her join the lab, and then her role in the lab has shifted through time as we’ve had different opportunities to offer to her, but she has been just a fantas-

tic team member now for quite a while,” Freestone said. Once Gehret started working at the field station, she assisted with the forest census, where she mapped and measured woody plants in the field station. During her time in the spring, Freestone helped Gehret focus her research on red oaks, because they are abundant and Gehret wanted to understand why trees were able to survive in certain locations, she said. Through her curiosity and the help from Freestone and the graduate students, Gehret was able to develop an idea for an independent research project on the red oaks species, she said. Gehret applied to the Diamond Research Scholar Program, a program that allows Temple students to conduct mentored research or creative projects.

Gehret chose Freestone as her mentor, because she has provided her with many opportunities and supported her throughout college, Gehret said. “I met with her and her kind words and comforting nature immediately drew me in,” Gehret said. Gehret’s goal is to present at a larger conference and publish her findings, she said. “After college, I’m considering graduate school, and I know that having a publication is definitely the first step to getting into a prestigious grad school and just continuing my career as an ecologist,” Gehret said.

The Temple News




Black women recognize need for intersectionality Some white feminists tokenize something for everyone, like we’re gonor ignore Black women, creating na not only communicate with females on campus, we’re going to reach out to a divide in the feminist spaces. BY EDEN MACDOUGALL Intersection Editor


arly Newton was one of the few Black girls in her hometown of Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, which is majority white. When she started her freshman year of college at East Stroudsburg University, she wanted to learn more about herself, but there weren’t many ways for her to get involved in the Black community at her school. After another student started a chapter of the National Council for Negro Women at East Stroudsburg, Newton joined and became a charter member before transferring to Temple University in her sophomore year. “Just learning the mission of NCNW kind of, like, really aligned with, you know, where I saw myself as like a Black woman and who I was becoming,” said Newton, a senior communication studies major and president of the National Council for Negro Women at Temple. “Joining was like, you know, very like, pivotal in that journey for me.” Black women at Temple shared how mainstream feminism is often focused on the needs of white women and doesn’t empower or liberate women of color, forcing them to create their own spaces to address their needs. Growing up, Chynna Cummings had always been close to her sisters and when she came to Temple, she found herself longing for that same kind of sisterhood. To fill the emotional void, she created ProjectSHE. ProjectSHE aims to support, honor and empower women, said Cummings, a 2020 journalism and criminal justice alumna. ProjectSHE has collected and donated personal care products, like soap and toothbrushes, to women experiencing homelessness in Philadelphia and hosted events to bring female students together. “When I came up with ProjectSHE, I was just like this is going to be, like,

the community,” Cummings said. When white women are in charge of feminist organizations, they often fail to take into account the unique struggles that women of color go through because of their intersecting identities, said Jenna Archer, a junior chemistry major and ProjectSHE secretary. While ProjectSHE is open to all women, the 2020-2021 executive board consisted entirely of Black women, and ProjectSHE hosted events aimed at accommodating Black women, like the Annual 20 Questions: Black Love Edition Discussion, a talk about how to have healthy romantic relationships. “We aren’t oppressed in the same ways, you know,” Newton said. “What oppression looks like for a Black woman is not what oppression looks like for a white woman. So then when you try and come together and say that we’re fighting for the same oppression, you know, it’s almost like we can’t be.” While white feminists often have good intentions, they are unable to take a step back to consider how race complicates sexism and in doing so, overlook racial issues, said Taylor Hargraves, a junior media studies and production major and political action chair for the Progressive NAACP at Temple. White feminism prioritizes the voices of upper-middle-class white women and their experiences while ignoring how race and socioeconomic status can complicate sexism in addition to focusing on symbolic actions rather than concrete changes, Hargraves added. The reason for this divide between white and Black feminists is that white women see themselves as women first and ignore their place in the racial hierarchy, said Nah Dove, an Africology and African American Studies professor. White feminism only welcomes Black women if they are willing to be a token to speak on racial issues and make them look more inclusive than they actually are, Hargraves said. “It’s kind of like, not fake welcoming, but welcoming to the point,” Hargraves added.

CHYNNA CUMMINGS / COURTESY Members from ProjectSHE prepare meals and care packages for those experiencing homelessness at the Hub of Hope on Nov. 16, 2019.

If white feminists want to be inclusive, there needs to be more communication between white feminists and women of color, Cummings said. Being able to talk to others about difficult topics, like cultural appropriation, can help others be more aware of how their actions harm Black women, Cummings said. White feminists should be aware that not every woman needs the same kind of liberation and what liberation looks like varies from demographic to demographic, person to person, Archer said. The onus is on white feminists to acknowledge the historical racism Black women faced and the racism they experience today, and work to include Black women in their spaces, Newton said.

Part of the work involves deconstructing racial hierarchies by learning about how ideas about race and racial superiority were formed and taking responsibility for continuing to uphold those ideas, Dove said. “It is critical to feminism,” she said. “If one cannot theoretically understand how feminism developed in this way then, you know, what’s one doing but maintaining these hierarchies.”



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Black students find joy in culture, community Black joy helps push back against negative portrayals of Black people and humanize them. BY EDEN MACDOUGALL Intersection Editor Growing up, Herby Boucard put his Haitian culture “on the back burner,” because he felt Haitian culture did not mesh with American beliefs. But in middle school, he visited Haiti and discovered the country’s beauty, he said. “When I finally saw, like, the beauty of the country and the culture, it kind of like, it was like ‘oh my god.’” said Boucard, a mechanical engineering major and the president of the National Society of Black Engineers. “It was for a long time, something I always remember and cherish, because I got a better idea. A lot of times when you see, when you think of Haiti, you think of a wasteland.” Black students find joy in their cultures and communities and feel Black joy has an important role in activism as the Black community pushes to be seen as more than just victims of racism. For Black people, being happy and enjoying life in a society designed to oppress them is a form of resistance, said Pascal Osei, a freshman political science and legal

studies major and the political action chair for the Black Student Union. Black joy has become part of the ongoing international conversation about race, with Black people publishing books documenting Black joy and hosting events to bring people together, Vogue reported. Appreciating Black culture can also help push back against negative images of Black people and Black culture, Osei added. “I think it’s important for Black youth to find whatever things they’re most interested in and just capitalize off that and try to live as regular a childhood as possible,” Osei said. Finding joy is an important way to balance out overexposure to racism and maintain a positive self-image, Boucard said. Overexposure to race-related current events on social media, especially police brutality, can traumatize those who identify as part of the group suffering, according to a 2020 study conducted by the University of Maryland Medical System. Haiti often only makes the news when something bad happens, like an earthquake or the assassination of President Jovenel Moise, and everything else about the country is ignored by the mainstream media, Boucard added. “But there are so many things there, that you know, that you will not see any-

where else,” he added. “I’ve seen the bluest water and whitest sand at sandy beaches while I was there.” After his visit to Haiti, Boucard took time to understand his parents’ more traditional point of view instead of disregarding it, he said. As the Vice President of BSU, Kaila Williams tries to help Black students connect with one another and participate in club events, she said. BSU is hosting community service projects and events to create a more welcoming environment for Black students, said Williams, a senior biology major. “The community aspect of it, I think, that’s the best part of the culture, that like, we feel the sense of community when you’re around,” Williams said. “You can go anywhere and just kind of’s an unsaid type of thing that we’re all in this together.” The National Society of Black Engineers builds community through events, like study nights and helping each other with non-club related things. The former club vice president, Geoffrey Milford, gave Boucard his undivided attention and helped him restructure his resume, despite not being personally close with him, he said. “He actually took about two or three

hours out of his day to specifically work with me, work on that with me,” Boucard added. An important part of being in the Black community is knowing Black history and appreciating the diversity within the community, Osei said. There are diaspora communities throughout North and South America, the Caribbean and Asia. Each part of the diaspora has its own culture and subcultures, Osei added. Williams and Osei are encouraging Black students to take more Africology courses so they can learn about their history and get an African perspective on current events, Williams said. Learning about Black history is important since many schools don’t teach Black history accurately, if at all, Insider reported. Other students of color and white students should consider taking Africology courses too, Williams said. “It’s best for all of us to know about that in terms to just have better interactions with each other and just know more, in general,” Williams said.

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Finding myself in an almost-post-pandemic world A student reflects on the chal- college thing. As the months at home went by, I legne of exploring her identity during the COVID-19 pandemic. found it difficult to understand what I BY KENDRA FRANKLIN Essay Editor When Pennsylvania started lifting its COVID-19 restrictions this summer, I finally began experiencing the world outside my home again, only to feel lost. Every outfit I wore felt wrong as if I were wearing the clothes of a stranger. Scrolling through my own social media accounts felt like I was stalking someone else’s. My mind went blank every time someone asked me even the simplest questions, like my interests and hobbies. My anxiety-driven mind raced into a dark hole as I imagined every little thing that could be making me feel so out-oftouch with myself. I wondered if I had a mental illness like depression or even a physical illness, something invisible and chronic. Finally, I had an epiphany: I felt so unsure of myself because, since graduating from high school, I’ve spent most of my time in my house avoiding the virus instead of discovering who I am and what type of person I want to be. After this realization, it was easy to put the pieces together. None of my outfits felt like they were mine because they weren’t. Who I was before the pandemic is a completely different person than who I am now. When the pandemic forced Temple University to shut down its campus in March 2020, I was sent home a semester and a half into my freshman year, just four months into adulthood. I had to pack up everything just as I was starting to figure out how to navigate the whole

truly enjoy doing. I spent so much time in my room trying not to lose my sanity, distracting myself by taking up new, random hobbies, like crocheting and embroidery, and scrolling mindlessly all day on TikTok. Though quarantine was full of self-reflection, I failed to realize who I am outside of it. Since coming to terms with my realization, my mission has been to figure out who I actually am. I moved back to Temple’s Main Campus in the fall of 2020, but only recently started going out and experiencing pre-pandemic life, like by exploring Philadelphia and trying new restaurants. I now keep a list of the places I like to go and the activities I enjoy doing. I’ve donated old clothes and started buying new ones. I’m taking the time to evaluate how I feel in each outfit and ask myself if it expresses who I am. I’ve started to ask myself tough questions. Who do I want to be? What makes me happy? Who do I want to spend my time around? In the short time I’ve contemplated these questions, I have learned a lot about myself. I used to be a person obsessed with sticking to a plan, as the slightest bit of a schedule change would send me into a spiral of anxiety because I feared everything would go wrong. But the pandemic has shown me how much can change in a year, and I’ve learned to stop planning so rigidly. Over the past year, my college experience dramatically deviated from my hopes and expectations, leaving my fear of every-


thing falling apart to replace my excitement for the future. However, I’ve learned to be adaptable to let myself go with the flow instead of allowing my anxiety about straying from the plan to take over. If it weren’t for my newfound flexibility, I would have never taken the risk of applying for graduate school. This was never part of my original plan as applying meant admitting that my life plan had changed yet again. In hindsight, it is clear I was just afraid of getting rejected. Taking this chance on myself allowed me to take a step closer to my dream job of being a multimedia journalist. Using my new way of seeing the

world, I am learning to take things one day at a time. There is no book on how to go about transitional periods during a pandemic. To soothe my young adult angst, I remember this pandemic has affected nearly everyone in the world, whether it is mentally, physically or both. For many, in way worse ways than I could ever imagine. Though I still have a lot of soul-searching to do, I think I’m starting to figure out who I am, and so far, I think I like her.



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I followed the signs and realized that I am gay

A student shares her story of thinking she was an ally before realizing she is a lesbian. BY SAMANTHA BRENNAN For The Temple News The signs were always there. I just refused to look at them. When I was in second grade, I wore the same shirt every day. It was a white baby tee with an iron-on decal of three girls holding hands. When I was a senior in high school, I had a crush on a girl from the art club. Of course, back then I didn’t call it a crush. I simply had a deep admiration for her artistic talent and a platonic appreciation for her kindness and amazing style. That same year, I bought a rainbow Apple Watch band, not because I was gay. But because I was still labelling myself as an ally, who, given the opportunity, would not have turned down a woman’s proposal for friendship, sex or partnership of any sort. I watched the entire “L Word”, a six-season series about the lives of lesbians in Los Angeles, twice through and the “L Word: Generation Q”, the revival series, more times than I can even count. I never really cared about the men I was with and left them as soon as I smelled the potential that our relationship would get serious. Despite all of these very clear signs, until about four months ago, I had always thought that I was straight. As it turns out, I am not. I am actually very, very gay. At the end of my freshman year of college, I met a girl. She is older than me and taller. She has dark curly hair and tattoos covering her arms and legs. I remember the first day I saw her. She was wearing a black t-shirt with khaki cargo shorts, a couple of chains around her neck and several gold rings on her left hand. She walked with a purpose and carried herself with confidence. I know that this level of detail seems


a bit excessive. One may wonder why I did not just say “I met a girl. She was hot,” and go on with my story. My answer to that is because I can’t. When telling a story, the storyteller always includes the details most important to them. In my story, every detail and every feeling is important because they were all new to me. Noticing those small details about another person was big for me. Before her, my attraction to men had never gone further than “he is attractive,” or “I bet he is really funny.” This was different, deeper. I had never felt something so intense before. We started talking. We went out on dates. I met her friends and she met mine. We learned things about each other and grew feelings for one another. While developing feelings for an in-

timate partner may not come as a shock to others, to me, this was monumental. I found myself caring about her when previously, I could not have cared less about the men that I was with. Public displays of affection had always disgusted me. Holding hands seemed nothing more than a sweaty and pointless display of sexual linkage. But, with her, PDA was natural, desirable even. It just felt right. Being with her, talking to her, going out with her, all of it felt so normal. That is what scared me the most. The normalcy. I spent 19 years shoving myself into tiny crop tops and forcing myself to go out on awkward and excruciating dates with men because I thought that if they wanted me, then I would eventually want them too.

I thought it was my fault. I am just not good at relationships, I told myself. I am emotionally unavailable. I am not a sexual person. If I just tried harder, then I would find a boyfriend. It wasn’t until I was with another woman that I realized, for the first time in my life, I wasn’t pretending anymore. I no longer strategize the way I talk, dress or act to attract my partner. I don’t have to drag myself onto dates or pretend to enjoy myself. Instead of running away from the signs, I began to follow them, and they led me to the person I was always meant to be. I am out. I am proud, and I am very, very gay.

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Kemali Green brings intensity to midfield group

ALLIE IPPOLITO / THE TEMPLE NEWS Kemali Green, a junior midfielder, kicks the ball during a practice at the Temple Sports Complex on Aug. 25.

Green, a junior midfielder, returns to his hometown after transferring from Lock Haven University. SEAN MCMENAMIN Men’s Soccer Co-Beat Reporter Temple University men’s soccer junior midfielder Kemali Green brings a new level of experience to the team. After transferring into the Owls’ program this summer from Lock Haven University, the 6-foot-2 midfielder has shown off his talent in Temple’s preseason games. Now his focus is winning the conference. “My expectations are to first win the conference and then make the tournament and just go as far as we can,” Green said. As a newcomer to the team, Green could make an immediate impact and put some goals into the back of the net

for the offense. “He’s mobile, he sees the game well, he’s got good passing range, but he also just understands the game and how we want to play,” said Head Coach Brian Rowland. “I think he’ll find his way in whatever position he ends up playing.” Green can win set pieces in the air, with the advantage of his height, and his knack for the ball allows him to defend against opposing corners inside the box. Rowland, assistant coaches Alex Shinsky and Armante’ Marshall recruited Green to come to Temple. They held a Zoom meeting with him to talk about his role as a playmaker with the Owls before bringing him into the facilities for a tour, Rowland said. “They’re one of the reasons why I chose Temple, because of the playing style, because of their resumes and all that,” Green said. While playing with Lock Haven,

Green, who totaled one goal and two assists for his sophomore season, was named second-team all-conference in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference in 2019. “I should have been first [team], but that showed me that there’s still more work to be done,” Green said. “It never got to my head. I just got to keep working and keep improving, because I knew my goal was to go to D1 or the professional ranks. So for me it’s always improving, always the next one.” Green played for the Philadelphia Union Academy prior to entering college, and he also attended YSC Academy along with teammate and redshirt freshman goalkeeper Eoin Gawronski. “[Green] is a really good player, super technical, I think he’ll help our midfield a lot,” Gawronski said. “He definitely brings his veteran experience and playing at Union will help us a lot.”

Gawronski hopes Green’s presence in the midfield will elevate the squad to reach higher heights than last season, like winning the American Athletic Conference championship, he said. “Hopefully by the end he’s starting, getting a lot of minutes for us, pushing the young guys, even the veteran guys, giving them a run for their money in the midfield,” Gawronski added. “I think he’ll be really good for us.” Although he’s new to the team, Green feels he fits right in with the program and being close to his family in Philadelphia brings a sense of normalcy to his life, he said. “[The team] wants me to just be myself,” Green said. “When I’m myself, I think I’m a decent player. It’s all been positive.” @sean102400



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ALLIE IPPOLITO/ THE TEMPLE NEWS Magdalena Rogalska, freshman setter, runs to hit the ball during a practice at McGonigle Hall on Aug. 23.

Owls’ setters compete to fill a vital role on offense Temple University volleyball has easy to fill that hole, but I think we have in Lindgren’s footsteps, especially after Zielińska said. working with Lindgren last season, she “We’re from the same country, but three setters trying to take over three really talented setters.” In addition to returning freshman said. we never played against each other, so the starting spot this season. BY VALERIE PENDRAK Volleyball Beat Reporter As the focal point of the offense, Temple University volleyball setters are honing in on new plays and styles in hopes of finding their rhythm with the team. When a libero serves the ball to their opponent, the setters are reading the defense and preparing to align themselves with the ball, so the outside hitter can score with a strike over the net. Due to the loss of former setter Tyler Lindgren, who graduated in the spring, Head Coach Bakeer Ganesharatnam had to reconfigure his group, he said. “[Lindgren] was not just an upperclassman who graduated last season, but also a leader for us on the court and off the court,” Ganesharatnam said. “It’s not

setter Nikki Shimao, two freshman setters from Poland, Magdalena Rogalska and Patrycja Zielińska, joined the Owls’ program this season. The three players could impact Temple’s offense by assisting in more scoring opportunities. “It was really important for our setters to come in and really train them well, because they had big shoes to fill,” said Team Captain Gem Grimshaw, a junior outside hitter. Setters are focused and agile in their movements to anticipate exactly where the ball should go on the opponent’s side. Shimao started her volleyball career as a setter in Hawaii, where she led ‘Iolani School to two state titles. Last season, Shimao played defensive specialist and libero. Now in her second year with the Owls’ she’s cross training and learning a new role as a setter. Shimao believes she could follow

Shimao got under the ball quickly and was aware of ball placement against the University of Delaware on Aug. 27, where she had a single assist. Zielińska, who started in all three games for the Owls, has totaled 14 digs, the first contact with the ball after an opposing team’s attacker sent the ball over the net, and 100 assists so far this season. “The two freshmen [Rogalska] and [Zielińska] are doing a really good job,” Ganesharatnam said. “The work ethic is exceptional.” Rogalska, who played setter for 10 years on a club team in Poland, hasn’t made her collegiate start for the Owls yet, but could bring a high level of experience to the position group with her previous knowledge from playing overseas. Zielińska and Rogalska connected when they met during the preseason and they have found comfort in one another,

we met here, and I’m really happy we did,” Rogalska said. Rogalska admitted it’s hard to be far away from her family, but Zielińska helps her feel right back at home, she added. “It’s really nice to have someone who speaks your language and can help you,” Rogalska said. “Especially in the same position, because then we can correct each other and understand each other.” With the team carrying a few more players than normal due to an increase of games scheduled, a lot of the work comes down to repetition in and out of practice, Ganesharatnam said. “They’re very coachable and they want to get better,” Ganesharatnam added. “I think we are on the right track.” @ValeriePendrak

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Emmanuel Okpomo plays for family on the court Temple University basketball transfer Okpomo reflects on his journey from Nigeria to Temple. BY NICK GANGEWERE Assistant Sports Editor It’s been almost seven years since Temple University basketball transfer Emmanuel Okpomo saw any of his immediate family members. Hailing from the Delta State Region of Nigeria, Okpomo, a sophomore undecided major, moved to America at the age of 15 on a basketball scholarship, living with his guardian, Ohmar Carter, in Mississippi. “I feel blessed for the opportunity I have,” Okpomo said. “I came from nothing, but I’ll be something.” Whether it was playing soccer in the street or going to church with his two older brothers, Okpomo retains happy memories of his time in Nigeria. But nobody could stop him from pursuing his dream of playing basketball, which has helped carve a path for Okpomo today. “My parents, they didn’t really want me to play basketball, because they felt like it was a waste of time,” Okpomo said. “In Africa the parents want their kids to be like doctors or engineers. [My mom] said nobody travels abroad for sports. I was like ‘no, then I want to be the first.’” Okpomo began working out with Temple basketball on June 22. That was late compared to his teammates, but it did not take him long to fit right in, said Assistant Coach Chris Clark. “It took him two to three weeks to really open up, now he thinks he’s the funniest guy on the team,” Clark said. “You can’t get him to stop talking.” Throughout the summer practices, Okpomo has taken his work ethic that former Coach Steve Smith raved about at Oak Hill Academy to the Temple practice facilities on North Broad. Okpomo has two goals for himself in the Owls’ program: to get better as a player and as a teammate, he said. Whether it’s pushing fellow junior forward Jake Forrester for every rebound in practice, hanging out with teammates that live on his building’s floor, or eating a bowl of cereal five min-

EMMANUEL OKPOMO / COURTESY Emmanuel Okpomo, a sophomore undecided major, transferred from Wake Forest University to play center for Temple’s men’s basketball team.

utes before practice, Okpomo has made his presence known, Clark said. “It’s more than just basketball for us,” he added. “It is about really developing and investing into these young men on and off the court.” Okpomo joined Huntington St. Joseph Prep in West Virginia when he was 16 years old. He was 6’9 and had the physicality most teams can’t find at his age. But Okpomo spent three years playing under a system he didn’t like, he said, eventually leading to his transfer to Oak Hill Academy, who was ranked No. 2 in the nation, for his senior year. There, Okpomo would thrive under Smith, who coached several NBA stars like Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Durant over his 37 year career, Smith said. Okpomo averaged more than two blocks per game at Oak Hill. He eventually committed to Wake Forest after he decommitted from the University of

South Florida in April of 2020. “When I committed [to USF] I felt like I kind of rushed it,” Okpomo said. After one up-and-down season at Wake Forest, Okpomo was still looking for some consistency in playing time for him to develop as a player. “When he left [Wake Forest] I talked to him again, and he also talked to Dion Dacons, one of my assistants who played at Temple,” Smith said. “We thought that [Temple] was the best move for him, [Dacons] trusted everybody there.” Clark and Head Coach Aaron McKie have FaceTime called with Okpomo’s family back in Nigeria, and they also remained in contact with his guardian, Carter, before Carter passed away from colon cancer in May 2020. While the team has goals of winning the American Athletic Conference this winter, Okpomo has a vision of bringing his family to America to watch him play

for the very first time, he said. “My mom would try to stop me so many times,” Okpomo said. “She would come to the basketball camps and try to fight the coaches so they would push me away.” Going so long without seeing his mother only adds fire to Okpomo’s passion for the game, he added. “Moving away from my family for so long, it’s got to pay off,” Okpomo said. “All I gotta do is work, and I’m for sure going to get there.” @nick_gang16



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Temple Athletics emphasizes COVID-19 vaccines Temple University Athletics has new guidance in place for vaccinated and unvaccinated student-athletes and staff this year. BY ISABELLA DIAMORE Sports Editor Daily health check-ins at night and a nose swab in the morning was a routine Temple University student-athletes became familiar with last year. With the university’s new vaccine mandate requiring all students, faculty and staff to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 15, student-athletes who are unvaccinated will have to adjust to a new routine. Temple Athletics must follow any policies from the university, which means all student-athletes and coaches are obligated to receive vaccines unless a medical or religious exemption form is filled out. Student-athletes and staff are about 80 to 85 percent fully vaccinated, according to Kevin Addison, the ​​associate director of athletic training. While Temple’s athletic trainers continue to educate student-athletes and staff on the benefits of receiving the vaccine, those who remain unvaccinated must abide by the NCAA, The American Athletic Conference and the City of Philadelphia’s COVID-19 procedures.


Vaccinated athletes will only receive a COVID-19 test if they are symptomatic. Those who are unvaccinated will take a weekly polymerase chain reaction test or an antigen test three times per week, if community spread is substantial or high. During the week of a competition, athletes will receive a PCR test within three days before the game or an antigen test within 24 hours of competition, according to the NCAA. Student-athletes, who are unvaccinated, must receive a COVID-19 test three times a week in accordance with Philadelphia’s guidance, said Executive Senior Associate Athletic Director Jessica Reo. The athletic trainers handled testing, health monitoring and positive cases for all student-athletes last season, but this year, students-athletes will receive

COVID-19 tests through Temple’s testing program. With vaccination rates rising in Philadelphia, only those who are unvaccinated are required to be tested through one of Temple’s on-campus testing sites, Addison said. “With the number of student-athletes that we have that are vaccinated, and the staff that we have that are vaccinated right now, we’ve been able to redirect some of that tracking and stress into care for our student-athletes,” Reo said. Those who are unvaccinated may not be able to fly with their teammates depending on travel guidelines, said Senior Associate Athletic Director Lee Roberts “Our kids all travel together on an airplane and then on the bus,” Roberts said. “You know who you’re traveling with, but they’ll have to go back to wearing the mask as needed.” Temple Athletics remained flexible last season, and although some restrictions have been loosened, athletes risk losing access to the university’s buildings, suspension or expulsion if they are not vaccinated by Oct. 15 and do not abide by Temple’s testing procedures, according to a university announcement. “Anyone who is not vaccinated will be required to be tested, whether they have a medical or religious exemption,” Reo said.


A mask mandate will apply to unvaccinated and vaccinated athletes when indoors and in enclosed public spaces, like the weight room and training room. Sports like volleyball, which is considered a high-risk sport by the NCAA, will require masks to be worn inside, except when student-athletes are practicing or competing. Fans who wish to come to a game are required to wear a mask, Roberts said. “We will probably encourage people to spread out rather than sitting in a cluster,” he added. “We have the capacity for more than 3,000, so people are more than welcome to spread out.” Outdoor sports, like field hockey and soccer, will not require fans to wear masks in the stands, but since proof

COLLEEN CLAGGETT / THE TEMPLE NEWS Kevin Addison, associate director for athletic training, talks with tennis head coach Steve Mauro during the men’s tennis match against Fairleigh Dickinson University at the TU Pavilion on March 11.

of vaccination isn’t required to attend games, those protocols could change, Roberts said. Temple football will follow the The Philadelphia Eagles’ protocols during home games, which require fans and stadium staff attending Lincoln Financial Field to wear masks in indoor spaces regardless of vaccination status. “We are just trying to limit how much contact you have with people because you don’t go around asking everyone ‘are you vaccinated?’” Roberts said. “What we try to do is create some distance, which allows the student-athletes to play their event and also for fans, friends, family to still be able to enjoy the event.”


The NCAA and AAC will stick to the same quarantine procedures from last year for unvaccinated athletes. If a student-athlete or staff member tests positive for COVID-19, they will go into quarantine for 10 days after their first positive test, The Temple News reported. If a vaccinated athlete comes in contact with a positive person they’ll continue practicing and receive testing three to five days after that exposure, Reo said.

The goal is for student-athletes to take the initiative and communicate with their coaches if they aren’t feeling well, Reo said. EDUCATING Addison and the trainers met with each of Temple’s Olympic and non-Olympic teams at the end of the spring season and provided them with background information on the vaccines available, Addison said. In early August, Addison reminded staff and student-athletes to practice hygiene, social distancing and to avoid activities that could put the team in a compromised situation, like having to forfeit a game due to COVID-19 issues in the program, he added. “We’ve been going through with our trainers and our coaches, we’re trying to get as many youngsters vaccinated as possible,” Roberts said. “How it affects us later on down the road, of course, will be the university mandate.” @belladiamore13

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Owls hold camp in New York City to build culture Temple University football traveled to SUNY Maritime College for an isolated offseason camp. BY NICK GANGEWERE Assistant Sports Editor Temple University Head Football Coach Rod Carey is taking a different approach to the 2021 season. For the first time in Carey’s three seasons as coach, he brought the team to SUNY Maritime College in the Bronx, New York City, for about two weeks of training camp in hopes of escaping distractions in Philadelphia and providing his players with a close-knit atmosphere. The desire to make changes could stem from the Owls’ 1-6 record last season or the difficult circumstances the program faced due to COVID-19 procedures, which left the group with five games postponed and the inability to start their 2020 season until Oct. 10. “Being away gives us a huge advantage,” Carey said. “It just takes everyone out of their element and gets us together alone.” Being surrounded by teammates and coaches every single day, the team’s camaraderie is stronger than previous years, Carey said. Coaches used the environment to create off-the-field bonding experiences, like a practice on the beach and a trip to the 9/11 Memorial & Museum in Manhattan, New York City. “A lot of our players weren’t even born at that time,” said Running Backs Coach and Recruiting Coordinator Gabe Infante in a Temple Football Recruiting video. “I think the opportunity as a team to experience and witness the courage and heroism of so many people on that day, was a good experience for us to have as a team and as a family.” The Temple TUFF mentality combines communication, dedication and fraternity among the players, regardless of position, age or ability. This motto stuck with the Owls this summer as the players have been expected to persevere, focus and play hard without the comfort of being on campus. During training camp, the young players and upperclassmen embodied

ALLIE IPPOLITO / THE TEMPLE NEWS Temple’s football team warms up during a practice at Edberg-Olson Hall on August 20.

those qualities, Carey said. “This entire experience has been really great for us,” said redshirt-junior linebacker Audley Isaacs. “I’m seeing a lot of guys engaging in conversations that we don’t usually have.” The winning culture was further developed during the camp by seasoned players, like graduate wide receiver Randle Jones, graduate student safety Amir Tyler, graduate student linebacker William Kwenkeu and redshirt-junior wide receiver Jadan Blue. Each of these players embody the leadership values expected of them through off-the-field conversations and have several seasons worth of wisdom under their belts to extend to younger players. Within position groups or simply in between a play during practice, no time for learning is wasted. “[Tyler] took me in and brought me under his wing,” said redshirt-junior safety Jalen Ware. “On and off the field he’s taught me so much about the game and about life, how to be a better person.” Yet with all of the sidebar conver-

sations from veterans to underclassmen, and activities on off days, the football being played is still very competitive. Junior safety DaeSean Winston sat out last season due to the pandemic, but has returned and impressed during camp as he vies for the second starting free safety spot. “I’m locked in, I know what’s going on,” Winston said. “I know my job. I know my responsibilities.” Carey took the team into training camp with the goal of developing his players while also bringing the team together, he said. Wide Receivers Coach Thad Ward has noticed a change in the atmosphere from last offseason to this one as well. “It’s been a great experience for us to really hone in on our crafts and get to know each other on a more personal level,” Ward said. “Obviously we didn’t have that last year. It is really good for the young guys to get away from distractions and allow them to really develop.” With an emphasis on competition and togetherness at camp, Temple foot-

ball could head into their season opener against Rutgers University on Sept. 2 in much better shape, as long as the qualities fostered in camp translate onto the field. @nick_gang16

The Temple News

Football Preview



ALLIE IPPOLITO / THE TEMPLE NEWS Keyshawn Paul (right), junior cornerback, prepares to start a drill during an Owl’s practice at Edberg-Olson Hall on August 20.

Owls’ new transfers hope to make a strong impact Temple University football has new transfers from Power 5 Conferences joining the program. BY VICTORIA AYALA Assistant Sports Editor Temple University football added several new transfers this season, including players who transferred from conferences like the Southeastern Conference, Big Ten and Pac-12. Some of this season’s transfers include D’Wan Mathis from the University of Georgia, Ra’Von Bonner from the University of Illinois, Iverson Clement from the University of Florida, Cameron Ruiz from Northwestern University, Jerquavion Mahone from the University of Kentucky, Will Rodgers from Washington State University, Amad Anderson Jr. from Purdue University and Keyshawn Paul from the University of Connecticut. However, there are four players who could see plenty of field opportunities. Here are the guys to keep an eye out for this season.


Rodgers, a senior defensive end, came to Temple after four years with the

Cougars, where he began as a freshman during the 2017 season. He appeared in seven games and played both on the defensive line and special teams. During the 2018 season, Rodgers started in eight of his 13 games played, and he finished with 23 tackles and four sacks. He recorded a team-high of four sacks during the 2019 season and started 10 of the 12 games he played, while finishing with 27 recorded tackles. Rodgers entered the transfer portal during the 2020 season after playing in two games. During the 2021 preseason, he earned the preseason fourth-team All-American Athletic Conference recognition. As a pass rusher, Rodgers views himself as an attacker in a hunting mindset, applying constant pressure while staying unpredictable, he said. “You’re only as strong as your weakest link so we’re a unit, we’re working together, and everybody has a role that they have to play,” Rodgers added.


Ruiz, a redshirt-junior cornerback, made the move to Temple from Northwestern, where he appeared in 12 games during the 2018 season. He made 26 tackles and broke up four passes as a red-

shirt-freshman. In the 2019 season, Ruiz started nine of the 11 games he played in, and ended the season with 44 tackles, seven pass breakups and one interception. He started and recorded his first career sack in 2020 and tied for his career-high in sacks before transferring to Temple this summer. Ruiz displayed his skills at their team practice on Aug.17, after he dove for a pass deflection in the middle of the field, which prevented a touchdown.

touchdown pass to graduate student wide receiver Randle Jones during an 11-on-11 drill. “Without them, I can’t do it alone, I can’t do it by myself no matter what,” Mathis said. “No matter how many touchdowns I throw that game, no matter what I do, if we can’t protect, if running backs can’t run and get yards then at the end of the day, we’re not gonna be able to do it alone. So I don’t look at it as it’s gonna fall on me. I look at it as it’s gonna fall on all of us.”



Redshirt-freshman quarterback D’Wan Mathis joined Temple’s program after he transferred from Georgia this offseason. Mathis redshirted his 2019 season due to an emergency surgery to remove a brain cyst. He was the co-winner of the David Jacobs Award from Georgia for overcoming the injury. He made his first collegiate start as a quarterback in 2020 for the Bulldogs and completed eight of 17 passes for 55 yards. The Temple Football Fall Practice Blog highlighted several plays involving Mathis as quarterback, consisting of a handful of 30, 40 and 50-yard touchdown passes, in addition to one 60-yard

Anderson Jr., a redshirt-sophomore receiver, came to Temple from Purdue, where he started in eight out of 12 games he played in for the 2019 season, and finished off with 31 receptions for 343 yards and three touchdowns. In Purdue’s 2020 season, he appeared in five games with five catches for 19 yards, then he made the decision to enter the transfer portal. Anderson showcased his talents in the first scrimmage practice on Aug. 14, where he caught a slant pass and got past a defender for a 30-yard gain. @ayalavictoria_

Football Preview


The Temple News

What to expect for Temple vs. Rutgers

HUA ZONG / FILE Rutgers wide receiver Leonte Carroo runs past Zamel Johnson for a touchdown, giving the Scarlet Knights the lead on Nov. 2, 2013.


Piscataway, New Jersey. The Owls finished the season with a 1-6 record, and their poor performance Temple University will open their stemmed from both COVID-19 limitaseason on Sept. 2 and look for a tions and failing to execute on third downs. Only five players started all seven win against Rutgers University. games for the Owls, and Temple had 40 Head Coach Rod Carey is ready to different starters during the course of put Temple University’s 2020 football the season. Player groups lacked consistenseason behind him and start off fresh. Throughout training camp, Carey cy, which was a weakness for Temple has emphasized team culture, younger during game day, because certain posiplayers having more playing time and tions were being overworked compared the athleticism of Temple’s new red- to others. One inconsistent group was the shirt-freshman quarterback D’Wan quarterback room, where four different Mathis. Here are three takeaways to keep quarterbacks started for the Owls last in mind before the Owls take the field season. Temple’s offense has changed drasagainst Rutgers University on Sept. 2 in tically from last season due to new trans-

fers joining the program this offseason, but Carey is confident in starting quarterback Mathis, who has quickly adjusted to the Owls’ playbook, Carey said. Temple’s defense, who Carey claimed to be ahead of the offense in the first two weeks of training camp, has a number of new faces that are taking first-string reps, Carey said. Cornerbacks Cameron Ruiz, a redshirt-junior transfer from Northwestern University, and Keyshawn Paul, a junior transfer from the University of Connecticut, could see vital playing time on Temple’s defensive secondary, which will help Temple’s defense not be overworked like they were last season. Although Rutgers finished 3-6 in the conference last season, the Knights went up against highly ranked teams,

like Ohio State University and Pennsylvania State University in the Big Ten conference. Key returning Rutgers players are junior running back Isaih Pacheco, who totaled seven touchdowns in the 2019 season, and junior defensive back Avery Young, who had 30 solo tackles last season. Temple watched as Rutgers played nine games last season, and Carey admitted dominating the Knights’ defense will be a challenge due to their personnel, but expects Temple’s offense to compete. “The physical work is done, it’s time to play a game,” Carey said. @belladiamore13

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