Vol. 99 Iss. 15

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Amid a four-game winning streak, Temple women’s basketball is led by three key players. Read more on Page 23

WHAT’S INSIDE NEWS, PAGE 5 The city is putting more pressure on the university to address the wages of Temple’s security guards. FEATURES, PAGE 11 Students can use virtual reality equipment to learn about homelessness and caretaking. VOL 99 // ISSUE 15 JAN. 14, 2020

temple-news.com @thetemplenews





A watchdog for the Temple University community since 1921. Kelly Brennan Editor in Chief Pavlína Černá Managing Editor Rjaa Ahmed Digital Managing Editor Francesca Furey Chief Copy Editor Colin Evans News Editor Hal Conte Assistant News Editor Valerie Dowret Assistant News Editor Web Tyler Perez Opinion Editor Madison Karas Features Editor Bibiana Correa Assistant Features Editor Ayooluwa Ariyo Asst. Features Editor Web Jay Neemeyer Sports Editor Dante Collinelli Assistant Sports Editor Alex McGinley Assistant Sports Editor Web Gionna Kinchen Intersection Co-Editor Nico Cisneros Intersection Co-Editor Michael Moscarelli Dir. of Engagement Alexis Ensley Gregg Asst. Dir. of Engagement Jeremy Elvas Photography Editor Claudia Salvato Asst. Photography Editor Erik Coombs Multimedia Editor Ingrid Slater Design Editor Nicole Hwang Designer Phuong Tran Advertising Manager Kelsey McGill Advertising Manager Lubin Park Business Manager

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. Visit us online at temple-news.com. Send submissions to letters@temple-news.com. 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 Kelly Brennan at editor@temple-news.com or 215-204-6736. ADVERTISEMENT

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Sustainability director focuses on transit, waste Senior Kate Lyons has worked on environmental initiatives both on campus and in the community. BY SIANI COLÓN For The Temple News


or Kate Lyons, organizing the community around sustainability isn’t a new beat. Last semester, as an Owls on the Block fellow, Lyons worked with community residents to reduce litter and coordinate sustainability efforts off campus. The experience has given her an outlook on sustainability that includes a heightened awareness of the importance of community relations, she said. Now, Lyons, a senior geology major, is set to begin another semester as Temple Student Government’s director of grounds and sustainability after her start in Fall 2019. “Hopefully working toward sustainability on campus at Temple can permeate to the mindsets of students off campus,” Lyons said. “And hopefully, we can help to be more respectful neighbors in that way with our waste footprint as well.” A major focus of Lyon’s work this semester, she said, will be hosting events advocating for better access to public transit and trying to increase the affordability of SEPTA’s University Pass, a discounted version of the transport group’s TransPasses and TrailPasses. A TransPass is priced at $346.56 for the Spring 2020 semester, while a Zone 4 TrailPass is priced at $736.44. A 2019 survey conducted by the Office of Sustainability showed that approximately 34.1 percent of Temple students struggle to afford transportation. “We don’t often think about transit in terms of other basic needs,” Lyons said. “Sustainability is not just saying, ‘Oh, we need to cut down our carbon emissions.’ It’s also saying, ‘We need access to public transit so that people can get to school in an affordable way.’” TSG will begin using zero-waste event kits during its events this semes@TheTempleNews

JEREMY ELVAS / THE TEMPLE NEWS Senior geology major Kate Lyons is Temple Student Government’s director of grounds and sustainability. Lyons sits in the Temple Community Garden on Jan. 10. She established a compost collection service last semester, as part of Temple’s sustainability task force.

ter. The kits, offered by the student-run café Rad Dish 3.0, provide reusable event supplies, like plates and utensils, to organizations hosting low-waste events. Student organizations can reserve a kit through Owl Connect. Lyons said she became interested in the position through her involvement in Temple’s sustainability task force. Created in 2016 by then-director of sustainability Aaron Weckstein, the group brings together students to give input on sustainability issues on campus. “[Lyons] was already very wellversed with the group of people who have been involved [in the taskforce] and interested in continuing it,” said Kaya Jones, TSG’s vice president of external affairs. Last year, as a part of the sustain-

ability task force, Lyons proposed a student-led compost collection pilot program that was later funded by the Office of Sustainability’s Green Grant, Lyons said. Student volunteers biked around Main Campus and collected compost from students living off campus to drop off at Temple’s community garden, which has a compost bin. “It’s limited to a few households, but we’re hoping to expand it in the future,” Lyons said. She added the pilot has been successful so far, having collected almost 500 pounds of compost in 2019 from 16 homes, as well as Temple’s Math Department. “[Lyons] is not only bright and ambitious but a pragmatic doer with a very

holistic view of sustainability and personal and professional goals that extend far beyond the environmental science education she received in Temple classrooms,” wrote Caroline Burkholder, sustainability manager at the Office of Sustainability, in an email to The Temple News. Lyons has been a great addition to the team due to her strong background in sustainability and is impressed with her work ethic, Jones said. “It’s just been so great to have her knowledge and insight on everything,” Jones added. “She’s very passionate about the work that she does and it really shows.” scolon@temple.edu @siani_colon

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City to Temple: Rebuild Diamond Street property The row home, owned by Temple since the 1970s, was originally built in the late 1800s. BY COLIN EVANS News Editor Temple has until June to submit plans to rebuild a row home on Diamond Street that the university has allowed to “fall into an advanced state of disrepair,” according to the Philadelphia Historical Commission. The property only consists of the building’s remaining facade. This will be rebuilt to its historic appearance with the original trim, stoop, metalwork and cornice, according to minutes from the PHC’s Dec. 13, 2019 meeting. Temple has owned the property since the 1970s, originally one of five brownstones on Diamond Street near Carlisle, according to the minutes. By 2010, only its facade remained. “After reviewing the property, we’ve determined the best alternative to preserve the historic nature of the facade is to reconstruct it,” wrote Ray Betzner, a university spokesperson, in an email to The Temple News. The university sought to demolish the property last year after the Department of Licenses and Inspections declared the structure “imminently dangerous” in August, according to the minutes. Because the home is within the Diamond Street Historic District, included in the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places, Temple was required to obtain the PHC’s approval to do so, wrote Paul Chrystie, a spokesperson for the city’s Department of Planning and Development, in an email to The Temple News. Building permits to reconstruct the facade must be filed within six months to “ensure that the historic district is not left with an extended vacancy in its mid-

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JEREMY ELVAS / THE TEMPLE NEWS A Temple-owned property, which is only its facade, on Diamond Street near Carlisle will be rebuilt to its original historic appearance.

dle,” Chrystie wrote. The property was built by John Sharp, a local builder, in 1886, according to the meeting minutes. In 1996, Temple sought to demolish the entire structure but only got approval to take down its rear wing, according to the minutes. After the rear wall and roof of the main block partially collapsed in 2010, Temple demolished the entire back of the building. “I can’t comprehend for what purpose Temple has been owning this property and why they simply haven’t disposed of it on the private market,” said Peter Crawford, a board member of the

Temple Area Property Association, a local group representing property owners. Crawford is certain that Temple could pass on the property to a buyer who would be willing to restore it, he added. Freeman Miller, who lives on Carlisle Street near Diamond, said that while Diamond Street has a “long, rich, classic history” and “deserves to be preserved,” it’s not enough to just see the fronts of buildings kept in tact. “The facades do nothing for me except remind me what used to be there and that never can be there again,” Miller said.

“[Temple has] not treated us as fully equal neighbors where we should have a say of what happens in our neighborhood,” he added. Judith Robinson, the chairperson for the 32nd Democratic Ward Registered Community Organization, said the city should not have allowed Temple to let the building fall into such disrepair. “We don’t have a whole lot,” Robinson said. “But we have these assets as this community was built.” colin.evans@temple.edu @colinpaulevans





Pressure mounts on Temple to resolve wage fight The university missed a July 1 deadline to pay its security guards the city’s prevailing wage. BY COLIN EVANS News Editor With Temple holding out on raising its security guards’ wage to $15 an hour, the city is considering pulling the university’s 25 percent discount on its water bill to bring them into compliance with the law. Though the university said they were willing to work with the city to resolve the wage dispute, revoking the water bill discount “is still an option if the university and its contractors do not come into compliance,” wrote Deputy Mayor for Labor Rich Lazer in an email to The Temple News. In February 2019, Mayor Jim Kenney set a July 1 deadline for Temple and other publicly subsidized city universities and hospitals to raise its security guards’ wages. The prevailing wage law was expanded in 2016 to include universities and hospitals in Philadelphia. As first reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer in December 2019, Councilwoman Cherelle Parker introduced a bill that would allow Kenney to pull the discount. The bill passed and was signed by Kenney on Dec. 30, 2019, wrote Lauren Cox, a spokesperson for the city, in an email to The Temple News. Temple’s discount amounted to approximately $556,000 in the fiscal year 2018, Cox wrote. “We continue to work through this issue with city leadership,” wrote Ray Betzner, a spokesperson for the university, in an email to The Temple News. Allied Universal, Temple’s security services provider, could not be reached for comment. Temple employs approximately 400 full and part-time security officers from Allied, according to its 2019 annual security and fire safety report. The collective bargaining agreement between Allied Universal and 32BJ SEIU, the service workers union rep-


LUKE SMITH / FILE PHOTO Mayor Jim Kenney speaks at a 32BJ SEIU labor union rally on Main Campus in February 2019. Temple was given until July 2019 to pay its security guards a minimum hourly wage of $15.

resenting the security guards, is set to expire in September, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. The agreement between Allied and the workers union sets wages lower than $15 an hour but also states that the prevailing wage should override the wages in the contract. “Since organizing with 32BJ SEIU, our goal remains to lift these workers out of poverty and turn these into well-paying jobs that allow workers to support themselves and their families while giving back to their communities,” said Gabe Morgan, vice president of 32BJ SEIU for Pennsylvania and Delaware, in a statement. “We are accomplishing that goal by passing laws like a prevailing wage, along with organizing workers and fighting for good contracts,” Morgan added. Though security guards’ wages are

set by Allied Universal and not Temple, “institutions are responsible for ensuring their contractors are following all relevant labor laws,” Lazer wrote. The city is likely targeting Temple as opposed to Allied Universal because it has more leverage with the university, said Todd Vachon, a postdoctoral associate in the department of labor studies and employment relations at Rutgers University. “They have this subsidy that they grant to Temple, so they actually have a carrot and stick in hand with Temple that’s readily available,” Vachon said. “It’s a little bit less clear what the enforcement mechanism would be if they were to go directly after Allied.” “It is the responsibility of the public or the publicly funded agency or institution to make sure they are in fact com-

pliant with all the local laws and public expectations,” he added. Should Temple choose to comply with the city, the university would likely need to renegotiate its contract with Allied Universal and pay more to compensate for the wage change, Vachon said. “Large institutions receiving thousands, sometimes millions, of dollars in city subsidies and tax breaks can easily afford to pay all their workers a living wage,” said Councilwoman At-Large Helen Gym, the architect of the 2016 prevailing wage law, in a statement. “We can’t build an economy that provides for all Philadelphians unless our major nonprofits also do their part.” colin.evans@temple.edu @colinpaulevans

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Conclusion of Uptown Theater renovation stalled The multi-million dollar restoration to the nearly 100-year-old theater will enter its last phase. BY JACK DANZ Community Beat Reporter Renovations to the historic Uptown Theater on Broad Street near Dauphin will not be finalized until at least 2022, said Yumy Odom, the Uptown Entertainment & Development Corporation Program Committee chair. The multistage process of renovation was set to be completed this year, The Temple News reported in February 2019, but the $14-million project is not fully funded, said Linda Richardson, president of the UEDC. The UEDC will start the last phase of the theater’s renovation in the second quarter of 2020, she added. This phase will involve completing demolition of the first six floors, finalizing renovations to the roof, lobby and security system, replacing doors, windows and lights, and finishing the renovation of the theater’s subway entrance, Richardson said. The renovated building will boast 2,100 seats, a redeveloped auditorium and balcony, an entrance from the Susquehanna-Dauphin station and increased parking, The Temple News reported. Uptown Theater opened in 1929 and hosted stars like Patti LaBelle and Michael Jackson. Listed in the National Register of Historical Places, the 91-year-old building celebrated its 90th anniversary last year with a re-lighting of its marquee and a masquerade ball. “Part of our mission is to provide services and employment to the people in the community,” Richardson said. “Secondly, the historic Uptown Theater is one of the few African-American historic sites that is still intact.”

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JEREMY ELVAS / THE TEMPLE NEWS Renovations to the historic Uptown Theater on Broad Street near Dauphin are expected to be completed in 2022.

“We are concerned that those residents and businesses that stayed in North-Central Philadelphia during the time of redlining and tax increases should now benefit from the new interest in North Broad in particular and neighborhood revitalization in general,” she added. The Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia has cataloged more than 400 African-American historical sites around Philadelphia, including the Church of the Advocate on Diamond Street near 18th and the Black Panther offices on Cecil B. Moore Avenue, which

was Columbia Avenue. “Our group is supportive of the Uptown’s restoration and reuse in the form of advocacy and awareness,” said Paul Steinke, executive director of the Preservation Alliance. The UEDC has received several grants for the theater’s renovation, including a $500,000 state grant in February 2018 and a $750,000 state grant in August 2019. A capital campaign also raised $10 million for the project, Richardson said. James Johnson, who lives on Dover Street near Oxford, saw James Brown

and The Supremes play at Uptown, he said. “Some of the greatest entertainers ever played at the Uptown. This was as top-notch as the Apollo,” Johnson said, referring to the Apollo Theater in New York City. “It’s one of the most historic places in all of Philadelphia,” said John Creighton, who lives on Broad Street near Cecil B. Moore Avenue. “They’ve put a lot of work and time into it,” he added. “I just want to see it open.” jack.danz@temple.edu





Increase funding for Philly schools after closures The School District of Philadel- teaching in an asbestos-filled classroom phia temporarily closed six of its for 30 years, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. buildings last year.


TYLER PEREZ Opinion Editor

n Dec. 20, 2019, the School District of Philadelphia announced it would temporarily close McClure and Carnell elementary schools due to damaged asbestos findings in the buildings’

insulation. Asbestos is a fiber used in industrial settings, but when damaged, exposure to it can cause scarring and inflammation in the lungs, which can lead to mesothelioma and an increased risk for lung cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute. The closure of McClure and Carnell marks the School District of Philadelphia’s fifth and sixth buildings to be closed last year due to this issue. In October 2019, the district closed Benjamin Franklin High School and Science Leadership Academy, which share a building, and later Thomas M. Peirce Elementary School. On Nov. 17, 2019, Pratt Early Childhood Center was temporarily closed, and on Dec. 17, 2019, Franklin Learning Center closed its doors for a few days before winter break. When one school district closes six of its buildings in one year, it’s indicative of a serious issue that our education system needs to address. “My first reaction [to the closings] was that I felt bad for the teachers. I was there for five years, but they’ve been there for so long. I feel like it didn’t really affect me, but to work there year after year, that must really take a toll on your body and health,” said Joei Camarote, a sophomore psychology major and an alumna of William M. Meredith Elementary School, where a teacher was diagnosed with mesothelioma after @TheTempleNews

As a future educator looking to teach in Philadelphia, I’m concerned with the safety and health of these students. While I commend the school district for taking immediate action to repair its buildings and protect students and faculty from any further health injury, it will not change or improve the damage that students and faculty have been exposed to due to the buildings’ faulty construction and poor maintenance. Buildings within the district are 70 years old on average, with some as old as 120 years, which could make those buildings more susceptible to damaged asbestos, Imahni Moise, media relations specialist for the district, wrote in an email to The Temple News. Construction and maintenance work at multiple buildings involved the handling of hazardous materials irresponsibly, including failure to control toxic silica dust particles during the school day, which thereby enters classrooms occupied by students and faculty, the Inquirer reported in a 2018 investigation into environmental safety hazards in Philadelphia school district buildings. The Inquirer further reported that construction crews failed to address teacher concerns of toxic fumes in classrooms within a timely manner, and previous environmental “cleanup plans” left classrooms with more dust due to poorly handled maintenance. Samples of leftover dust from remodeling at Abram Jenks School found levels of lead that were more than 27 times higher than the amount deemed to be hazardous. The district’s history of unsafe buildings and inadequate maintenance left students at multiple schools hospitalized prior to 2019 due to exposure to toxic chemicals like carbon monoxide and lead, according to the Inquirer. These conditions are unacceptable — we’re keeping students and faculty in unsafe conditions for hours of their day,

JEREMY ELVAS / THE TEMPLE NEWS Franklin Learning Center on 15th and Wallace streets closed for a few days before winter break due to damaged asbestos contamination. It reopened after winter break after cleanup.

and it’s essential that we take urgent action beyond just closing down schools. Of the six buildings temporarily closed last year, students at four schools were relocated to other buildings. Students at McClure, Carnell and Franklin Learning Center were not relocated, but returned to school after a few days, Moise said. The district announced an environmental safety plan in November 2019, with the aim of faster responses to asbestos findings and more effective communication with the community. Yet both of these goals are simply reactionary measures when the district truly needs a monetary investment from the state to repair the vast environmental hazards in its buildings. Increased funding to Philadelphia schools could eliminate environmental hazards already in place, as well as instituting measures to prevent the further contamination of our classrooms. “We know that there are solutions, we know that the money is there,” said Hillary Linardopoulos, the legislative representative and staff representative

for the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, a union fighting for safe conditions in schools. “We know that we can get the schools to a place where people are safe and healthy in their buildings.” Of the approximately $160 million required to repair its buildings of environmental hazards like damaged asbestos and flaking lead paint, the district can only utilize $12 million after borrowing $500 million for routine capital projects, Moise said. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania must acknowledge the severity of the toxic conditions in Philadelphia schools and approve an immediate emergency investment of at least $150 million. Although it will take considerable foresight, planning and funding to eliminate asbestos and other toxic substances from our schools, our children should be able to attend school without the looming fear of developing lung cancer or mesothelioma from their own classrooms. We owe our students that much. tyler.perez@temple.edu @tyler7perez





Traveling miles out of my comfort zone

A student details how a desire to travel more manifested in a New Year’s resolution. BY CHRISTINA MITCHELL For The Temple News This year, my New Year’s resolution isn’t going to the gym or starting a new diet — it’s to embark outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. My current roommate studied abroad in Spain last spring. My best friend went to Germany to visit family over the summer last year. And my future roommate is studying abroad in London this spring. Meanwhile, I haven’t flown in a plane since my senior year of high school. Seeing the pictures of my friends having the time of their lives and hearing stories about their excursions, I promised myself 2020 would be the year that I expand my horizons. I’ve never booked a plane ticket or gone to the airport by myself until now. So I finally worked up the courage and saved enough money to plan my own trips. One of my coworkers told me about a concert venue called Red Rocks in Denver, Colorado, where the stage is actually built into a canyon. As a concert and photo lover, I was immediately interested. I checked their website for weeks, waiting for a band I like to appear. While looking at the website one day, I audibly gasped. King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, an Australian rock band, was playing a three-hour marathon show in May. The tickets weren’t going on sale for a few more days, so I waited in anticipation. The following Tuesday, I was ready to book this adventure, but in just a few days, this band managed to sell out an



entire amphitheater before I could get a ticket. Resale tickets were more than double the original price, so I resigned myself to the fact that I would not be able to go. A few weeks later, I checked the website again, not expecting to find anything. Lo and behold, they added a second show. On top of this, plane tickets to Denver had suddenly dropped $30 each. I was determined to make my resolution a reality, so I quickly bought two tickets, one for me and one for my boyfriend for his birthday. I could hardly keep this secret to myself, especially since I was on the phone with him while I was buying the tickets. I told his mom, and she stopped what she was doing, mouth agape. She was so

happy, she even offered to pay for the hotel. Finally, on his birthday, a week before Christmas, I handed him a card with a poem I wrote, leading up to the surprise. The last line said, “You’ll be spending Cinco de Mayo in the breathtaking town of Morrison, Colorado.” He had a perplexed look on his face, and he was very confused when he unfolded the paper tickets — how were we going to get halfway across the country? I handed him two plane tickets, and he could hardly believe it. Neither could I, and I am beyond happy that I am following through with my resolution, and I will have him by my side. But that wasn’t enough for me.

Since then, I also booked a flight across the country to attend a music festival in Phoenix, Arizona, and I have plans to go to Los Angeles with my friend for spring break. Two concerts. Three cities. All in the next four months. And this is only during the first half of the year. Still, I’m not satisfied. I recently got my passport in the mail, so I’m hoping to travel outside of the United States very soon. My New Year’s resolution is to go outside of my comfort zone — 1,500, 2,000, even 2,400 miles out of my comfort zone, to be exact. christina.mitchell@temple.edu





Stick to paper ballots during upcoming election All 67 Pennsylvania counties met Gov. Tom Wolf’s order to use paper ballots in voting machines. In the November 2019 election, voting machines in Northampton County, Pennsylvania, recorded votes so inaccurate that a full investigation was launched, the RACHEL BERSON For The Temple News Philadelphia Inquirer reported. After the investigation found the machines weren’t properly set up, voters grew apprehensive, questioning the legitimacy of the machines with the 2020 general election around the corner. During that same election, the use of electronic voting processes in Philadelphia had a myriad of detrimental impacts, including an overly small font and prolonged wait times, in addition to an exorbitant tax cost. As a result, Philadelphia residents faced challenges in the voting process due to the inaccessibility and dysfunctionality of the electronic machines, according to WHYY. Both incidents demonstrated the need for a more accurate and reliable voting system, which can be accomplished through the use of paper ballots as opposed to electronic machines. In Northampton County, for example, invalid election results were fortunately corrected through the use of a backup paper ballots system, and these incidents bring to light the importance of ensuring accuracy in the American voting system, raising questions over whether or not entirely electronic voting should be foregone in favor of paper ballots. As of Jan. 1, all 67 Pennsylvania counties have met Gov. Tom Wolf’s April 2018 order to institute a paper ballot system into practice before the



2020 presidential election, the Inquirer reported. “The truth of the matter is that nothing is perfect but the most perfect way to vote, the most efficient way to vote, is a paper ballot because the process [is] not open to mistakes that are not made by the voter,” said Sandra Suarez, a political science professor. Robin Kolodny, chair of the political science department, explained that in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, where she works as a voting machine operator, paper ballots are one of the many measures used to ensure accuracy in elections. “There’s no actual electronic voting machine at all,” Kolodny said. “You get a paper ballot and a sharpie and you [fill in a] bubble. And then when you’re finished, you put it into a feeder that scans it and then the ballot gets spit into the

bottom of the machine.” With the 2020 general election approaching, it’s essential that our voting machines are as accurate as possible, particularly with growing skepticism toward validity in elections. “There’s probably going to be more scrutiny of these types of issues than ever,” said Michael Sances, a political science professor. “You combine all this scrutiny of the election system combined with what’s going to be a very close election, the political climate and the skepticism of elections reinforce one another.” However, Sances believes that local elections are much more likely to be affected by machine errors than national elections. “The national level is just so broad that it washes out unless it’s a super close election. Local blips are not going to push that around. At the local level,

the little blips are a bigger deal for them,” Sances said. While the use of new technology might lend itself to speed and efficiency, the most important aspect of conducting elections is that the results are correct. And the best way to ensure accurate results is to make sure these processes are not entirely reliant on machines and an analog backup mechanism, like a paper ballot, is in place. “The advantages of a paper ballot are that you don’t have to rely on an electronic system to count your votes properly,” said Jordan Laslett, a master’s in public policy candidate. “If a small wait in line is the price I have to pay to do my civic duty, I’m willing to pay that.” “On the local level, that’s where every vote counts,” Laslett added. rachel.berson@temple.edu





I’m your server, not your sweetheart

A student working as a waitress details experiences with sexual harassment in the food industry. BY GABRIELLE HOUCK For The Temple News My first encounter with inappropriate workplace banter was when I was 16 years old. A line cook I worked with told me if he had a girlfriend, he’d want her to be exactly like me. He was 22 years old. Eventually, it progressed to married men old enough to be my father touching the small of my back and telling me they just couldn’t stop looking at me. My skin would crawl, but their grins wouldn’t leave their faces. I’ve been working in restaurants since I was 15 years old. I started out as a dishwasher and worked my way up to serving by the time I was 18. At every restaurant I’ve ever worked, I’d feel like I was a part of a family. But, for every great relationship I’ve made and every new person I’ve met through my job, there is one stark and sadly prevalent consequence: sexual harassment. At all of the restaurants I’ve worked at, I’ve encountered co-workers and customers who’ve completely overstepped their boundaries. Men have hollered at me from their cars as I’ve set up patio furniture. I’ve been called sweetheart after establishing my name to a table multiple times. I’ve been asked if I’m single while rattling off happy hour specials. And all I ever did was grimace and walk away. I’d laugh it off, tell myself I was being conceited and move on with my night. Or, even worse, I’d blame myself. I’d tell myself I shouldn’t have worn lipstick or that I was asking for it with how revealing my shirt was — even though in this industry, you’re encouraged to flaunt what you have to make men ogle and give you their money. As a woman, I love my body, and I’m comfortable with my sexuality. But, when people take it as an invitation to letters@temple-news.com


treat me however they please, that is when shame and doubt can begin to cloud my mind. After face-reddening and stomach-churning encounters, I’d carry on taking drink orders and sweet-talking tables so that they’d order dessert. I would act like it just never occurred. I started to desensitize the disrespect I received, and that is what truly scared me the most. I knew I needed to make a change when there came a time I absolutely dreaded going to work. I could handle guys leaving their phone numbers on their receipts, but I couldn’t handle feeling obligated to be nice to someone who made me genuinely uncomfortable. I toggled back and forth with this sense of guilt. If I said something, would I be responsible for someone losing their job? What if this is just how he is? What

if I’m in the wrong? But what if the comments and the unwarranted touching continued? What if I never felt comfortable at my job again? Finally, I got over my fears and realized that it isn’t normal to feel this way in the workplace. I told myself that the longer I put up with it, the more complacent I’d become. So, I stood up for myself and did what I felt was right. One night, I went to the head chef and told him I didn’t feel comfortable working with an employee. He simply nodded, asked when the harassment started and assured me things would change. He didn’t make me feel like I was crazy, like I convinced myself I was for so long. In the weeks following, there were some cold shoulders and awkward si-

lences in the kitchen. Kitchen crews are tight-knit, and I was a narc. He didn’t lose his job — I didn’t want him to — but he did leave me alone. I stopped receiving unwanted hugs and comments about my looks, and it’s all because I spoke up. Finding my voice gave me the confidence to stand up for myself. Being in the service industry means being a people pleaser, but a 20 percent tip isn’t worth my dignity. I’m no longer afraid to remind people what my name is when they call me sweetheart, and I won’t put up with people asking me about my love life when I’m just trying to do my job. I’m not afraid to make people hear me anymore. gabrielle.houck@temple.edu @gabbyhouck75





Students use virtual reality for empathy training The equipment allows users to experience scenarios like homelessness and caring for a patient. BY ANNALIESE GRUNDER Science & Technology Beat Reporter


ou’re in a barebones apartment. A pile of bills topped by an eviction notice sits on the desk before you. A radio to your left broadcasts a report about rising unemployment while your landlord knocks on your door, demanding rent that you don’t have. This is the “Becoming Homeless” virtual reality simulation, which allows users to experience the process of being evicted, getting ticketed for sleeping in a car and riding a public bus through the night to stay warm. All Temple University students are now able to access empathy training virtual reality simulations in the Loretta C. Duckworth Scholar’s Studio, located in Charles Library. The simulations depict a first-person view of experiencing homelessness and caregiving simulations both as a nurse and patient. These types of simulations were first introduced to students several years ago when the Health Sciences Library began working with the VR simulation company Embodied Labs to try and incorporate virtual reality simulations into the nursing curriculum, said Jordan Hample, an academic information technology support technician at the studio. “A lot of the same concepts used in nursing education are used in social work education, ” said Olivia Given Castello, library liaison to the School of Social Work, who worked with Hample for students to access the VR. “In both areas, schools are experimenting with this idea that experiences that build empathy will help students learn how to work as practitioners.” By using virtual reality headsets and @TheTempleNews

JEREMY ELVAS / THE TEMPLE NEWS Gabriel Cabrera, freshman undeclared major and student worker at the Loretta C. Duckworth Scholars Studio, demonstrates virtual reality equipment on Jan. 10.

simulations, or computer-generated 3D visual imaging, students can gain insight into the daily struggles of future clients and patients through what Hample refers to as empathy training. “Empathy training is essentially trying to put you into the body and or mindset of another person to try and experience what they are experiencing and try and understand how they might be dealing with any given time or circumstance,” Hample said. Kazmuir Long, a student worker at the studio, helps students use the VR equipment. “It’s an immersive experience that is fun for anyone,” said Long, a senior computer science major. “Even if you’ve never tried VR before, it’s really easy to get into.” Since the technology allows students to focus on how the subject views

their world rather than their reactions to scenarios, no knowledge about how to approach a homeless client or care for a person with an illness is required to partake in empathy training, Hample said. “[The simulation] takes you through various stages of the illness,” he said. “Sometimes it’s visual impairment, so you’ll have part of the screen blocked off or blurry, or you’ll have a hearing impairment where you can’t quite make out what people are saying to you.” The program has dozens of simulations of different diseases and conditions, like dementia, hearing impairment and blindness, so nursing students can view the challenges of caring for people with a variety of ailments, Given Castello said. “When you see things from the perspective of the person with the illness, it helps you relate to what they’re going through, so when you’re trying to deal

with someone who has that illness, then you might know how you need to handle that situation differently,” Hample said. In one of the scenarios, students undergo the all-too-realistic situation of having to break bad news to family members of a patient, he added. “It can be a hard conversation, so you get to sit through it and see what kind of reactions they might have and what you’re going to be dealing with,” Hample said. Hample said that the VR training was beneficial for students to prepare for situations they are going to encounter in the real world. “It’s very immersive,” he added. “You get to feel what they’re feeling and see what they’re seeing.” annaliese.grunder@temple.edu @annaliesegrund1





Professor studies differences in int’l courtrooms

Sara Jacobson visited the High Court of Uganda and taught trial advocacy to law students. BY TYRA BROWN For The Temple News Upon walking into the courtroom, Sara Jacobson saw something completely unfamiliar to her in the United States: defendants of a homicide case shackled together during court proceedings. “I know that is done in some countries, but I never got to see that before,” Jacobson said. Jacobson, the director of trial advocacy and associate professor at the Beasley School of Law, took a two-week trip to Kampala, Uganda’s capital, in November 2019. During her visit, she had an opportunity to sit in at the High Court of Uganda, the third-largest judicial court in the country. It serves as the trial court level for significant criminal cases in Kampala, Jacobson said. “I never think that we do everything perfectly,” she added. “My hope was to go to court and learn from the way they do things, even if I could only sit in for a brief period of time, and see if they were doing anything better over there that I could bring back here or perhaps add to my teaching.” Jacobson, who previously worked as a public defender in Philadelphia, was offered the trip from a colleague who couldn’t make it. She taught trial advocacy in Beijing, China last spring, and the opportunity to teach lawyers in another new country excited her. One thing she realized was that unlike the U.S., the Ugandan court didn’t offer translation for defendants. “It was a verdict for a homicide case and things were not translated in the defendant’s local language so they could not understand what was going on,” Jacobson said. When the short translation started, the judge told the person translating to give the defendant a quick summary of


JEREMY ELVAS / THE TEMPLE NEWS Sara Jacobson, director of trial advocacy and associate professor at the Beasley School of Law talks about her experience visiting the High Court of Uganda.

the proceeding, she said. In U.S. courts, defendants need to be told everything said during the entire proceeding. “It made me appreciate the rights that we have here,” Jacobson said. The one-day visit of the courtroom made her realize the similarities, differences and “then some things that seemed to be unfair,” she added. For the other days of her trip, she was teaching a trial advocacy program at the African Centre of Legal Excellence, a law institute in Kampala. Compared to her 12-student class at Temple, her class at the center only had three students, all of who were government lawyers from African countries. Trial advocacy, or the practice of making lawyers more effective in courtrooms, is a skill that transfers to speaking on behalf of others, said Marian Braccia,

director of the master of laws in the Trial Advocacy Program. “You’re learning new ways to present information, to tell stories and also be mindful of the different cultures in which we should practice, and cultures we should respect and understand in order to be persuasive and effective to our very diverse audiences and juries,” she added. Seeing different styles of trial law is beneficial, said Sonjay Singh, a former student in Jacobson’s Trial Advocacy course. “The law in many places is out of a self-governing profession and it is one where we are always expected to hold another accountable,” Singh said. Though Jacobson enjoyed her trip to Uganda, she sometimes felt concerned due to the country’s unacceptance for

people in the LGBTQ community, considering Jacobson herself identifies as an LGBTQ individual. After her visit, she wanted to learn more about the common law system based in British advocacy, so the techniques she teaches American and foreign students are as useful to them as possible, she said. The African Centre for Legal Excellence invited her to teach again, so she’ll be teaching in Kenya this summer. “It was not always comfortable, but I got to meet some great people and experience a different part of the world,” Jacobson said. “I learned new things while having the opportunity to teach. I would love to go back, and my hope is that this will continue.” tyra.brown@temple.edu @tyrabrown





Main Campus scavenger hunts give away prizes

Anonymous ambassadors for an Instagram account send out clues for the locations of prizes. BY MAXWELL KLEMMER For The Temple News On the first day of the semester, students scrambled to find an Alex and Ani bracelet hidden on campus. But the scavenger hunt’s winner wasn’t playing for himself — he wanted the prize for a friend. “This was easy, it was something to do, and if I find it, I get brownie points from her,” said John Mullin, a junior neuroscience major. “I’m not wearing it, I know that.” The hunt was a part of an ongoing scavenger hunt game, created by @templetreasures Instagram account. The account creates scavenger hunts around campus with prizes including discounts at local restaurants, sports memorabilia, and Alex and Ani brand jewelry. It’s a part of the larger Campus Treasures Network LLC, a company that runs scavenger hunts through social media for college students nationwide, according to their website. The account, with more than 5,000 followers, was created in December 2018 and leads students to treasures hidden around Temple’s campus. When Patrick Cox participated in a hunt last November, he said treasure maps dropped from atop Charles Library with clues leading to a hidden autographed jersey from former NBA player Julius Erving. “They just dropped all onto the ground, everyone just went crazy,” said Cox, a senior finance major. “The security guards just, they didn’t know what to do.” Cox never found the Erving jersey, but Chris Kaye, a junior supply chain management major, did. “It took a very long time, probably like well over a half hour, maybe even an hour long to find it,” Kaye said.


There are at least 10 other Instagram accounts at universities like the University of Missouri, West Chester University and Georgia Tech, though Temple Treasures has the largest following of the accounts. Their website states each account is run by student ambassadors from respective schools, who are kept anonymous and in charge of creating the scavenger hunts and social media content to promote them. Ambassadors are able to be as creative as they want when hiding their treasures. In December 2018, the account gave clues by hinting that a spot at Temple had the same atmosphere as a lyric in “Right Above” by Lil Wayne featuring Drake, according to their Instagram. The lyric hinted at a beach, directing students to Beury Beach on campus. “We either do it as a full group or sometimes we break off into mini groups and some of us will do a hunt and a couple of us will do another,” said April Ramella, a sophomore social work major and TU ambassador for CTN. “We get together, and we have the prize beforehand and we kind of rank the treasure hunt like how hard or what it’s going to be based on, how good the prize is.” Ramella, who agreed to reveal her identity because she’s transferring out of Temple, won a TV from the account in April 2019 before she became an ambassador. “It kind of showed me more of Temple’s campus, and I figured if they needed interns, they needed help, so it’d be cooler to bring it bigger and make it to more campuses and everything like that,” Ramella said. Captain Tommy Treasures is a pseudonym for the head and founder of CTN, who wants to remain anonymous. “This is a secret team,” the website states. “No one on campus knows who is a part of Captain Tommy Treasures Crew.” The name was derived from a re-

CLAUDIA SALVATO / THE TEMPLE NEWS Students look outside the Student Center for a hidden prize during Temple Treasures first scavenger hunt of the year on Jan. 13.

CLAUDIA SALVATO / THE TEMPLE NEWS John Mullin, junior neuroscience major, finds an Alex and Ani bracelet in the bushes across from the Student Center, where Temple Treasures held their first scavenger hunt of the semester on Jan 13.

al-life accident in 1986 where three men, Jack Favalon and crew members Vince Ingargiola and Tom McCarthy were run over by an oil tanker while fishing, according to the Associated Press. Though the company wishes to re-

main anonymous, it doesn’t bother Kaye. “I’m just very excited for more hunts in the spring,” he said. maxwell.klemmer@temple.edu






Open mic night gives artists expressive space On Saturday, more than 50 poets, writers and creators gathered at REC Philly on 9th and Market streets in the Fashion District to share their art onstage at Voices in Power, or VIP, a monthly open mic started by Luis Marrero. Marrero, who goes by “imsuperdope,” hosted the sold-out show. “I want to get out there in all the ways you wouldn’t expect someone to,” said Kendell Simmons, 22, of Glen Olden, Pennsylvania participates every month. “That’s really important to me and that’s why I come to Voices in Power all the time,” William Tyrone Toms, 28, a resident of South Philly who co-founded REC Philly, said VIP was the first event at REC’s new facility, which opened in December 2019 and provides space to connect artists with resources. “We’re really proud to host really powerful and important event like VIP, which gives people space to share their story and express themselves through poetry and music, song, all these things,” Toms said. Denise Lewis, 49, from Willingboro, New Jersey, came to watch the show with her daughters, Faith and Nia. “What I got out of it was being able to see the diversity of the people up there just sharing from their hearts, pushing through the fear that they have, and being able to flow up there and just be creative,” she said. features@temple-news.com








1. A method of making a 2. Totaling and validating collective decision between two election votes because of a or more candidates suspected error 3. A race between candidates for elective office

6. An area that an elected candidate represents

4. Small adhesive given to someone who voted

7. Someone running for political office

5. The process of going through 10. Activites of the governance a district to solicit orders or of a country political support to determine opinions 8. Someone who mails in a vote prior to an election 9. The list of candidates and proposals @TheTempleNews




Mother-daughter duo brings handbags to QVC J. Harris Designs will start selling homemade clutches on the network this month. BY MILLY MCKINNISH For The Temple News On a cold February morning last year, Dorothy Harris was inside online shopping for a clutch, but couldn’t find one she liked. Having just retired from her AT&T job, the 70-year-old 1980 social work alumna decided to make her own clutch in her basement with no fashion or business experience. Less than a year later, designs from her handbag company, J. Harris Designs, are going to be featured on QVC, a television shopping channel, from mid- to late-January. Blair Armstrong, Harris’ daughter and business partner, submitted the handbags as a pitch for a product competition with QVC in June 2019. They didn’t win the competition, but QVC liked their business and offered to sell her designs. “Every time I think about that, it just blows my mind,” Harris said.

Before starting her company, Harris taught herself to sew and make purses by watching YouTube videos. Much of her search history includes questions like “How do I put a zipper in?” After making her first clutch, Harris continued designing purses, and eventually started J. Harris Designs. Now, she designs clutches, cross bodies and wristlets, and hopes they will expand to sell travel bags. Her products are primarily promoted on Instagram and sold on her website. Harris spent two days at QVC’s headquarters in West Chester, Pennsylvania, last month learning how to package and ship their products and how to perfect on-air presentations with hosts. “It was a magical, magical experience,” Harris said. “They’re going to sell all those purses and ask for an even bigger order, that’s what our prayer is.” Each of Harris’ clutches has a reversible flap with two different designs. “You flip the flap from one side to another and you have a totally different design,” Harris said. “It can go from corporate to cocktail.” “If I had enough money, I would probably own them all,” said Deborah

Lockett, 59, an Etsy jewelry shop owner from Washington, D.C., who has purchased nine clutches. Lockett said she likes Harris’ purses because of the reversible designs, the bold animal print patterns and the fact that Harris signs the inside of each bag. “But I think a lot of it has to do with [Harris] and her personality,” Lockett said. Once, Lockett was interested in buying one of the clutches, but she was not sure about the pattern. Lockett reached out to Harris and was shocked when Harris sent her a video of the fabric so that she could see it more clearly. Armstrong said her mother surprised her in starting a business, but the company’s success is “mind-blowing.” “I knew she had a great eye for design, but the fact that she built an entire business around it, I totally did not see that coming at all,” Armstrong said. “It’s been amazing to see this footprint she’s had in this little amount of time.” Harris was ready to quit when her daughter joined. She was dismayed because at her age, she was not familiar with social media, and could not quite understand it. Armstrong decided to

BRENDAN ALLEN First-year English student


How can virtual reality be used to learn?


VR poetry would be amazing, that would be a really interesting collaboration to have virtual reality artists and poets working together.

help, despite recently having a baby. While Armstrong refers to J. Harris Designs as her mother’s business, Harris is adamant that it is a mother-daughter enterprise because Armstrong manages their social media and website and books their events. “I owe it all to her and her millennial friends,” Harris said. “They were able to do things that I just wasn’t prepared to do.” Now, Harris is at the end of a long process with QVC. “At this point, I’m just filled with nerves to know that this is going to happen and I’m just waiting,” Harris said. People have approached Harris, telling her she is an inspiration and asking to be her mentee. However, Harris does not see herself that way. “If I had listened to my head, I wouldn’t be at this point, “Harris said. “But I listened to my heart, and I knew that I had something that I believed in, and I just wanted it to expand. And it has. I just can’t believe the blessings I have gotten from this.” milly@temple.edu

ANYAH JACKSON Sophomore Africology major I’m sure for health courses, we could use virtual reality. I’m an Africology major so maybe we could use virtual reality for different images and projections from the continent, artifacts and other things like that.

ALEX STEFANCIK Freshman nursing major

TOMAR SEROTA Sophomore economics major

They show us how to do it. You can go up and get hands-on with potential patients. I think they can be used for medical purposes, all sorts of different learning things.

One thing in economics is trade-offs like making choices between one option and another, so like I’m going home right now, but my decision to get a bagel could be used in VR, it could be analyzed, so I think that could be an application of that. temple-news.com




Voters with disabilities describe experiences at polls Some people with physical disabilities face challenges when accessing their polling locations. BY NICO CISNEROS Intersection Co-Editor Jamie Ray Leonetti hasn’t always had an easy time voting in Philadelphia. Leonetti, the associate director of policy at Temple’s Institute on Disabilities, has difficulty being level a voting machine due to her mobility scooter. Whether using voting machines that are lever-operated or electronic, Leonetti said that poll workers she’s encountered don’t know how to make these devices accessible. “Numerous times, I had been at my polling place and had to wait extra long because whoever was working was not aware of how to lower the machine, or we found that the machine was not in proper working order in terms of it being able to lower,” she said. Rutgers University reported in July 2019 that such barriers have historically kept people with disabilities from voting. According to the study, if people with disabilities voted at the same rate as those without, there would be 2.35 million more voters. Here in Philadelphia, the city addressed some accessibility issues before last November’s elections. Billy Penn reported, Philadelphia polls were 100 percent accessible to people with limited mobility. Polling places installed ramps and wedge mats to smooth paths and added door stops. However, the Inquirer reported this wasn’t done to address accessibility: this was necessary to install new state-mandated voting machines. Still, some members of the Temple community said there’s more work to do to make voting truly accessible. Senior psychology major Mike Hazzard cited privacy as his main concern when voting. Using a power chair, Hazzard carefully navigates his polling place in West Philadelphia. @TheTempleNews


“My voting place has a ramp, but inside is small and [there’s] not enough privacy,” Hazzard said. “The cover for the voting machine is rather small for my power chair so I don’t feel like I’m able to get as much privacy as someone else.” Privacy is difficult to achieve for many members of the disabled community, explained Jule Ann Lieberman, IOD’s assistive technology program coordinator. Lieberman, who has visual impairments, relies on different methods that compromised her confidential vote, including having someone come into the voting booth with her to help her cast her ballot. Although Lieberman now casts her vote by hearing candidates’ names through headphones, she is not able to confirm her selections without the help of another person. “I have to go off of trust,” Lieberman said. “I have to believe that what is printed is exactly what I voted.” This is why Lieberman feels that autonomy for people with disabilities is

imperative when it comes to voting. “I’m a believer in getting assistance when you need it, but I also am very staunch advocate for independent access,” she said. “We all have a right to self-determination, and voting is part of self-determination.” Jonathan Atiencia, TSG’s disabilities and resources representative, said it’s crucial for the polls to be completely accessible because there are specific policy issues that affect people with disabilities. “These voices need to be heard because one day, these senators and mayors will see that these people care,” he said. “When you put your voice out in public, you can tell them what problems you’re having or what services you want.” As a voter, Hazzard is concerned with equal job and housing access. “With jobs, there are not many areas with ramps or adequate space to work,” he said. “With housing, the place needs to be accessible all throughout which is what delays the disabled moving on, and that’s the situation I’m in myself.” These are issues Hazzard and Atien-

cia both felt are not typically covered by candidates, but Lieberman and Lionetti feel they have seen coverage increase. Lionetti noted that she’s seen presidential candidates Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren release their disability policy recently, which gives her hope that disability-focused policies are becoming more mainstream. “As a person with a disability, I say it’s about time and I applaud the candidates efforts because certainly it’s an important issue,” she said. “People with disabilities as a whole are a large voting bloc, so candidates should be concerned with what we as individuals with disabilities have to say.” While Hazzard feels that many politicians don’t recognize the issues for people with disabilities, he emphasized that voting is still important. “If it’s important for the able-bodied, it should in no question be accessible for everyone,” he said. nicole.cisneros@temple.edu





The barriers to voting in low-income communities

Low-income communities often experience unique challenges when it comes to voting. BY CATHERINE O’CONNELL & GIONNA KINCHEN For The Temple News


hakirra Martin, a North Philadelphia resident who lives on 16th Street near Dauphin, described the process of voting in North Philadelphia in two words: “long lines.” Martin’s experience reflects a 2019 study by the Bipartisan Policy Center that showed that precincts with large minority populations, low incomes and high population density were more likely to experience longer wait times at polling places than precincts that were predominantly white with higher incomes. The poverty rates in 2017 for the area codes 19121 and 19122, where Temple University is located, are 50.2 percent and 36 percent respectively, according to the United States Census. Despite their longer wait times at polling places, low-income communities tend to have significantly lower voter turnout rates than communities with higher incomes. Econofact, a non-partisan publication that analyzes economic policy, reported only 48 percent of the lowest income bracket voted in the 2016 presidential election, as opposed to 86 percent of the highest income bracket. Political science professor David Nickerson said cultural norms might explain why low-income areas often have lower voter turnout rates. “There is less of a norm of voting among peers and neighbors, so there is less pressure to vote,” Nickerson said.


“Residents often have less time to vote, and the government often neglects the area so residents feel voting matters less.” Martin said she thinks the reason people are less likely to vote in low-income neighborhoods is due mostly to the perception that voting is ineffective in creating change. “I think we [don’t vote] out of attitude,” Martin said. “Like, ‘No, I’m not voting for that person, because they’re not gonna do nothing, they’re not gonna fix up our streets. They’re not gonna do this, they’re not gonna do that, so why vote?’” Martin also said people in low-income areas may fail to show up at the polls because of an inability to take off of work due to financial circumstances. “If I’m taking my day off [of work to vote], I could be doing something else, I could be getting money,” Martin added. “I won’t vote for a person that’s not even gonna help me.” Physical obstacles also exist for low-income individuals on their way to the polls. In the area surrounding Temple, three of the six polling locations available to residents do not offer parking, and only two offer handicap parking, according to Philadelphia Votes’ list of polling places in Philadelphia. Nickerson said photo ID requirements are an obstacle for low-income communities. “There are laws championed by Republicans in recent history with the stated goal of improving election security, but have the practical effect of making voting harder,” Nickerson said. “Photo ID requirements and ‘cleaning’ the voter file are good examples of such laws. The effect of these laws are often felt most strongly in poor communities where


driver’s licenses are less common.” Michael Sances, a political science professor, said voter suppression results in low-voter turnout rates in low-income communities. “The United States has a long and sordid history of political elites designing electoral rules to exclude certain groups from the political process,” Sances said. “The worst of these rules ended with the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and its subsequent enforcement. While the Voting Rights Act has been weakened in recent years, it is still very much in force.” Nickerson believes the potential for real change lies within the community. “The most effective thing community leaders can do is leverage the existing talents and energies within the neigh-

borhoods,” Nickerson said. “Recruit block captains to mobilize the people on their block. Recruit charismatic people to run for office and energize the community. Poor communities are often short on time and money, but there are good examples of grassroots campaigns being successful and getting people engaged.” Martin said she hopes to see an increase in voter engagement in low-income communities. “Especially in neighborhoods like [North Philadelphia], this is a multiracial neighborhood,” Martin said. “It should be more out here for us.” intersection@temple-news.com @TheTempleNews





Opening up about my conservative views

A Republican student shares her journey to self-acceptance and confidence in her opinions. BY HEATHER DESALVO For The Temple News I was in high school when the climactic 2016 presidential election occurred. I will never forget going to school after Donald Trump won the presidency. One of my classmates, a vocal conservative, wore his “Trump train” shirt that day. He was mocked all day. People said he was disgusting. I felt embarrassed and ashamed because I didn’t see what was so wrong about a conservative student being happy that a candidate he supported won the election. When were political views equivalent to moral beliefs? I wasn’t old enough to vote in 2016, but I probably would’ve voted for Trump, although I preferred United States Sen. Ted Cruz. I didn’t like Trump’s personality and his lack of professionalism, but he was the one who aligned most with my views. I learned that day in high school that, to my peers, even considering voting for him is a sin. In today’s political climate, conservative women are misunderstood. I am often seen as “anti-woman” because most conservative women don’t support abortion, but most of us are extremely understanding of the topic. We are supposedly racists who blindly accepted what we were taught by our conservative parents. I support the Republican



party because it aligns most with my beliefs, not because I’m following my family’s footsteps. My father is conservative, but I disagree with him on many issues, including immigration. My views, like everyone else’s, are nuanced. I’m not what most people associate with the word “republican,” but I am definitely not a Democrat. The bigoted people you see on TV or social media do not represent us as a whole. These false perceptions greatly affected my confidence as a college stu-

dent. I found myself feeling out of place among other Temple students. Most college students identify with liberal policies or somewhere in the middle. Upon arriving in Philadelphia, I didn’t see much representation of my views on or off campus. Luckily, as my time at Temple went on, I gained more confidence in my beliefs. I proudly wore my Temple College Republicans shirt in my first-year English class, and aside from one or two weird looks, no one cared. When I

brought up my views on what a Republican writer meant in a book we read, people actually listened to me. Once I started to open myself up and put my beliefs out in the open, I found that people are generally open-minded. I am a junior now, and I’ve matured quite a bit. I wish I could get the courage to attend more political events and share my views, but I’m getting there. I attend some events on campus when I can, like when I heard a speaker from the National Rifle Association, and I intend to go to more. Although Temple is in a very liberal city, I have grown to feel accepted here. I just have to step out and talk about my views. I truly believe that conservatives will make a difference on Temple’s campus and beyond. With three conservative student organizations on campus, including the Network of Enlightened Women, we are making an impact. The College Republicans and Young Americans for Freedom host a “free speech ball” event every semester for students to write their opinions without judgment. It is always a successful event. It is my hope that students will understand conservatism by its principles rather than by judgments. I am proud to be a conservative Temple student. I am proud to share my beliefs. I hope that other conservatives are empowered to never be ashamed to vote red. heather.desalvo@temple.edu





Examining voting rights and citizenship status

A law professor and students with visas weigh in on voting rights for non-citizens. BY GIONNA KINCHEN Intersection Co-Editor Later this year, American citizens will vote again in a presidential election, however, millions of people residing in the United States are not eligible to vote due to citizenship status. In 2017, 44.4 million people in the U.S. were born outside of the country, according to a Pew Research Center study released in June 2019. Of the 44.4 million people, 45 percent had achieved citizenship. That leaves more than half of the foreign-born population as either undocumented, or permanent residents, also known as green-card holders. These individuals are legally not allowed to vote in federal elections until they become naturalized citizens. Jennifer Lee, a Beasley School of Law associate professor who specializes in immigration law, said laws prohibiting non-citizens from voting could be viewed as discriminatory. “Do we think that it’s OK, as a moral matter, to restrict certain people from having a voice?” Lee said. “I don’t know that I have a solution to say, ‘Everybody should just be able to go and roll into the voting booth.’ But on the other hand, it disturbs me that there are people who work here, pay taxes, send their kids to school and look like any other American, that somehow can’t vote and be a member of the polity.” Forty-six percent of Democrats think undocumented immigrants should have the right to vote, nine percent of Republicans and 30 percent of indepen-


dents agree, according to a 2018 poll from The Hill. Lee said the idea that undocumented immigrants are undeserving of the right to vote because they didn’t immigrate legally is rooted in a misunderstanding of the immigration process. “The idea that ‘Well, they should just stand in line and do it like everyone else’ is false because there is no line to stand in,” Lee said. “If you’re not somebody who has the kinds of family members that have status that can petition for you, if you don’t have the certain kind of educational background so you can come in with a work visa, you don’t have any pathway to getting U.S. citizenship. And so that’s why there’s so many folks who are undocumented.” A Pew Research Center study released in May 2019 reported that despite the long and often arduous process to gain citizenship, once immigrants become naturalized and gain the right to vote, they are often less likely to vote than natural-born citizens. The study showed that in the 2018 midterm election, the voter turnout rate for naturalized citizens was significantly lower than that of U.S.-born citizens. About 45 percent of naturalized citizens voted, as opposed to 54.2 percent of U.S.-born citizens. Simon Kerdukashvili, a sophomore health professions major and permanent resident from Russia, said although he has plans to become a U.S. citizen in the future, he does not plan on voting once he does so. “I’m not saying [voting] is good or bad,” Kerdukashvili said. “I just personally believe that my voice won’t make a difference if one clown will be in power or another.”

CLAUDIA SALVATO / THE TEMPLE NEWS Rick Barrantes, master of music in bassoon performance candidate with a student visa from Costa Rica, stands in front of Charles Library on Jan. 12.

Rick Barrantes, a master of music in bassoon performance candidate with a student visa from Costa Rica, said immigrants should have the right to vote until they achieve citizenship. “[People on student visas] can just complete their degrees and then go back to their countries,” Barrantes said. “You shouldn’t vote unless you have your citizenship because a citizen means you’re proud of the country, and you will live there for the rest of your life. So then you have a right to decide political stuff.” Kerdukashvili said immigrants should set their sights on gaining full citizenship before voting. “If you haven’t put any effort to achieve the right status based on the

Constitution that was written years ago, then your opinion should not impact others,” Kerdukashvili said. Despite the lack of federal voting rights for immigrants, some local governments allow permanent residents and undocumented immigrants to vote in local elections. Philadelphia does not currently allow non-citizens to vote in local elections. “I think that it’s an interesting question to think about,” Lee said. “Who has been deprived of political rights in our society, and how are we justifying that? I think it’s a potentially problematic issue.” gionna@temple.edu @gionnakinchen





Transfer forward develops starting lineup role Jake Forrester has seen an increase in points and minutes after a year at Indiana University. BY ALEX McGINLEY Assistant Sports Editor Temple University sophomore forward Jake Forrester was ineligible to play to start the season. Now, he’s found himself in the starting lineup less than a month after he was cleared to play. Since the NCAA approved his transfer waiver on Nov. 26, 2019, Forrester has averaged 7.9 points and 18.4 minutes in 10 games this season. Forrester transferred to Temple after playing at Indiana University last season. Forrester averaged 2.1 points and 4.3 minutes per game in just 13 games with the Hoosiers. Forrester scored a season-high eight points in seven minutes against the University of Central Arkansas on Dec. 19, 2018. “I worked really hard in practice for this,” Forrester said. “I was working like I was gonna play so it was great to have all my work out there and be able to play.” Forrester found out his waiver was approved after receiving a phone call from coach Aaron McKie two days before Temple’s first game in the Orlando Invitational against the University of Maryland on Nov. 28, 2019. In his first game with Temple, Forrester played 12 minutes and scored six points off the bench in a 76-69 loss against Maryland. The Terrapins were ranked No. 5 in the Associated Press Top 25 poll at the time of the match. In Temple’s 108-61 win against St. Joseph’s on Dec. 10, 2019, Forrester scored a career-high 17 points while shooting 8-of-8 from the field. “[Forrester is] just getting better and better every single day,” said junior guard Nate Pierre-Louis after the St. Joseph’s game. “I feel like he’s gonna get better and better more and the more he plays experience-wise. He runs. He’s athletic.

@TheTempleNews @TheTempleNews

J.P. OAKES / THE TEMPLE NEWS Sophomore forward Jake Forrester attempts to score during the Owls’ game against the University of Missouri on Dec. 7, 2019 at the Liacouras Center.

He’s really energetic. He helps us on the defensive end and the offensive end.” After playing a career-high 25 minutes against the University of Miami on Dec. 17, 2019, Forrester made his first collegiate start on Dec. 21, 2019 against Rider University. Forrester scored 14 points and shot 7-of-9 from the field in 21 minutes of action in a 78-66 win against the Broncs. Forrester has started all but one game since then. “I wanna try to extract more out of him if possible,” McKie said after the Rider game. “We gotta make sure we continue to push him and keep trying to squeeze as much as I can out of him and

get him in tip-top game shape.” Forrester has also improved in his field goal percentage from last season. After making 54.5 percent of his shots from the field with Indiana last season, Forrester has made 60.7 percent of shots this season. “He has so much more room to grow as a basketball player,” McKie said. “We can move in on the inside. He’s a pretty good shooter. At some point in his career here, we wanna be able to stretch him out a little bit more.” Even though Forrester has solidified himself as a low post player, he feels like he can improve on his outside shooting, he said.

“That’s been a part of my game but I feel like I perfected it more since I got here,” Forrester said. “I’ve been working around the block all of practice every day.” While he feels his role at Indiana could have been more substantial, Forrester said he is focused on playing in the present with his Temple teammates. “Most definitely I think my role could’ve been way bigger there, but that’s in the past and that’s not here or there,” Forrester said. “I’m here now.” alex.mcginley@temple.edu @mcginley_alex





Backups have chance to fill 11 starting positions Roche led the team with 13.0 sacks Temple football must replace and 18.0 tackles for loss this season, major defensive leaders after finwon the American Athletic Conference ishing 8-5 for the second straight Defensive Player of the Year and tied the season.

BY DANTE COLLINELLI Assistant Sports Editor Temple University football is losing 11 starters after competing in its fifth straight bowl game. Junior cornerback Harrison Hand and redshirt-junior offensive lineman Matt Hennessy entered the NFL Draft. Graduate tight end Kenny Yeboah transferred to Baylor University and redshirt-junior defensive end Quincy Roche has not announced where he will play. Senior linebacker Shaun Bradley, senior linebacker Sam Franklin, graduate linebacker Chapelle Russell, graduate defensive end Zack Mesday, senior safety Benny Walls, senior receiver Isaiah Wright and graduate offensive lineman Jovahn Fair are graduating. “This is a senior group who is really special, and I’ll remember them forever,” coach Rod Carey said on Dec. 28, 2019. “What they have meant to me personally, making the transition easy, and also what they have meant to Temple.” Three of the players leaving were leaders in major statistical categories on defense this past season.

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 24 LEFEBVRE Midfielder Jorge Gomez Sanchez was the first Temple player drafted by an MLS team. He was a third-round selection in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft. Lefebvre played all 1704 minutes in goal this past season while recording 56 saves and leading his team to an 8-8-2 record. In his senior season, he only allowed 22 goals in 18 games for a goalsagainst average of 1.16. Lefebvre notched American Athletic Conference Second Team honors this past season and completed his career sports@temple-news.com

Owls’ single-season sack record. Two candidates to replace Roche are redshirt-junior defensive end Arnold Ebiketie and redshirt-senior defensive end Nickolos Madourie. In 11 games, Ebiketie recorded two tackles for loss and two sacks while Madourie appeared in one game and recorded two tackles. Hand led the team with three interceptions this season, finished third on the team with five pass breakups and led the Owls’ secondary players with four tackles for loss. Hand announced he was entering the NFL Draft on Dec. 29, 2019 in a statement on Twitter. In the statement, Hand mentioned Temple coach Fran Brown and his influence on his career. Brown coached Hand at Baylor University and Temple but left to coach at Rutgers University on Dec. 7, 2019. Some players who could compete for Hand’s spot are graduate cornerback Linwood Crump, redshirt-junior cornerback Ty Mason and redshirtsenior cornerback Freddie Johnson. Johnson converted to cornerback in the summer and played in 12 games this season. He recorded 16 tackles, one tackle for loss and zero pass breakups. Mason played in 11 games compiling six

tackles and one pass breakup. Crump started during the 2018 season but only played in four games this past season because of an injury. Crump recorded four tackles and no other stats. Bradley compiled a team-leading 79 tackles this season. He also contributed eight tackles for loss and one forced fumble. Russell and Franklin finished second and third on the team with 63 and 61 tackles respectively. Redshirt-senior linebacker Isaiah Graham-Mobley, redshirt-junior linebacker Audley Isaacs and graduate linebacker William Kwenkeu will have a

chance to compete for the starting spot. Graham-Mobley played in eight games last season recording 36 tackles and four tackles for loss. Isaacs competed in 12 games but only recorded 13 tackles and no other stats. Kwenkeu played in just two games compiling two tackles. Both Graham-Mobley and Kwenkeu missed time with injuries this past season. Mobley suffered a season-ending injury prior to the week before the team played South Florida. Kwenkeu suffered a thumb injury before the season.

with Temple with a goals-against average of 1.21, which was the fifth-best in program history. “I think he’s got a lot of things that make him a very, very good prospect for them,” Rowland said. “Obviously, he’s very big, you can see how big he is, which certainly checks some boxes.” Lefebvre is 6 feet 9 inches, the tallest player selected in the first round. “But for being as big as he is, he’s very quick, he’s an excellent shot-stopper, he’s...very athletic for someone his size,” Rowland added. Rowland said Lefebvre can be an asset in the attack from the back of the

field. Lefebvre is the second Temple player this year to advance to the professional level along with forward Lukas Fernandes. Fernandes signed a contract with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds Soccer Club in December 2019. “I think it speaks volumes to the player first and foremost,” Rowland said. “[Fernandes] having signed a pro contract and [Lefebvre] being drafted in the first round, I think it just shows you some of the individual success and the team success we’ve been able to have this year, that we’ve been doing the right things.”

Lefebvre graduated in December with a degree in adult and organizational development. Lefebvre could not be reached for comment. D.C. United made a trade with the Philadelphia Union for the draft pick used to select Lefebvre. The club finished 13-10-11 in the 2019 season. It lost to Toronto FC in the first round of the MLS Cup Playoffs. “I think D.C. made a great pick. I think he’s gonna do really well,” Rowland said.

J.P. OAKES / THE TEMPLE NEWS Temple football coach Rod Carey stands on the field during the Military Bowl between Temple and the University of North Carolina in Annapolis, Maryland on Dec. 27, 2019.

dante.collinelli@temple.edu @DanteCollinelli

sean.mcmenamin@temple.edu @sean102400





Trio of players help Owls win at start of AAC play Temple had only two players average more than 10 points per game last year. BY ADAM SLOATE Women’s Basketball Co-Beat Reporter When Temple University women’s basketball (10-6, 3-1 The American Athletic Conference) started practices in November 2019, the coaching staff knew they had more dynamic offensive weapons. “We have a variety of people who can score, which makes that much more exciting this year,” said assistant coach Willnett Crockett before the season began on Oct. 29, 2019. This rings true amid Temple’s best stretch of the season. They are on a fourgame winning streak and have won five of their last six games from Dec. 10, 2019 to Jan. 11. Temple has relied on a trio of players to do the bulk of their scoring this year: sophomore guard Marissa Mackins, redshirt-sophomore guard Ashley Jones and junior forward and captain Mia Davis. The three of them combine to produce 48.7 of Temple’s 70.3 average points per game and each has stepped up to make strong contributions during this winning streak. “I think we have different players and different people that can step up this year rather than last year,” Mackins said. “Last year, we really relied on [guard Alliyah Butts] and [Davis] to run the offense and score. But like I said, we have more assets that can score and that can contribute on offense as well as on defense.” Mackins has set season-highs in nearly every statistical category during this four-game stretch, including a career-high 28 points and seven threepointers against La Salle on Dec. 30, 2019. When Davis sat out against La Salle, Mackins and Jones combined for 51 @TheTempleNews

NICHOLAS DAVIS / THE TEMPLE NEWS Junior forward and captain Mia Davis holds the ball during the Owls’ game against Southern Methodist at McGonigle Hall on Jan. 11.

points. When Jones was pulled after 15 minutes against Tulsa on Jan. 4 Mackins and Davis combined for 44 points. “I believe my part is just coming in, playing hard,” Jones said. “If I need to score I feel like I can do that. If I need to play defense, you know, I’m working on my defense trying to get that better. So I just feel like, just playing my game. I think if I just play my full game every game, I could just help a lot.” Coach Tonya Cardoza described each of their efforts in these games as the players “being aggressive,” which, to her, means “getting to the basket, making their way into the paint and taking good shots,” she said. The Owls have been more

aggressive — by Cardoza’s definition — in attempting 25 or more three-point shots per game, including a season-high 34 attempts against Southern Methodist on Jan. 11. The Owls are scoring those three-point attempts at a 29.3 percent clip, lower than their season average of 31.8 percent. They have also grabbed an average of 49.75 rebounds during the four-game span, well above their season average of 43.4. Temple has outscored each of their opponents in second-chance points during its winning streak. The trio’s elevated offensive input and increased aggression helped the Owls to its best stretch of the season. The Owls are 3-1 in the American Athletic

Conference, with 12 conference matches upcoming. Their record in the conference will determine the team’s seed in The American Conference Championship and whether they receive a bid to the NCAA Division I Tournament this season. Mackins, Davis and Jones’ play may determine how far this team goes. “We are all in on this season,” Davis said before the season started. “We have the same focus and the same goal. We want to win.” adam.sloate@temple.edu @MrAdster99 Josh Grieb contributed reporting.







Simon Lefebvre recorded eight shutouts in two seasons with the Owls. BY SEAN McMENAMIN Men’s Soccer Beat Reporter


n Thursday afternoon, D.C. United selected Temple goalkeeper Simon Lefebvre with the 21st pick in the 2020 Major League Soccer SuperDraft. This is the first time a Temple men’s soccer player has been selected in the first round, according to Temple Athletics.

Lefebvre has been a key player for the Owls, as he started every game for the past two seasons. In December, Lefebvre participated in the 2019 Adidas MLS College Showcase, an opportunity for teams to scout collegiate prospects. “The goal of our program is to bring in players that can succeed for our program, but that also have professional aspirations as well as professional potential,” coach Brian Rowland said. LEFEBVRE | PAGE 22

JEREMY ELVAS / THE TEMPLE NEWS Senior goalkeeper Simon Lefebvre celebrates senior night at the Temple Sports Complex on Nov. 5, 2019.



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