Vol. 99.5 Iss. 1

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THE TEMPLE NEWS

TUESDAY, APRIL 2, 2019

BACK CAMPUS to

Temple University entered its final phase of reopening, bringing some students back to Main Campus for in-person fall classes. Some students, faculty and residents welcome the return, while others oppose the decision.

VOL 99.5 // ISSUE 1 AUG. 25, 2020

temple-news.com @thetemplenews


The Temple News

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

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

Follow us @TheTempleNews

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

ON THE COVER Students sit at socially distanced tables in Charles Library on Monday. JEREMY ELVAS / THE TEMPLE NEWS

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

CORRECTIONS Accuracy is our business, so when a mistake is made, we’ll correct it as soon as possible. Anyone with inquiries about content in this newspaper can contact Editor-in-Chief Madison Karas at editor@temple-news.com.


The Temple News

NEWS

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CORONAVIRUS

Students, faculty return to campus amid pandemic Some students and faculty pro- fall semester dropped from 27,000 last tested campus reopening on the year to under 9,000 this year, while the number of seats in Temple’s classrooms first day of in-person classes. BY JACK DANZ and VICTORIA AYALA For The Temple News

T

he sidewalks and grass on Temple University’s campus are once again filled. So are its classrooms. More than five months after students, faculty and staff vacated Main Campus at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, thousands have returned for a blend of in-person and online learning during the fall semester. On the first day of classes, Temple students and faculty shared mixed feelings regarding the university’s choice to resume some in-person learning this semester. Thais Agramonte-Encarnacion, a junior psychology major, wishes Temple made the choice to go completely remote. “Temple opening back up is such a danger to students,” Agramonte-Encarnacion said. “We have such a big campus, and you see new people every day. I didn’t have the choice to keep my classes online so I am concerned about putting myself and my family at risk.” Meanwhile, Mohamed Coulibaly, a freshman business management major, registered for in-person classes to have the full college experience, despite COVID-19 concerns. “I feel safe when it comes to my classes,” Coulibaly said. “I believe a lot of people know the impact the virus can have on you, so they’ll obey the rules that Temple has set to keep their students safe.” Locally, the University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University, and La Salle University, among others, have closed their student housing and transitioned to all online classes in recent weeks, The Temple News reported. The number of students attending classes in-person on the first day of the

dropped from 15,000 last year to 3,300 this year, according to a university press release. Jenna Spedding, a sophomore information science and technology major, took notice of the lack of students on campus. “I felt like the number of people outside was less than usual, which is better,” she said. “However, the thought of being around so many people made me think anyone could be at risk.” To help mitigate the spread of COVID-19, Temple is testing symptomatic and some asymptomatic students, faculty and staff, requiring mask-wearing in all indoor spaces, and encouraging students to stay home if they feel sick, The Temple News reported. The university has also made adjustments in classrooms to encourage social distancing. Temple transformed rooms in Mitten Hall, Alter Hall and the Howard Gittis Student Center into socially-distant classrooms, said Dozie Ibeh, the associate vice president of Temple’s project delivery group. Paley Hall now has 10 new classrooms on the second and third floors. Temple created separate entrance and exit points in and out of buildings and classrooms where it was possible, and improved ventilation and air filtration inside buildings to keep classrooms cleaner, Ibeh said. Michael Sheridan, a hospitality management professor who is teaching in-person, said Temple is listening to the needs of the faculty. “[The university] is getting us all the resources necessary to feel as comfortable as possible in front of the students,” he said. Karla Murphy, a Spanish professor, is teaching two in-person classes with 24 students each inside Morgan and Paley halls. “I was nervous [to return to campus],” Murphy said. “But after I saw how

JEREMY ELVAS / THE TEMPLE NEWS Students carry signs protesting Temple’s reopening and response to the COVID-19 pandemic outside Mitten Hall on Aug. 24.

everything has been clean, I feel safe.” Devon Powers, an associate professor of advertising and media and communication, is teaching in Charles Library and wishes she had the option to move her classes online, she said. “The university is not protecting the faculty,” Powers said. “They don’t seem to care very much about our health and safety.” The Temple University Coalition for Change, a new student social justice group, held a demonstration outside Mitten Hall on Monday where students, faculty and community residents protested Temple’s reopening, which they feel endangers student, faculty and resident lives while neglecting the danger in doing so. Temple Student Government released a statement on Friday pushing the university to move all classes online and close on campus housing, with accomdations for housing insecure students, The Temple News reported. “Since the Temple Student Government came out in support of a shutdown, it blew a hole in the whole argument that the university has been saying that students are the reason they’re opening,” said Teresa Swartley, a senior political

science major and an organizer with the TUCFC Student Coalition for Change. After the protest, Temple Association of University Professionals, the university’s faculty union, held a press conference in opposition to the university’s reopening, which was led by Steve Newman, union president and English professor. Newman wants there to be a vaccine for COVID-19 and see a sustained period of low infection rates before the university reopens campus, he said. “You have people living together,” Newman said. “You have people in classrooms for hours. [Universities] are, basically, land-locked cruise ships.” Marc Lamont Hill, a media studies and production professor, described his experience contracting COVID-19 to the conference’s crowd through video chat and urged Temple to close campus. “You have a choice, Temple University administration,” Hill said. “Do you do what’s right? Or do you do what’s best for your bottom line?” victoria.ayala@temple.edu @ayalavictoria_ john.danz@temple.edu @JackLDanz


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NEWS

The Temple News

COMMUNITY

North Central residents wary of student neighbors Community members are concerned about students who live off campus spreading COVID-19. BY MEG COMBS and AMELIA WINGER For The Temple News As thousands of Temple University students flock back to Main Campus, community residents in North Central are worried about the public health risk their behavior could pose to the neighborhood. “I think we’ve kind of enjoyed the break,” said Janet King, 67, who has lived near 15th and Diamond streets since 1983. “The streets have been quieter, parking is easier, there’s not an excess of trash, which has always been a problem.” Students were largely absent from Main Campus and surrounding blocks during the spring and summer after Temple suspended in-person instruction on March 16 and required most students to vacate on campus housing by March 21, urging those in off-campus housing to do the same, The Temple News reported. The university announced on June 18 its decision to reopen residence halls this fall, The Temple News reported. With Temple embracing a hybrid of in-person and online classes, many students have also moved back to off-campus residences. Now that students are back, King is careful to put her mask on before leaving her house because she never knows what is outside her front door, she said. “I see signs all over campus about wearing a mask on campus,” King said. “My biggest gripe is that the mask goes over your nose, not under.” Freeman Miller, 77, who lives on Carlisle Street near Norris, is happy to have students back in the community but worries they will become COVID-19 “super spreaders” by holding large gatherings, like parties. “Temple has tried, but off campus, they can only do so much,” Miller said. Temple cannot control what students do in their off-campus apartments,

JULIA LARMA / THE TEMPLE NEWS With the start of the fall semester, the neighborhoods surrounding Temple University have become increasingly populated with students.

said Chris Carey, senior associate dean of students. However, Carey said the size of indoor gatherings is a matter of state law, not a university regulation. As part of its final reopening phase, Philadelphia limited the size of indoor gatherings to 25 people and outdoor gatherings to 50 people, and required masks in all public spaces, The Temple News reported. While Temple won’t enforce mask-wearing while walking outdoors on campus, the university will require masks to enter all campus buildings and suggest wearing them elsewhere, in accordance with its public health pillars. Temple hopes and expects students will recognize the importance of following health regulations, Carey said. Emily Marder, a senior childhood education major who lives near 11th Street and Susquehanna Avenue, said

bringing students back to campus is irresponsible. Marder chose to live off campus this semester in the case Temple required her to student-teach in person. “I truly do not believe that Temple should be having in-person classes because there’s no way realistically that everybody is going to follow protocols, so it is just creating an unsafe environment for everybody, no matter where they live,” Marder said. Gail Loney, 59, a retired compliance officer who lives on Lambert Street near Susquehanna Avenue, said the university should do more to regulate student behavior in community spaces, like laundromats, convenience stores and supermarkets. Loney also wishes Temple involved community members more when it was developing its return plan and response to the pandemic, she added. “There’s no excuse for the lack of

communication that goes on between Temple and the community,” Loney said. “I should not have to find out in the news that a bunch of Temple students have already got COVID.” Temple has reported 10 active cases of COVID-19 among students on and off campus as of Monday night, The Temple News reported. Miller is hopeful this academic year will be successful and safe if students and residents practice mutual respect and communication. “Temple neighbors want to be good neighbors,” Miller said. “As long as students return to favor, we can be good neighbors and have good neighbors.” megan.combs@temple.edu amelia.winger@temple.edu


The Temple News

NEWS

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TSG

BloomTU navigates COVID-19, student protests BloomTU wants student government to be held accountable to students’ input and voices. BY AMELIA WINGER Assistant News Editor BloomTU, the Executive Branch of Temple Student Government, took office in May, in the midst of one of the most turbulent years in Temple University history, facing challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic and student protests against police brutality throughout the summer. “This summer, I think, has been one of the most productive in TSG history,” said Student Body President Quinn Litsinger, a junior political science major. “But one of the downfalls of that is that we’ve been so distracted with things that have popped up that we haven’t necessarily begun that heavily on a lot of our platform points.” BloomTU won the April TSG election after making promises to increase TSG’s accountability to the student body, like implementing student referendums, creating a progress tracker for its initiatives and increasing student engagement within the North Philadelphia community. BloomTU built on these goals during the summer while addressing the COVID-19 pandemic and instances of racism within the Temple community, Litsinger said. BloomTU hosted an event to clean off campus streets when students moved in this month, helped develop a student pledge encouraging them to follow the university’s COVID-19 health guidelines and successfully pushed the university to divest funds from the Philadelphia Police Foundation, he added. On Friday, TSG called on Temple’s administration to close on campus housing and transition all non-essential in-person courses and activities online. “We have also made it clear to the university that we do not think that safety conditions are, or the surrounding safety of the Philadelphia community is, in the correct place right now to bring

COLLEEN CLAGGETT / THE TEMPLE NEWS Temple Student Government President Quinn Litsinger stands in front of the Bell Tower on Monday.

thousands of students back who are inclined to be making reckless decisions, who are inclined to be going out on the weekends,” Litsinger said. Vice President of Services Mark Rey, a senior public health major, has used TSG’s platform to support students by creating the TSG “Diversifying the Public Health and Healthcare Workforces Scholarship.” Using funds raised through OwlCrowd, the need-based scholarship will award $500 each to 10 students who aspire to work in public health or healthcare, have a 2.5 GPA at minimum and are members of culturally-based campus organizations, Litsinger said. TSG couldn’t hold in-person meetings during the summer while onboarding new members, so BloomTU participated in biweekly meetings with TSG’s other branches, the Ethics Board and Parliament. “They’re very transparent, they’re very open, very friendly,” said Speaker of

Parliament Issa Kabeer, a seventh-year graduate student pursuing a diversity leadership graduate certificate. “We’re a unified student government and we all have the same goals.” BloomTU hosted a two-hour community check-in on June 10 for students to share concerns about the university’s response to racist comments made by students on social media and an instance of police brutality against a student. “That community forum allowed me to express my concern, my anger and my brokenness right now, being a Black man and also having a disability,” said Shawn Aleong, a sophomore legal studies major and TSG’s director of accessibility. BloomTU also began discussions with university administrators on implementing a mandatory online diversity, equity and inclusion training module for students, starting with the class of 2025, Litsinger said. However, Litsinger said BloomTU will not push the university to defund

the Temple Police this semester, despite students protesting in favor of this over the summer. BloomTU also followed through on its campaign promise to create a public initiative tracker, which TSG Chief of Staff Laurence Christopher, a junior theater major, will be in charge of updating as TSG pushes through new initiatives, Litsinger said. Litsinger believes BloomTU will encourage cooperation among TSG and hold themselves accountable to student demands while facing the many challenges of the fall semester. “I’m really looking forward to seeing how all of the groundwork that we’ve laid down is going to build up into larger initiatives that we have planned throughout the year,” Litsinger said. amelia.winger@temple.edu @AmeliaWinger


NEWS

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The Temple News

CAMILLE COLEMAN / THE TEMPLE NEWS Construction workers continue renovations at Anderson and Gladfelter Halls on Aug. 14. The project began July of 2019 with plans to continue through 2020.

DEVELOPMENT

Renovations at Anderson, Gladfelter halls continue On March 19, Gov. Tom Wolf orReopening lobbies will open up sev- struction in progress while touring Main Final touches on the ongoing construction project should be dered all ongoing construction work in eral entrances to both halls that were Campus before the pandemic. He was the state to stop due to COVID-19 pub- closed by the construction, meaning stu- unaware it hadn’t yet been completed. completed by November.

BY MILES WALL For The Temple News Ongoing renovations to the terrace, lobbies and walkways around Main Campus’ Anderson and Gladfelter halls will be completed in stages, said Julie Wiley, a representative of the university’s Project Delivery Group, Temple’s renovation and construction planning group. The project, which closed much of the area around both halls last academic year, was projected to be completed before students arrived on campus this semester. But, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic brought delays.

lic health precautions, which interrupted work for six weeks. Supply-chain issues further delayed the renovations, but the construction got back on track relatively quickly, Wiley said. “To be where we’re at with construction without having any activity take place on site for six weeks, it’s pretty remarkable,” Wiley added. “We’re quite pleased with that.” The university opened the lobbies of both halls and the portion of Polett Walk facing 12th Street on Monday, said Dozie Ibeh, the associate vice president of the Project Delivery Group. “With over a month of delay, we are still able. . .to turn over that lobby space for the start of classes,” Ibeh said.

dents with classes in Gladfelter Hall will no longer need to enter through the Science Education and Research Center. The remainder of Polett Walk is not projected to open until the end of September at the earliest, Wiley said, meaning commuters coming from the Temple University Regional Rail stop will have to wait a little longer to access between the two halls. The work on the elevated plaza between the two halls, set to bring greenery, sitting space, elevators and ramps compliant with the American With Disabilities Act, will likely not be completed until later this fall, Wiley added. Ray Ebner, an undeclared freshman relaxing in the newly-opened lobby of Anderson Hall, said he had seen the con-

“I think it’s really open.” Ebner said, referring to the Anderson lobby. “It’s nice. It’s got to be one of the newer buildings, right?” Sinh Taylor, a junior English major who serves as a student ambassador for the College of Liberal Arts, said she hadn’t heard anything about the construction’s progress, and was surprised with its current timeline. “Considering the last time I was on campus was March and it very much did not look like it would be done anytime soon, I’m a little bit amazed,” Taylor said. “But I almost feel like it’s just one more space that people have to worry about exposure.” miles.wall@temple.edu


OPINION

The Temple News

EDITORIAL

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

In print or online, we’ll be here The Editor-in-Chief outlines The Temple News’ plan for printing and covering the university as campus reopens.

I

t is unquestionable this semester is looking, feeling and operating vividly different than any before. When I began the role as editor-in-chief in May, it was apparent this year would be turbulent for the Temple community as our university grips with the COVID-19 pandemic. While our lives within the university changed overnight last spring, as well as during the summer, so did The Temple News, as the university’s independent, student-run newspaper. Last semester, when the COVID-19 outbreak began, we had to stop printing our paper as the university and our newsroom closed. This semester, starting today, we are returning to print every other Tuesday in a newly designed and expanded paper. It is our intention for The Temple News to continue to print when our community, including students, faculty and staff at Temple, are on campus. Should we have to stop printing again, we will continue to cover developing

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news on our website, in addition to bringing you updates on our social media and newsletter. Our newsroom operations mirror the varied scenarios students, faculty, staff and community residents are experiencing this year as our editors write and report from campus, across Philadelphia and Pennsylvania and even out of state. As the pandemic continues, we want to know what we’re missing in our coverage and what you want to see in The Temple News. Reach out to any of our editors, myself included, and tell us how the semester is going for you. While the uniqueness of this semester is inarguable, so is the need for student and local journalism during this time. The situation we’re dealing with is changing daily, and The Temple News will be here to cover it. Whether we’re in a newsstand or on your Instagram feed, we thank you for your readership. Sincerely, Madison Karas karas@temple.edu @madraekaras

Read our editorial “Listen to student input when choosing new president” on our website at temple-news.com.

Stay safe, Temple Welcome back, Temple University. The Editorial Board extends our best wishes to all returning students, faculty and staff this fall semester. We recognize the sacrifice many are making to return to campus amid the uncertainty and danger of COVID-19 and we thank those at the university who worked tirelessly this summer to plan for this return. Temple University is in a unique position this fall. The University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University and La Salle University are among local colleges that recently announced they will close their residence halls and transition to all online classes this fall. As one of the only Philadelphia-area universities to maintain its plan for a hybrid of in-person and online learning so far, Temple could very well provide a test case for whether local campuses can safely operate in-person while the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage across the United States. Given Temple’s decision to continue in-person learning, The Editorial Board encourages students to do their best to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in their day-to-day lives. COVID-19 is a highly contagious virus that can spread rapidly from person-to-person, including those without any symptoms, Temple could very well provide a test case for whether local campuses can safely operate in-person while the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage across the United States. At the same time, we understand that Temple is responsible for putting students, faculty, staff and members of the North Philadelphia community at increased risk by reopening campus instead of holding classes online. While the university has devoted a significant amount of time and resources toward planning how students can return in the safest way possible, it is undeniable that hosting in-person classes and allowing on-campus housing to remain open poses an increased risk to students than having classes exclusively online. Furthermore, should a significant outbreak occur, The Editorial Board recognizes that it will disproportionately

affect Black and brown residents in the neighborhood surrounding Main Campus as it has throughout Philadelphia so far, according to data from the Philadelphia Department of Public Health. As of Monday night, the first day of classes for Temple’s fall semester, the university reported ten active student COVID-19 cases. While we recognize the role student behavior can play in the spreading COVID-19 on campus, we cannot ignore the fact that Temple is responsible for facilitating a context in which students who have been socially isolated for months have a setting to socialize and host large gatherings. Put simply, if Main Campus becomes a site for a COVID-19 outbreak in North Philadelphia, we will not accept blame be placed upon students and their behavior. Temple administrations’ decision to reopen will be the fault. The Editorial Board asks the Temple community to not only think of social distancing measures as part of a shared responsibility to protect each other, but also as a way our society can move closer toward resembling life before the pandemic. While it is unclear when we will be able to end social distancing guidelines for good, we can inch closer to a semblance of normal life sooner if we all choose to follow them. Finally, we ask Temple to continue monitoring the situation in Philadelphia and to strongly consider moving classes online if it becomes apparent that in-person learning is too dangerous. We also call on Temple, if it chooses that path, to do so with careful planning in advance regarding how students who struggle with housing and food insecurity will be accommodated, especially if campus facilities close. Protect each other, Temple. However this semester pans out, we are all in it together. EDITOR’S NOTE: Jack Danz, news editor, reported the accompanying story. He did not play a part in writing this editorial.


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OPINION

The Temple News

OFF CAMPUS

Conflicts in scheduling hurt commuter students A student argues hybrid learning and reduced space capacities pose challenges for commuters. Only 18 percent of undergraduates lived in university-affiliated housing in 2019, according to Temple University’s 2019-20 factbook. However, the reKELLY THOMPSON maining 82 percent For The Temple partially includes News people like me, who commute to campus. Back-to-back in-person and online classes puts commuter students in a dilemma. Temple University acknowledged this, stating students “will be able to reserve spots in the TECH Center, Charles Library or certain recreation facilities, and new areas will be available on campus,” like “Zoom Rooms,” in an email sent out by the university on July 30. But unless the university uses staggered schedules and drastically reduces its on-campus capacity, it is unlikely they will be able to accommodate commuters. Students who have less than a 10 minute walk to their apartment or residence hall can probably make it to class with a few minutes to spare, but that is virtually impossible for commuters who are driving or taking public transportation home. Additionally, all commuters cannot simply switch their classes from in-person to online or vise versa to fit their needs. “While not every course will be offered in multiple formats, we are work-

ALI GRAULTY / THE TEMPLE NEWS

ing hard to provide you with as many options as possible,” President Richard Englert wrote in an email to students on July 15. Olivia Siegel, a senior music therapy major who has commuted the past two years from her home 15 minutes away, will experience schedule conflicts with back-to-back in-person and online classes. “I’m just hoping that me and my

friend are able to book a room in the library for that chunk of time,” Siegel said. “But, if not, I’m okay doing class outside if it’s on a good day.” Commuters like Siegel should have no problem booking a room for the library in advance or finding available seating inside, said Sara Wilson, the assistant director of outreach and communications for Temple libraries. “They can do that right on our web-

site,” Wilson said. “And in terms of other seating throughout the building, that will be first come, first served, but it has been reduced.” Non-commuters need to be cognizant of limited space in university buildings by not booking a room unless they absolutely must. Likewise, professors will have to be understanding of commuters who are rushing to find public spaces to utilize for their back-to-back online classes and not penalize them for being late or missing class. James Salazar, an English professor, is teaching all online classes this semester and anticipates the hybrid schedule will create many barriers for students. “There’s personal issues that get in the way of you being able to do your normal routine at school,” Salazar said. “I think there’s gonna be all kinds of other difficulties related to the technology.” Along with academic challenges, hybrid learning can also pose some public health threats. Siegel works part-time at a daycare and is worried that the return to campus might impact her students. “I don’t want to get the kids sick if I got sick somewhere on the subway,” she said. “And I don’t want anyone to be in that situation.” Temple has a duty to be more conscious toward its commuters and their needs because they can be carriers of COVID-19 on and off campus. As members of Temple’s community, we should take an interest in our commuter classmates and their safety. kelly.thompson@temple.edu


The Temple News

OPINION

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STUDENT LIFE

Off-campus parties are petri dishes for outbreaks A student calls on other students to do their part and stop partying to protect their community. I have seen a few of my friends at Temple partying and sharing drinks upon arriving on campus, leading me to believe it is only a matter of time before Temple MEREDITH HAAS becomes the center For The Temple of an outbreak. News Sorority and fraternity parties have resulted in 251 cases of COVID-19 in states like Mississippi, Washington, North Carolina and California, the New York Times reported. Julia Wynn, a junior finance major, said many of the students in her Temple transfer Snapchat group chat have talked about partying. “I would feel much better if these people self-quarantined after partying,” Wynn said. Temple’s unstable reopening plan is contingent upon students not going to house parties or fraternity parties. It is unlikely all students will follow public health precautions, and if an outbreak is to occur at Temple, the students may become the scapegoat to blame, not the administration who made a potentially deadly miscalculation by assuming it would be safe to allow students back on campus. “At the end of the day we’re still dealing with ignorant 18 to 22 year olds,” said Joe Orsatti, a senior business management major who lives at the Edge. “I think the best way to handle that would be to offer certain extra curricular activities, because students will have a lot of time on their hands with online classes.” Partying is a staple of Greek life, and for many, it is a right of passage. Although Zoom and FaceTime are not the same, this is the reality we live in right now to keep everyone safe.

GRACE DiMEO / THE TEMPLE NEWS

“We will be holding our chapter meetings every week online because we want that social interaction, but we don’t want to be the cause of an outbreak,” said Natalie Chadwell, a senior advertising major and chapter president of Tri Delta Epsilon Phi. On July 30, Mark Denys, senior director of Student and Employee Health Services, sent an email to students on behavior for safe precautions in Temple’s reopening. “It is critical to avoid high-risk situations, such as parties and other large gatherings where people are not wearing facial coverings or maintaining physical distancing of six feet or more,” Denys wrote. Despite this caveat, Instagram pages like @templepartyowl are still posting

house party addresses on their story almost every day. “The university needs to start doing something about the people that live off campus, because they’re going to be putting people in danger,” said Sarah Zapiec, a junior history major. “If you go to a party with 50 people, come back the next day to class or where you live, you’re a danger to yourself and the community around you.” It is the responsibility of students to practice safe protocols in the midst of this pandemic, but Temple should not have invited students back on campus. Parties will also impact our North Philadelphia neighbors if cases spread in the community. Therefore, Tri Delta will not be in attendance at any house or fraternity

parties because of the negative ramifications they’d have on the surrounding communities, Chadwell said. “I feel like Greek life is immediately associated with partying, and that just isn’t the case,” Chadwell said. “Tri Delta is a sisterhood, and that is what we have figured out through this pandemic.” Temple tweeted on Friday students should contact Temple Police if they see a large gathering near campus. Being deemed a tattletale is something that doesn’t bother me anymore. I understand we’ve lost months of social time, but if we keep going down this road, people will lose their lives. It may be hard to accept, but our social lives are not more important than our health. meredith.haas@temple.edu


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OPINION

The Temple News

TECHNOLOGY

Students shouldn’t have to invest in new laptops A student argues those from low-income backgrounds are penalized by this requirement. BY CHRISTINA MITCHELL Opinion Editor Freshman year at Temple, I used a laptop that I received from my aunt when I was a freshman in high school. The outdated technology never connected to Temple University’s Wi-Fi, so I seldom used it and relied heavily on the TECH Center to do my homework and assignments. Pandemic aside, the advancement of technology has brought us to a point where we cannot imagine being able to attend school without a laptop. However, students from low-income backgrounds face struggles that professors may neither realize nor understand. The COVID-19 pandemic exposed the technological divide outside of the classroom. While some students worked on their up-to-date computers with high speed internet, others had to find creative ways to tune in, as libraries and other public spaces with free Wi-Fi and laptops were closed. On June 17, the College of Public Health sent an email requiring all students to have a laptop with a working camera and microphone, as well as updated programs, like Microsoft and Adobe. The university had been planning on enacting this policy for “some time now,” according to the email. This policy does not take into account the students who already could not afford a high quality laptop before the pandemic began. The College of Public Health encourages students who cannot afford a laptop to use student loans to purchase one as this is considered part of the materials needed to complete the degree, according to the email. Students also have the option to borrow a laptop from one of the laptop kiosks on campus, but those laptops are short-term loans and are not intended to be brought home. It is absurd to suggest students take out more student loans on top of the loans they may already have to cover the

HANNA LIPSKI / THE TEMPLE NEWS

cost of tuition. Loans are a last resort, not the default. Rather than implying that students must take a financial risk, Temple should do everything in its power to ensure everyone has a functional laptop without going into debt. Ryan Feuerstein, a senior sports and recreation management major, said it is Temple’s responsibility to supply students in need with free laptops and to give exceptions to students with broken equipment this semester. “If it’s that absolutely necessary, let alone the fact that they’re not cutting tuition for online classes, they can supply us with one,” Feuerstein said. “For what it’s worth, I don’t have a working webcam, nor do I intend on going out of my way for one.” Limited resources are available for students who do not have the technology required for class. Those in need can fill out a form from the Dean of Students

emergency aid fund for financial assistance for long-term computer loans, according to an Aug. 5 email. While computer proficiency is essential in most careers, the College of Public Health should be the most understanding when it comes to how the COVID-19 pandemic has inadvertently affected students’ lives. Bari Dzomba, a health informatics professor, said the College of Public Health has an obligation to aid students who need help accessing technology. “Public health needs to take the approach that technology is an aid, not an end all, be all,” Dzomba said. “If we’re going to have courses that teach policy programs, then why do we not have public health policies for our own students?” One in five students said they lacked a functional laptop during the beginning of the pandemic, according to a June report by the Hope Center for College,

Community and Justice. “Students should never feel ashamed to have to ask for help,” said Maureen Scully, an executive assistant at the Hope Center. “It’s a tough time for everybody and we need to make sure that everybody is on the same page because you really don’t know what type of situation or home environment people are living in.” The College of Public Health must remember their students from low income backgrounds who are struggling now more than ever in this unprecedented time. “Being patient is the most important thing in this situation,” Scully added. “I think it’s important because it’s giving invisible students some visibility.” christina.mitchell@temple.edu @clmitchell1799


The Temple News

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LONGFORM

The Temple News

COLLEEN CLAGGETT / THE TEMPLE NEWS Before COVID-19’s economic hardship, Black entreprenuers already faced disproportionate obstacles in starting businesses, like obtaining a loan, said Larry Griffin, treasurer of Beech Interplex, a community development financial institution on Cecil B. Moore Avenue near 15th street.

COMMUNITY

Black business owners’ struggles highlighted by pandemic

COVID-19 is disproportionately affecting Black-owned businesses, pointing to larger inequalities BY ASA CADWALLADER Longform Editor When Natasha Graves launched her business VacayAbility in February, she couldn’t have known a month later the United States would be in the midst of a pandemic. “It really required an entire reconfiguration of my original business model,” said Graves, who scrambled to cut and redistribute her business budget in March when the pandemic hit. VacayAbility is a user-generated website first conceptualized by Graves while she was a student at Temple University. Graves, a 2018 business administration alumna who suffers from multiple chronic disabilities, created VacayAbility after finding it difficult to locate reliable information on disability resources at her travel destinations. As COVID-19 sweeps the nation

with a stubborn persistence, Black small business owners like Graves are grappling with a tanking economy. With the travel industry nearly non-existent due to nationwide and international travel restrictions, Graves has been forced to turn to alternative business strategies like posting biweekly blogs which allow her viewers to virtually explore different travel locations. With this approach, Graves hopes to give her business a fighting chance.

A HISTORY OF ENDURANCE

Perseverance and adaptability have long been necessary qualifications for Black business owners in North Philadelphia. A notable testament to this was Reverend Leon Sullivan, who in 1968 founded the Sullivan Progress Plaza at the corner of Broad and Oxford streets as the first Black-owned shopping center in the U.S., according to the plaza’s website. Peer to civil rights leaders like Martin Luther King, Jr., Sullivan passionately pushed the concept of Black ownership and entrepreneurship as a

prominent activist and religious leader in North Philadelphia, WHYY reported. Using funds crowdsourced from members of the Zion Baptist Church, Sullivan launched the plaza, which today remains under Black ownership and houses the Fresh Grocer supermarket and several other tenants. From the 1960s to today, the economic health of North Philadelphia has fluctuated greatly, said Larry Griffin, who has spent the last 19 years as treasurer of Beech Interplex, a community development financial institution whose mission is to improve economic health and opportunity in North Philadelphia. The neighborhood saw the devastation of the Columbia Avenue Riots in 1964, weathered the 2008 financial crisis and has continued to feel the impact of Temple’s growth and dispersal into the neighborhood, Griffin said. But the COVID-19 pandemic represents an unprecedented threat to Black-owned businesses, Griffin added. In June, the National Bureau of Economic Research released a report finding that as of April, the number of Black-

owned businesses decreased by 41 percent, from 1.1 million to 640,000 due to economic hardship amid the pandemic. Griffin has seen North Philadelphia’s ups and downs but said the long term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic could be “devastating” for the local economy.

UNEQUAL RELIEF

To help provide relief for small businesses, the federal government signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, a sweeping relief package totaling $350 million dollars under the Paycheck Protection Program on March 27. The program provided businesses with up to eight weeks of cash flow assistance through loans backed by the Small Business Administration. Despite the massive amount of aid promised through it, the program has failed to reach many Black business owners, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. The distribution of PPP funds was primarily delivered through large banks, which processed loans for existing clients and in return earned fees based on loan size, according to a schedule set by the Small Business Administration.


The Temple News

This meant, however, that only those with established relationships with traditional lenders received PPP funding quickly. Large banks were also incentivized to process larger loans, which were more likely to be from their well-established existing clientele, Forbes reported. This requirement, in addition to crushing demand, left millions of small businesses owners ineligible or unable to receive any PPP relief funding, said Maura Schenker, director of Temple’s Small Business Development Center, which uses federal funding to provide one-on-one consulting services to small businesses in the neighborhood surrounding Main Campus. Difficulty accessing PPP funding was exacerbated among Black-owned businesses who historically have fewer relationships with traditional lenders as well as emergency cash on hand, Schenker said. Another obstacle to receiving funding is many Black-owned businesses operating in what is called the “gray economy” where they may not be fully licensed or tax compliant. In economically disadvantaged areas with fewer employment opportunities, turning to the informal economy can sometimes be the only option for individuals trying to support themselves, Schenker added. “Take someone cutting hair out of their house, or selling baked goods from their home by word of mouth,” Schenker said. “Most of these businesses were completely excluded from federal relief funding due to their lack of formal licensing or tax compliance.” In June, CDFIs across the state, including the Beech Interplex, successfully lobbied for an additional $225 million in state-controlled CARES funding to go to historically disadvantaged businesses, with $100 million of the package specifically set aside for Black businesses in traditionally underserved communities, Griffin said. Yet of the $225 million available, the state received $800 million worth of applications. And with the fate of a second federal relief bill still being debated by Congress, it remains unclear whether small businesses will see another round of funding, Schenker said. The reasons Black-owned busi-

LONGFORM nesses struggled to access federal funding during the pandemic points to larger systemic inequities that have long been a part of North Philadelphia’s economy, Schenker added. “These relief measures are not creating disparities, because all of these already existed before the pandemic,” Schenker said. “It’s really just spotlighting them.” Schenker cites socioeconomic barriers, institutional racism and “decades of a holistic system which works against minority populations” for the increasingly clear disparities between Black- and white-owned businesses. Both Schenker and Griffin attest that one of the largest challenges associated with starting a business is access to capital. “When I started at Beech, there were only three banks in the area, and mind you that’s for 100,000 people living between Fairmount and Lehigh avenues,” Griffin said. In addition to the lack of traditional lending institutions in North Philadelphia, many Black entrepreneurs face disproportionate obstacles in providing the collateral necessary to obtain a loan, he added. When attempting to get a loan, a bank will look at assets and typically require some form of collateral, oftentimes property, in an attempt to ensure their repayment, Schenker said. “With homeownership tending to be an intergenerational wealth builder, you can see how the Black community has been shut out of a major source of wealth and potential collateral in pursuing business ownership,” she added. A 2017 report by the Federal Reserve found Black Americans were turned down for loans double the rate of white Americans, and today, 73.7 percent of white families are homeowners compared to just 44 percent of Black families, according to a June study by Redfin real estate brokerage.

FINDING WAYS TO STAY AFLOAT

Despite the pandemic and the economic difficulties faced by Black entrepreneurs in North Philadelphia, Salim Weldon, co-owner and founder of

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TEMPLE SPECIAL COLLECTIONS AND RESEARCH CENTER / THE TEMPLE NEWS Rev. Leon Sullivan at the opening of the Progress Plaza on October 27, 1968.

Whimsicle Gourmet Fruit Pops, is determined to keep growing his businesses. Weldon started Kensington-based Whimsicle with his wife, Tonae Simon, in 2012 with the idea of creating a healthier dessert alternative for their children. Their fruit pops are made of organic produce with no refined sugars or high fructose corn syrup. With the majority of Weldon’s revenue generated through catered events, Whimsicle struggled when the COVID-19 outbreak forced the cancellation of spring and summer events he’d cater, like corporate functions and weddings. But Weldon leveraged his social media presence and connections to other city business owners to keep Whimsicle financially sound, even amid the pandemic. While in quarantine, Weldon has started tie-dying shirts and designing other apparel to sell while Whimsicle’s sales were down. Tahir Hightower, owner and founder of entertainment agency OffTheTopEntertainment, based in Nicetown, has also felt the effects of the pandemic. Hightower created his own sneaker and clothing brand, Malfeasance, through the agency.

When the pandemic first hit in March, he faced major shipping disruptions to his sneaker business, which manufactures in Italy, which at the time was an epicenter of the outbreak, Newsweek reported. Despite setbacks with shipping, his sneaker operations are stabilizing, Hightower said. In recent months, nationwide protests following the police killing of George Floyd have put a renewed focus on systemic racism and inequality, as well as the importance of supporting Black-owned enterprises, according to Marketplace, a business news site. Social media posts urging support for Black-owned businesses have exploded and new digital marketplaces showcasing exclusively Black-owned products and services have been widely circulated, the Associated Press reported. “It’s simple,” Weldon said. “Patronizing Black-owned businesses as well as promoting them is the main thing that will mitigate the losses we are taking during this pandemic.” asa.cadwallader@temple.edu @asacadwallader


LIVE Philly GODS and in

GODDESSES

The One Art Community Cen- and stressed the importance of seeing ter hosted events celebrating healers of color. “That is really empowering for us femininity and masculinity. BY COLLEEN CLAGGETT and JEREMY ELVAS Co-Photo Editors On Saturday, the One Art Community Center hosted Goddess in the Garden, an event curated by Xola Zuri-Tumaini, 32, from West Philadelphia. The event celebrates divine feminine energy by honoring African Goddesses and female ancestors, through performances, rituals, workshops, and vendors. “We try to remember our ancestors, to honor our elders, and to be respectable youth,” Zuri-Tumaini said. “We try to bring all the generations together.” Malaika Hart Gilpin, 45, from West Philadelphia and her husband, Ewan Gilpin, are the co-founders of the center, which they opened on 52nd Street near Media in 2001. “We often call ourselves an urban eco-arts village,” Hart Gilpin said. “We’re all about uplifting our community and really bringing holistic healing in whatever way we can.” Zuri-Tumaini chose this year to honor her grandmother and Yoruba goddess Yemaya, the mother of all. “A lot of times growing up, we don’t get to know about the African goddesses,” she said. “So just to have that reflection of yourself and to see yourself in that way [is important].” Hart Gilpin said her favorite part of the event was the healing aspect

to see people that look like us doing this kind of work,” she said. To balance the weekend, Zuri-Tumaini created the Gods in the Garden event to celebrate divine masculinity and men who uplift their communities, which took place on Sunday at the Life Do Grow urban farm on 11th and Dauphin streets. Life Do Grow worker Daekweon “Chuck” Walker, 23, of North Philadelphia, said he was excited to host Gods in the Garden for the first time at the farm. “This space gives us the opportunity to give everybody a chance to be appreciated,” Walker said. At the event, vendors sold jewelry, food and cultural items, and many attendees dressed in traditional African clothing to celebrate their culture and ancestors. Khamuo Heru, 43, of South Philadelphia, participated in the ceremony as one of the drummers, helping Xola with her Gods and Goddess in the Garden events. “She saw the importance of honoring our elders and the young, recognizing our commitment and contribution to our community,” Heru said. colleen.claggett@temple.edu @colleenclaggett elvas@temple.edu @jeremyelvas

LEFT Vendor Melissa Dawn displays her jewelry during the Goddess in the Garden event on Saturday.


MOVING CLOCKWISE FROM THE TOP Sa Mut Angela Scott, also known as Mama Yoga (center), conducts Goddess in the Garden’s opening ceremony. Khamuo Heru (right) plays the drums with another participant during a welcoming ceremony at Gods in the Garden. Simone Leonard , CEO of Cosmic Roots, sets up hair products for sale during Goddess in the Garden. One Art Community Center owners Malaika Hart Gilpin (left) and Ewan Gilpin stand in front of a mural during Goddess in the Garden. A food vendor seasons a wrap for an attendee at Gods in the Garden.


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FEATURES

The Temple News

ON CAMPUS

Food businesses ‘depend on students’ for income Owners worry about maintaining tions, Zalot wrote. They plan to follow up with health customers as many students are department regulations and a copy of the staying home this semester. BY NATALIE KERR Assistant Features Editor

F

or returning students and faculty, the procedures are clear: wash hands, wear a mask, stay six feet apart and follow the signs. But for campus food vendors, there’s no one to look to for guidelines. With Temple University’s hybrid learning model and many students learning from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, vendors are unsure how much business they will get. Many food trucks are having to rethink how, or even if, they should reopen. On Aug. 14, the university released guidelines on food service operations outlining safety measures for those in campus building. It did not include policies for food trucks or other outdoor independent vendors, like those located at The Wall. “Financially, you have to open up,” said Sylvia Ndreu, owner of the Foot Long food truck located at 12th and Norris streets. “For some of us, [the food truck] is our sole business.” Foot Long stayed on campus even when students left, as vendors aren’t allowed to move their truck to a different location without applying for new licensing, Ndreu said. Food truck vendors on campus are regulated by the City’s Department of Licenses and Inspections and the Department of Public Health and do not pay rent to the university, wrote Morgan Zalot, a spokesperson for the university. A representative from Temple’s Office of Community Relations reached out to each food truck vendor with information about Main Campus public health measures and food truck opera-

city food truck ordinance, Zalot added. Ndreu typically reduces hours during the summer months when many students leave campus, she said. Due to the pandemic, they lost an additional six weeks of business when students left campus in the spring. She tried to apply for small business financial aid, but because she has fewer than five employees, she was ineligible, Ndreu said. “This whole year has been devastating for a lot of people, for a lot of small businesses,” she said. Feim Amzovski owns Fame’s Famous Pizza, located at The Wall. Amzoski applied and was approved for financial aid from the City of Philadelphia, but has not received the money yet, he said. Vendors at The Wall were offered a deferment of rent during the time campus was closed, which will be paid off at zero percent interest through the next 18 months, wrote Temple Director of Real Estate Linda Frazier. “They don’t even talk to us anymore,” Amzovski said. “They just sent an email: pay your rent on the first.” Fame’s soft opening for the semester was on Aug. 17, Amzovski said. They have a plexiglass screen installed at their window and are requiring workers to wear face shields, masks and gloves. Zahrah Surratt, a sophomore health professions major, started to see lines forming around the food trucks again, which will increase as more people return to Temple, she said. Because of the rising number of COVID-19 cases among students, she does not feel comfortable eating at the trucks often, she said. “I’ve seen the counter of cases on campus … it’s making me be even more cautious,” Surrat said. “I do miss [the food trucks], but I’d rather be safe than

JEREMY ELVAS / THE TEMPLE NEWS Fame’s Famous Pizza, located at The Wall, has installed a plexiglass screen window and now requires workers to wear protective gear such as face masks.

sorry.” There have been 10 active cases of COVID-19 reported on and off campus as of Monday night, according to the university’s COVID-19 dashboard. Richie’s sandwich shop at The Wall suspended operations March 18 after campus closed March 13. They reopened locations at The Wall and at Richie’s Cafe in the Kardon/Atlantic Terminal Building, but Richie’s Lunch Box food truck at 12th and Norris streets, will remain closed until further notice, owner Richie Jr. tweeted on Aug. 18. “It’s hard because we depend on the students,” Richie Jr. said. “I know for a fact a lot of vendors are struggling on the personal side, because this was something that was not expected.” Richie Jr. is also concerned about the two months of business he will lose as students complete the semester online off campus on Nov. 20, returning for the spring on Jan. 11, 2021, he said.

“We’re really trying to make it work with Temple, but we feel left out with this whole process,” Richie Jr. said. “We’re trying to be hopeful, but we also need to be realistic at the same time.” Richie Jr. said their locations follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines for health and safety in the workplace, will be making their menus available online and taking callin orders to reduce crowding at their service windows. The staff at Foot Long Truck will be wearing masks and gloves, and plexiglass has been installed at their window, Ndreu said. “We just hope our students come back and support us so we can get ahead again,” Ndreu said. “You’ve gotta take it day by day. It’s a very different time, everybody has to adapt.” natalie.kerr@temple.edu nataliekerr


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FEATURES

The Temple News

ON CAMPUS

Students live in residence halls to study, socialize Housing has implemented new protocols, like guest restrictions and limits on common spaces. BY TIFFANY NGUYEN For The Temple News Coming from Atlanta, Georgia, Nadiyah Timmons wanted the experience of moving away from home and into a new city, despite on campus changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic, she said. “I want to be able to go out of my comfort zone a lot more often than I already did in high school,” said Timmons, a freshman journalism major. “It was really just a step for me and my future career goals.” Students moved into residence halls last week after they reopened since closing in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, 3,700 students moved into residence halls at Temple University, compared to 5,398 in 2019, The Temple News reported. Suite-style housing options like Morgan Hall, 1940 Residence Hall, 1300 Residence Hall, White Hall and Temple Towers allow enough space for students to social distance themselves. Communal style dorms like Johnson and Hardwick Hall are no longer a housing option for students. The halls will be used as a space for students who show symptoms for COVID-19 or have tested positive to quarantine, said Olan Garrett, the director of University Housing and Residence Life. Timmons, who is living in 1940 Residence Hall, said there is only so much she can do to prepare herself to live in a space with hundreds of people. “One thing I am trying to do is to just be cautious,” she added. “Cautious of who I am hanging around, cautious of their habits as well as mine.” Students can visit rooms within their residence halls, but cannot visit other residence halls, Garrett said. Some common spaces will be open to students with limited capacity, but others will re-

main locked. In their training, housing directors, resident assistants and other staff were nervous, but excited, for move-in, Garrett said. “I think the general nervousness, it’s not a, ‘We’re not doing what we’re supposed to be doing,’ it’s just a general fear,” Garrett added. “We are now navigating, asking RAs to navigate the responsibilities and also our staff to do so in the context of a situation we’ve never been in.” Jay Booden, a sophomore sports and recreation management major said his decision to live on campus was difficult, as he lives about half an hour away in Ardmore, Pennsylvania. “Safety-wise, it might have been smarter to stay at home, but all of my friends are returning to campus this year and I feel like I would be a lot more focused academic-wise surrounded by my peers,” Booden said. “That was the main factor that made me decide to come back.” The residence halls seem to be running similarly to years past, with the exception of being mindful of social distancing and following the public health pillars Temple laid out, he added. “But I think personally, it’s not going to be much different because I try to be generally safe and distanced from people anyway,” Booden said. “As long as I continue to be healthy and safe and I know my friends who are living in my room also do the same thing, so we should be fine.” Mekhi Hayes, a freshman sports and recreation management major, said he almost pulled out his housing deposit when the COVID-19 pandemic began. “Hopefully spring semester things open up, hopefully a vaccine comes out to the point where we can have an authentic college experience and take it from here,” Hayes added. Even if residence halls have to be shut down early like last spring, Booden said he would be disappointed, butwouldn’t blame Temple.

KAITLYN JEFFREY / COURTESY A decorated board in Temple Towers ask students to keep community safe on Aug. 21.

Safety-wise, it might have been smarter to stay at home, but all of my friends are returning to campus this year and I feel like I would be a lot more focused academic-wise surrounded by my peers.

JAY BOODEN Sophomore sports and recreation management major

Booden expects that students in Morgan Hall North will live up to the new policies in place for this semester, he said. “Having the sanitation stations around sounds pretty good, enforcing that everyone wears masks, at least in common areas would be pretty nice,” he added. “Overall, making sure people aren’t doing unsafe habits, which is like having a bunch of people over and allowing parties.” Timmons said she hopes Temple continues to keep her informed about cases in her residence hall through the semester. “If someone in our building gets [COVID-19], I think that everyone in the building should know that someone has it, just so that they don’t contaminate other people or spread the disease even further,” Timmons said. tiffany.nguyen tiffnguyen08


The Temple News

FEATURES

PAGE 19

ON CAMPUS

Students, faculty adjust to new safety guidelines “I feel pretty confident that if we do New COVID-19 protocols leave the right things and the right measures, students wondering if in person that it could work, but it’s mostly, it’s up classes and campus are safe.

BY KRISTINE CHIN For The Temple News Being on campus encourages Andrew Shaqfeh to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidance to wear a mask during the COVID-19 pandemic. He felt this was shared by many other students as he was moving into his apartment at University Village, he said. “I would say, at least 75 percent of people were wearing a mask, and the people that weren’t, were definitely social distancing,” said Shaqfeh, a senior media studies and production and advertising double major. “I felt comfortable with that. I’m sure there are people out there who wouldn’t be as comfortable, but I think what was going on was fair.” Temple University’s COVID-19 return plan allows students to return to campus for in-person classes this fall. The university implemented new health mandates, including calendar changes to the academic year and de-densifying classrooms and public spaces. Students are required to wear masks indoors while on campus, The Temple News reported. Campus also has social distancing circles on grass areas to promote CDC public health guidance. In a June 2 announcement to the Temple community, President Richard Englert wrote students and staff must follow the university’s four public health pillars, which include the wearing of face coverings, frequent handwashing, social distancing and self-monitoring. “When balancing the risks and the benefits, I think what [Temple] struck here is a really positive, valuable balance, and I’m happy with what they done,” Shaqfeh said. Nick Kasander, a sophomore film and psychology double major, is confident in safely attending his own in-person classes. Kassader is happy with precautions Temple has taken, like the newly installed plexiglass shields at reception areas in Temple Towers, he said.

to us,” Kasander said. “I think that Temple students do have to take the initiation and really, you know, wash their hands, wear the masks and you know, as cheesy as it may sound, don’t give up.” Jaskiran Kaur, an assistant chemistry professor and member of the Return Team for Temple’s chemistry department, is teaching in-person labs this semester. She has spent this summer working to ensure COVID-19 safety measures will be in place alongside standard lab safety procedures, she said. “If the students follow what we’re asking them, I’ll feel comfortable,” Kaur said. “If I would not have felt comfortable, I would not have offered [in-person labs]. I truly believe as long as students follow the directions, we should be fine.” Trying to enforce mask-wearing on campus and how many students are in campus buildings may be difficult to regulate, said Patrick Kennedy, a junior management information systems major. “I am concerned about everyone’s safety though,” Kennedy said. “I dont think it’s the best situation, there’s a lot of people outside. I don’t know what to do either. It’s a tough situation.” Kate Kubiak, a sophomore civil engineering major, is excited to be back, but nervous because she has seen some students not wearing masks or following social distancing guidelines on campus, she said. Kubiak added that she and her roommates make sure to keep their social circle small, only allowing close friends in their apartment at The View. “So far, we’ve only done take-out and we haven’t been outside really without masks on,” Kubiak said. “We only take off our masks in our house or in our small group of friends’ houses. Besides seeing our friends, we haven’t gotten within six feet of anyone really without a mask.” Agnes Williams’ in-person class was split into two sections. Williams, a junior music history major with a trombone concentration, will attend in-person class meetings on Wednesdays,

JEREMY ELVAS / THE TEMPLE NEWS Groups of students sit far apart on the lawns and benches around the Paley Building on Monday.

JEREMY ELVAS / THE TEMPLE NEWS Students sit inside of social distancing circles painted onto the grass at Beury Beach on Monday.

while other students will attend in-person meetings on Mondays. Williams also has an in-person rehearsal on Tuesdays at the Temple Performing Arts Center. She doesn’t feel safe attending because she is not sure how many people are in her ensemble, she said. “[I’m] not sure what that’s going to

look like especially since I’m in the back and we’re near other people who are on different instruments,” Williams added. “A little concerning, kind of wish that we weren’t open. But I will trust Boyer and see what they’re going to do for us.” kristine.chin@temple.edu


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FEATURES

COMMUNITY

Medical students help distribute masks

With a team of volunteers, more than 8,000 masks have been distributed in North Philadelphia. BY APOORVA SUDINI For The Temple News Born in Italy with family living overseas, the COVID-19 pandemic “hit home” for Vittoria Boni before it reached others in the United States. Worried for the health of her great aunt, Boni, a fourth-year medical student, realized she needed to help her community through the pandemic, she said. “At that time, it became obvious really quickly that there wasn’t anything I could do for Italy,” Boni said. “At that point things were starting to get kind of bad here. And I just started to figure out, ‘What can I do?’” Her answer came when Boni was contacted by Kurt Koehler, who partnered her with the Center for Urban Bioethics at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine to produce masks for residents in North Philadelphia. “It’s beyond amazing when you have other people match [your] energy,” Boni said. Koehler, a fourth-year medical student, and Boni organize student volunteers from the Lewis Katz Medical School of Medicine and the College of Public Health, who pick up prepared bags of mask-making materials on Monday or Friday at the Medical Education and Research Building on Broad and Venango streets. During a three day period, volunteers make 50 masks and drop them off at the building, Koehler said. “We kind of built everything from the ground up, designing the workflow for the volunteers and shifts and then recruiting from the med school as well as the College of Public Health and undergraduate schools,” Koehler added. Boni and Koehler worked with Nicolle Strand, assistant director at the Center for Urban Bioethics, Kathleen Reeves, the senior associate dean of the center’s new Office of Health Equity, Di-

versity and Inclusion and Jillian Jatres, senior research associate at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine, to provide direction toward where the masks could be distributed. David Brookstein, senior associate dean of engineering, designed the mask. “When the pandemic began, there were not a lot of masks out there … so I identified a need,” Brookstein said. Brookstein sought to create a mask that was protective, durable and easy to make, he said. The initiative is a no-sew operation. When volunteers sign up, they are given a grommet machine to put holes in the sides of the mask to secure in ear pieces, Boni added. Boni’s goal was to make 10,000 masks. She wasn’t sure the initiative would expand to make it to that milestone, she added. “When we hit that last week, or two weeks ago, it was kind of a surreal moment to be honest because you’re in the grind of everything, you kind of put your head down and do the things that you need to do,” Boni said. “You kind of forget to take a step back and look at the whole picture.” As word caught on, the number of volunteers grew beyond what Boni and Koehler could handle between the two of them, said Koehler. “I’m absolutely amazed by just how many people have shared the similar vision that we have and that have the energy to put into this project,” Boni said. Due to the growing demanding for th masks, they brought on a team of four students from the Lewis Katz School of Medicine and the College of Public Health to help with organizing volunteers, logistics and outreach to the community, Boni said. While Boni and Koehler do not anticipate this carrying past the winter, they hope their efforts will reduce future spikes in COVID-19 cases, Koehler said. “We’re here if it needs to be here,” Boni added. apoorva.sudini@temple.edu apoorvasudini

The Temple News

VOICES

Are you taking in-person classes this semester? EMILY FARRELL

Freshman communications major Yes. I have hybrid classes and I’m afraid that I will show up at the wrong time. It is different trying to adjust to college compared to high school and throwing online classes into the mix is going to be confusing.

STEPHANIE RAMIREZ

Sophomore biology major

No, and I don’t like being fully online. I understand that it is safe, but it is harder for me. I wouldn’t want an in-person class though because of COVID. Hopefully everything will be resolved soon so things can go back to normal.

CHRIS THAI

Senior music education major Yes. Having an in-person class is exciting, but at the same time it makes me anxious. With the protocols it seems safe, but student responsibility seems to be lacking.

ANGELINA DUCCILLI

Freshman Computer Science Major Yes. I am excited that I get to come once a week for class, because then I am not at home. I get a college experience and I am happy they are having them.


The Temple News

PAGE 21

INTERSECTION 2nd Anniversary

In a letter to the Temple community, the section reaffirms its commitment to sharing stories of student identity. BY RAY HOBBS & NICO CISNEROS Intersection Editors

LETTER

Intersection celebrates two years at Temple News

T

wo years ago, The Temple News debuted a brand new section dedicated to “telling the whole story” by focusing on you — the students, staff and community residents who make up our Temple University community. It was an effort to talk about who we are as individuals and how our identities influence our interactions with each other with the goal of sparking conversations about facilitating meaningful change. Today, Intersection is still here, working to help us understand each other better. As part of the second year of Intersection, we’re proud to say we’ve brought stories about student identity to light

through reported articles and personal essays. We’ve written stories on students who have disabilities, who are transgender, who are Asian and who are Caribbean. We’re incredibly grateful that, through our conversations with you, we have had the opportunity to meet so many fascinating, thoughtful folks. While our individual realities and identities shape our vision for this section, the reporting we’ve done in the past year has left an impact on us. Like you, we gained a great understanding about our peers, our professors and our university community. We’ve confronted our biases and found out how to go beyond them. And we did all this during one of the most hectic years in modern history, when we balanced our academics and reporting with the upheaval COVID-19 brought to all of our lives. This is not to say that we don’t have work to do. We know there is still much reporting needed about social justice

issues, our LGBTQ+ peers, those with disabilities and those from marginalized communities who don’t feel seen. So we’re going to get to work. We’ll be reaching out to different student organizations to build connections and let their voices be heard. We’ll be visiting classes (virtually) to talk with writers about joining our section so we can have even more perspectives in reporting. Most importantly, we’re asking you, our readers and peers, to tell us what we’re missing. What are the conversations we need to be having, and with whom? Is there something about your identity and experience that you want to share? What stories do you feel need to be told? No matter what the following year entails,

we promise to cover more of our university’s vibrant communities. We are fully committed to you and your stories because, well, we are you. This section is proudly run by two people who bring our own identities to the table, so we know exactly what it means to navigate your many identities through the world. nico.cisneros@temple.edu @nicomcisneros rayonna.hobbs@temple.edu @HobbsRayonna

Please join us as a writer, a reader, a source or a combination of all three! If you have any story ideas, suggestions or thoughts, reach out to us at intersection@temple-news.com.


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INTERSECTION

The Temple News

COMMUNITY

First-gen Kensington students prove their “grit” Students work to navigate college, perceptions of their neighborhood and a pandemic. BY NICO CISNEROS Intersection Editor Tiffany Rodriguez, a first-year public health student, grew up thinking she would be a cardiologist. To her, entering the medical field was a way to help her community. “Growing up in Kensington, seeing people who were homeless and people who were struggling with addiction was really a norm and is still a norm in Kensington,” Rodriguez said. “And I was just taught in my family to have empathy for people who are going through something regardless of their situation.” To help her community, Rodriguez knew she would need to go to college. But she had a long road ahead of her: she was a first-generation student from one of Philadelphia’s most well-known neighborhoods. From the 1800s through the late 1950s, Kensington was a thriving, working-class neighborhood, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. But the neighborhood started showing signs of trouble in the 1920s, as industry began declining. After racial tensions boiled over in the 1950s and 60s, mainly Black and Puerto Rican residents were left jobless in a neighborhood full of 30,000 abandoned houses, the Inquirer further reported. The Kensington community people now think of, the one that the New York Times Magazine called “the Walmart of Heroin” in 2018, was born out of city neglect and the shuttered factories in the neighborhood which were perfect for drugs and crime to become rampant, the Inquirer further reported. Sinh Taylor, a junior English major and Kensington native, feels the public’s negative perception of Kensington has certainly caused people to assume the worst of their neighborhood. “A lot of people joke about how, if you live in Kensington, you’re either going to end up in prison or in the ground,” they said. “So [going to college] is kind of a spiteful way to prove people wrong.” Taylor and Rodriguez are first-gen-

JEREMY ELVAS / THE TEMPLE NEWS Tiffany Rodriguez, a first-year public health student and a first-generation student from Kensington, tands on the steps in Charles Library on Feb. 18.

eration students, meaning they are the first in their families to go to college, according to the United States Department of Education. Being a first-generation student is a significant achievement for Kensington community members. Three of Kensington’s public high schools — Kensington High School for Creative and Performing Arts, Kensington High School and the Kensington Health Sciences Academy — are all listed as needing intervention in terms of their college and graduation rates, according to their 2018-19 School Progress Reports from the district. Devon Coletta, a 2019 master of education alumna, works as the Kensington High School site director for 12Plus, a school support nonprofit that works with Philadelphia schools to help students obtain post-secondary education. When Coletta began working at KHS,

she had the misconception Kensington kids would want to leave the neighborhood as soon as they were able. But, in working with her students, she sees that many of them want to attend college in order to address issues they see in their community. “They look to be social workers, lawyers, nurses, drug and alcohol counselors, and entrepreneurs who will bring resources back to their community in order to make it better,” Coletta said. “Despite it sometimes feeling like Philadelphia as a whole has given up on Kensington, the young people growing up there and graduating from the high schools in the community are focused on the solutions it needs, and more leaders in the city need to follow their example.” People who aren’t from Kensington or don’t come to the neighborhood will never know how beautiful and vibrant it is, Rodriguez said.

“Kensington has so much potential, and the community has so much grit,” she said. “And I think it gets a really bad reputation, but that has more so to do with policy that has affected the community and Kensington and kind of had that ripple-down effect.” Ebony Welch, a 2019 master of education alumna who serves as the director of community engagement for 12Plus, sees the impact those policies have on the students she’s worked with in KHSA and KHS. “Our students and their communities are subject to conditions that they did not ask for,” Welch said. “Many of our students are super connected to their community and want to see it change for the better.” Rodriguez and Taylor faced many obstacles in their success as university students. Forty-seven percent of undergraduates in public four-year universities


INTERSECTION

The Temple News

Even like small things that “I was expected to do or

know how to do, I just didn’t know how to do.

TIFFANY RODRIGUEZ First-year public health student

were the first generation in their families to attend college, but only 20 percent of first-generation students attain a bachelor’s degree within six years of entering a college or university, according to the Center for First-generation Student Success. Taylor cited the “culture shock” as their greatest obstacle when coming to Temple. “I went to a very small school where there was only like 170 [people] in my graduating class,” Taylor said. “And then going from that to a college where there were maybe 100 people in my class, it was a lot.” Rodriguez also experienced this unease when she realized people assumed she knew how to navigate college, she said. “As a first-gen student, I found that even like small things that I was expected to do or know how to do, I just didn’t know how to do, such as applying for FAFSA or just applying [to school] in general,” she said. College presented a vocabulary-learning curve as well, she added. “All of these terms that are just associated with college that I just didn’t know, and then it’s like you have to get past the jargon, and then figure out what things are, what the process is, how to go about it,” she said. “Usually after you explain your situation, [people] get it. But if you don’t, they’re just looking at you like, why don’t you know this?” Paula Umaña, who serves as Director of Community Impact at the Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice, said first-generation students are particularly vulnerable to barriers to

JEREMY ELVAS / THE TEMPLE NEWS Sinh Taylor, a senior English major and Kensington native, stands at the intersection of Liacouras and Polett Walks on Feb. 18.

basic needs, such as housing, food, and childcare. In light of the challenges first-generation students face, Umaña said their success requires a lot of effort and hope. “Being a first-gen student requires a lot of stamina to be patient to be persistent to believe that there is help available, and believe that there are people willing to help,” Umaña said. In addition to being the first in their families to attend college, Rodriguez and Taylor also made history by doing so during a pandemic. While online learning wasn’t ideal for Taylor, they did manage to finish out the semester with a 3.8 GPA. Still, they took the summer semester off after they heard the sessions would be online as well. Now they fear that their ability to graduate might be impacted if the fall semester has to move solely online. Graduating this spring, Rodriguez was devastated that the pandemic meant their class didn’t get to have a traditional commencement ceremony. “Just walking across the stage, that was one of the primary motivating factors that I had to finish,” Rodriguez said. “I did undergrad for six years, because I worked a lot. And so that was my moment, like all my hard work paid off and it was just a very physical, real represen-

tation of that.” Adjusting to student life in a pandemic was difficult, but Rodriguez and Taylor have witnessed the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbate problems in their neighborhood. Kensington is experiencing COVID-19 in addition to ongoing crises such as high overdose rates, chronic homelessness, and economic disparity, Kensington Voice reported. Taylor said the ongoing delays of trash and recycling pickup have caused their neighbors to band together and dispose of the trash themselves. They also noticed a decrease of illegal activity in their area, due to everyone’s increased efforts to care for the block. Rodriguez sees how the pandemic is impacting residents with substance abuse disorder through her work as an intern at Prevention Point Philadelphia, a community organization that provides harm reduction and syringe services, as well as other health services. Their patrons had trouble getting vital medication and harm reduction treatment, and they lost access to the public hygienic spaces PPP hosts. Oshay Columbus, the 12Plus site director at Kensington Health Sciences Academy, feels the pandemic has compromised her ability to communicate with her students and connect them

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with essential resources. “I believe that our Black and brown students deserve to have the same resources as other students in other affluent communities,” Columbus said. “I want my students and their families to know that there are people who care about them and want to see them succeed.” Despite everything, Rodriguez refused to be intimidated, and she graduated in May 2020 with her Bachelor of Science in Public Health. She was happily shocked when she made the milestone. “My grandparents are illiterate, they can’t read and write,” she said. “My dad probably can’t read past fifth-grade level. My mom wanted to go to college, but she couldn’t. It just means everything, from all of the sacrifices that I’ve made and all the things I’ve tried to just get around and deal with.” Rodriguez decided to continue her education, pursuing a Master of Public Health while interning at Prevention Point and working as an in-home caregiver. She hopes her example inspires others, especially family members, to go after their goals. “Honestly, I wouldn’t want people in my family to just go to college because they look up to the fact that I did it,” Rodriguez said. “I would just want them to look up to the fact that there was something I really wanted to do and I had obstacles and I didn’t just take no for an answer.” Taylor also hopes to inspire family, especially their children. “They’re a big factor because I wanted them to have something to look up to,” Taylor said. “So many kids today look up to celebrities and things like that. I wanted them to have a tangible person to look up to, and I wanted to be that for them, so they didn’t have to find one.” Taylor hopes their graduation sends a positive message to the kids in their community, too. “You’re not your circumstance,” they said. “You can be more than your circumstance.” nico.cisneros@temple.edu @nicomcisneros


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INTERSECTION

The Temple News

ACTIVISM

Student advocates push for social justice change “We need to turn the fight inward Students share their experiences and reflect upon how our affiliations advocating and organizing for racontributed towards these sorts of injuscial equality this summer.

BY RAY HOBBS Assistant Intersection Editor For many students, the summer is a time to unwind from the semester, catch up on sleep and hang out with friends. But for some, this summer has been filled with planning, organizing and protesting. Several student-led groups at Temple University have organized and led protests on Main Campus throughout the summer. For these groups, the fight against racial injustice on campus is viewed as a duty students must combat. Groups include Temple University Coalition for Change, a newly-formed organization with the goal of reforming Temple and holding the university accountable for what they argue are contributions to systemic racism, according to a post made on the coalition’s Instagram account. On July 8, the group held an anti-racist protest with other advocacy groups including Stadium Stompers and the Black and Brown Coalition. Teresa Swartley, a senior political science major and co-founder of the coalition, said the group organizes to give a platform for underrepresented students, faculty, alumni, staff and community members to speak out against Temple’s administrative policies. Swartley said the coalition was created in June as a response to nationwide protests following the death of George Floyd, a Black man, who died after Derek Chauvin, a Minneapolis police officer, knelt on Floyd’s neck for multiple minutes, according to a CNN report.

tices,” Swartley said. Other student groups shifted their attention toward ongoing movements to enact change on campus. Taylor Sanders, a senior art history major, has utilized her group, Women of Color Creatives, to both amplify the voices of women of color on campus and show support and solidarity for other groups advocating for change. “As the Black Lives Matter movement protests were happening, I felt it was called for our org to be more involved with the movement and to align with their mission,” Sanders said. After transferring to Temple a year and a half ago, Sanders founded the group, intending to give women of color a space on campus to talk about their experiences and to provide them with a creative outlet to express themselves. “I felt like being a Black woman, it was important to create our own space because at times I personally felt there wasn’t a lot of room for me or my identity and I wanted to create a space for people,” Sanders said. The group decided to join ranks with Defund TUPD, a student-led organization that wants Temple Police to be defunded and removed from Temple’s campus and its presence in the surrounding North Philly area. The two groups created a list of demands that include terminating all funding and donations to the Philadelphia Police Foundation and reallocating money to increase funding for the Africology and African American studies and gender, sexuality and women’s studies departments. “After hearing that Temple was funding the police, I felt passionate about our tuition money not going towards a

JEREMY ELVAS / THE TEMPLE NEWS Teresa Swartley, a senior political science major and co-founder of Temple University Coalition for Change, speaks during a protest to demand Main Campus’ closure outside Mitten Hall on Monday.

system or structure that goes against our student body,” Sanders said. In June, Temple announced it would stop funding the Philadelphia Police Foundation and would reallocate those funds into social justice programs after receiving concerns from students and community members about the university’s donations to the foundation. Carol Jean Gallo, an intellectual heritage instructor, became involved with Defund TUPD by being a member of the Rank-and-File Caucus and Temple Coalition for Change. “For me, it has been great to be able to support students in ways I don’t always get to as a teacher,” Gallo said. Jason Del Grandio, an assistant professor of communication and social influence, suggests students learn the dy-

namics of protests and social movements to have an effective protest. “Now is the time for radical social change,” Del Grandio said. As the fall semester kicks off, neither group has the intention to slow down their work but plans to remain politically active during the semester. Swartley wants to remind student activists to take care of themselves as they plan for their next protest. “It’s impossible to help everyone all the time,” Swartley said. “We at TUCFC care so much but we recognize the importance of self-care and encourage each other constantly to take a break.” rayonna.hobbs@temple.edu @HobbsRayonna


The Temple News

SPORTS

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FOOTBALL

Temple slowly ramps up practice before fall season

Their first game isn’t until Sept. 26 unless they schedule a non-conference game earlier. BY DANTE COLLINELLI Sports Editor Even though Temple University football head coach Rod Carey is back on the field, he doesn’t feel any sense of normality, he said. The Owls are slowly starting to ramp up practice after extended time off due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They don’t have a game scheduled until Sept. 26 against Navy in Annapolis, Maryland, as all four of Temple’s non-conference games were canceled. “I wouldn’t say we are practicing yet,” Carey said on Aug. 18. “We are doing football-related activities. We have successfully navigated how to get back to being active with the team. I do feel good about where we are at right now.” The team has done well “rolling with the punches,” and hasn’t been forced to stop practicing yet, Carey added. During a normal fall practice, the entire team is on the field at the same time. They start by breaking into groups based on positions and then come together for team drills toward the end of practice. The team drills would include seven-vs-seven and 11-vs-11 scrimmages where the defense is tasked with stopping the offense before gaining a first down or scoring a touchdown. But amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Temple has changed their practice routine. The new practice structure includes players being broken into “first team” and “second team” groups. Each team is then divided into offense and defensive groups of no larger than 50, per regulations from the City of Philadelphia, Carey said. “We haven’t had a crossover yet with offensive and defense staying on two separate sides of the field,” said graduate student linebacker Isaiah Graham-Mobley. “The different precautions have

COLLEEN CLAGGETT / THE TEMPLE NEWS Players run onto the field at Lincoln Financial Field during their game against Tulane on Nov. 16, 2019

made it a little difficult to have contact within practices. We are doing everything we can to get back to regular stuff.” Temple started allowing offense and defense to go against one another in drills on Saturday. Despite changes to limit contact during practice and other COVID-19 precautions, five players have opted out of playing this season, Carey said. Carey would not reveal which players opted out, but supports their decision, he added. The coaches remain confident the protocols in place will keep players safe. “Coach Carey has done a great job,” said defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Jeff Knowles. “We are trying to social distance as best we can. In terms of practice, we are being really cautious. I don’t worry about them getting [COVID-19] from anything we are doing in practice.”

Other teams in The American Athletic Conference have already paused football practice due to student-athletes testing positive for COVID-19. The University of Tulsa paused football practice on Aug. 17 after eight student-athletes tested positive. Athletes are tested once a week and are required to be tested 72 hours before a game, Carey said. The American is still planning on holding a fall season. AAC commissioner Mike Aresco stated in an interview it was too early to decide the state of the football season, The Temple News reported. There is still uncertainty with Temple’s schedule. They are allowed to schedule up to four non-conference opponents and have had talks with some schools about playing before Sept. 26, said acting athletic director Fran Dunphy.

Temple was supposed to start the season on Sept. 5 against the University of Miami. “I can’t say we are going to be playing before the Navy game at this point,” Dunphy said. “It could change. There are a number of things that could change with that if someone else presents themselves as a possible opponent.” Carey isn’t worried about filling the potential extra time before the team’s first game, he said. “The things we were doing when [the players] first came back in July were super limited,” Carey added. “The build is what kinda keeps it fresh and keeps it going. As you add activity to their schedule, that’s what keeps them going.” dante.collinelli@temple.edu @DanteCollinelli


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SPORTS

The Temple News

FIELD HOCKEY

Field hockey ‘heartbroken’ by canceled fall season

The Big East Conference canceled all fall sports on Aug. 18 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. BY ISABELLA DiAMORE Assistant Sports Editor

Temple University field hockey is the only Temple sport to have their season canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Owls announced they’re postponing the fall season until Spring 2021 after The Big East Conference canceled all fall sports for the season on Aug. 12. Despite the cancellation, the Owls are motivated to get back to playing, said head coach Susan Ciufo. “We’re sad, they’re heartbroken, they’ve been working really hard, but it just means they have more time to work even harder,” Ciufo added. Main Campus practices began on Aug. 17, with rules and protocols in ADVERTISEMENT

place to maintain COVID-19 guidelines, said senior defender Dani Batze. This fall would have been Ciufo’s second season as head coach for the Owls. Last season, Temple finished 7-10 overall and 2-5 in the conference. The team knew the season’s fate was uncertain this fall and were not surprised to hear the season was pushed to the spring of 2021, Ciufo said . “We definitely have been preparing ourselves for the worst case scenario,” said senior goalkeeper Cristina Carotenuto. “Once we found out the news it wasn’t a shock to anyone by any means, but it was more of how are we going to prepare for the spring season.” Carotenuto has been the starting goalkeeper for the Temple field hockey team the past three years. Last season she started in 16 games, allowed 26 total goals and recorded four shutouts. Without a fall season, the team is focusing on continuing to work on their

games and holding themselves accountable, Carotenuto said. “That’s something we always stressed in our program,” Carotenuto added. “We had a summer workout plan that we follow pretty regularly and, being a captain, we’ve done a good job of keeping ourselves and the team accountable.” The team held Zoom meetings to break down film and talk about “culture” and the “pillars they stand for,’’ Batze said, who is heading into her second year as captain. “All summer long, we tried to keep our mind on hockey and us as a family,” Batze added. Before canceling the season, The Big East announced they would only play conference games in the fall, according to a press July 16 release. “As things kept developing, it developed to a point where we were only going to be able to play Connecticut and

Providence [College] the entire fall,” Ciufo said. “That was not much of a student-athlete experience, so I think this is definitely the best for our ladies.” The Owls are viewing the postponement as a “blessing” and will take the extra time to train for the spring, Ciufo added. The Owls’ goal for the spring season is to make The Big East Conference Tournament, Batze added. Temple has yet to win a Big East conference championship and hasn’t competed in The Big East tournament since 2016. “The first two days we’re working on technical, so we won’t be scrimmaging,” Batze said. “We’ll be wearing a mask and social distancing. I think after the first week we’ll have a better understanding on how training will go this semester.” isabella.diamore@temple.edu @belladiamore


The Temple News

SPORTS

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HAILEY GUTOWSKI / COURTESY Junior midfielder Hailey Gutowski performs wall ball drills at Cinnaminson Middle School in Cinnaminson, New Jersey on April 11.

ATHLETICS

Athletes combat quarantine with home workouts Temple Athletics offered counseling and “quarantine workouts” to students over the summer. BY DONOVAN HUGEL Women’s Soccer Beat Reporter After months of being cooped up at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, Temple University student-athletes and coaches returned to campus for voluntary team workouts throughout July and August. While they were away, they adjusted both physically and mentally. Temple’s workout facilities were closed during the summer, which posed a challenge for the school’s athletic trainers and athletic mental health professionals. Tim Teefy, assistant athletic director of Olympic sports performance, set up voluntary “quarantine workouts” for all Temple sports, except football, after sports were forced to pause over the summer, he said. Teefy sent players a list of drills requiring minimal equipment they could do at home. He wasn’t allowed to communicate over video with the athletes

while they were doing the workouts due to NCAA regulations, but could answer questions they had after their workout, he said. “Obviously different states and areas have been under different situations on what’s available and open,” Teefy said. “Can they get to a field or track? Are they running in their neighborhood?” Teefy emphasized to student-athletes their competition isn’t gaining an advantage during this downtime, as many across the country are dealing with similar health and safety protocols, he said. “We never really preach that if somebody else is doing something every day, we got to make sure that we are,” Teefy added. “In the back of our mind, we’re always thinking what others are doing, but we’ve realized that this is a unique situation.” On July 22, The American Athletic Conference announced fall Olympic sports would be delayed until at least Sept. 1. The decision gave more time for the conference to allow “member institutions additional time to implement protocols for a safe return to competition,”

according to a conference press release. Men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s cross country and volleyball were all affected by the decision. Stephany Coakley, senior associate athletic director of mental health, wellness and performance, kept in contact with student-athletes during the summer to help athletes with “quarantine fatigue,” she said. Quarantine fatigue is defined “as exhaustion associated with the new restrictive lifestyle that’s been adopted to slow the spread of COVID-19,” according to a report by Massachusetts General Hospital. Symptoms include feeling tense, irritable or anxious, changes in eating or sleeping habits, loss of motivation or reduced productivity. When campus shut down in March, there was “a pretty significant decrease” in athletics counseling services, Coakley said. Toward the end of the semester, she saw an uptick in student-athletes wanting to receive counseling. “Everybody’s dealing with it differently,” Coakley added. “Some student-athletes were really stressed out about online classes. And some in-

ternational students had to wake up around two in the morning to go to class. That’s a huge stressor just to go to class. For others, it was not being with their friends and their community even though they were with their family.” Coakley thought if she made athletes realize others were having a tough time it could help with them handle the stress, she said. “It was almost as if they believed they were the only people dealing with this,” Coakley said. “So while you had to start online instruction, some people had to start online work. There’s been a disruption in your parents’ lives, your cousin’s lives, your coaches’ lives.” Teefy and Coakley agreed the uncertainty of the pandemic is the most frustrating thing to deal with, but they’re making sure to keep a positive attitude. “Let’s focus on what we can accomplish today,” Teefy said. “And let’s make sure that we’re doing it in the best interest of our student-athletes.” donovan.hugel@temple.edu @donohugel


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SPORTS

GAME

ATHLETICS

CHANGER

Temple Administration is trying to ensure safety for athletes amid the pandemic.

COLLEEN CLAGGETT / THE TEMPLE NEWS Stadium and field stands will be empty during the Fall semester, as fans will not be allowed to attend any sports games

The Temple News

BY ADAM AARONSON Assistant Sports Editor

I

t’s been 171 days since March 7. One hundred and seventy-one days since that chilly Saturday when Temple University’s men’s basketball team lost on a game-winning basket to the University of Cincinnati, and Temple women’s basketball suffered a 33-point defeat against the University of Connecticut. Temple men’s tennis lost to Navy in Annapolis, Maryland, 4-1, but women’s lacrosse won against the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. In the following hours and days, things changed in ways nobody would have predicted. All collegiate sports were cancelled on March 12 for the rest of the 2019-2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Months later, The American Athletic Conference is introducing a college sports season filled with new guidelines abiding by local and national regulations around the COVID-19 outbreak. As several conferences cancel their season, Temple is continuing with their fall season. Temple student-athletes will be tested once a week during the season and 72 hours before every contest to ensure nobody who tests positive is participating, said Jessica Reo, executive senior associate athletics director and senior women’s administrator. “The testing protocols are well in place and our doctors are doing an unbelievable job,” said acting athletic director Fran Dunphy. “Our trainers are doing the same. I think all of our coaches are working really hard to make sure we maintain every health and safety aspect of it.” Temple Athletics feels Yale University’s new COVID-19 saliva test called SalivaDirect could be a “game-changer” for

college sports because it would allow for quicker test results, Dunphy added. The Return to Participation Committee, which Reo chairs, is implementing a plan that includes education on COVID-19, provides personal protective equipment for medical staff and offers daily health screening for players entering a facility. The most notable change expected for this season: a significantly reduced amount of spectators, or perhaps none at all. Temple has spoken to other teams in The American who are trying to get 25 percent of their stadium filled, but will follow whatever guidelines the City of Philadelphia has, Dunphy said. The City of Philadelphia has cancelled all large public gatherings through February 2021 due to public health physical distancing recommendations. Temple Football rents Lincoln Financial Field, where the Philadelphia Eagles host their home games. The Eagles announced on July 14 no fans would be allowed to attend home games, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. “We talk to our doctors every day, we all reach out to different experts in our field in different places to see what everybody is doing,” Reo said. “We’re really constantly just gathering information and trying not to be surprised, but quite frankly, I’m sure we will be at some point.” As the return committee is presented with changing guidelines from local and national levels for collegiate sports, they are working to ensure Temple athletics can resume in a safe manner. “This is a very difficult time for everybody,” Dunphy said. “This wait-and-see approach is not easy.” adam.aaronson@temple.edu @SixersAdam


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