ASR: Small But Mighty

Alpha Sigma Rho Sorority, Inc. Epsilon  Chapter flourishes despite its size

What does it take to be an Alpha Sigma Rho (ASR) sister? Ask any of the members, and they’ll give the same answer: academic excellence, interpersonal growth, moral development and strength in unity.

Temple’s chapter of ASR, the only Asian-interest sorority on campus, was founded in fall of 2007. Seven students came together with a goal of creating a network of strong women based on unity, trust and sisterhood.

Alpha Sigma Rho Sororoty, Inc. Epsilon Chapter has crossed a total of 114 ASR sisters.

“ASR is unique because we are really diverse with so many different backgrounds,” Alysha E. Francois, a senior public health and ASR member, said. “I like how small we are because we know each other so well and even when something does arise, we have no choice but to fix it because it will affect us all.”

Zanie Marudo, a junior neuroscience major, is the external vice president and presents/banquets chair of ASR. She said never expected to find her best friends when she joined the sorority.  

“ASR really isn’t just four years,” Marudo said. “You meet people you want to be your bridesmaids, godparents to your kids, and best friends for life. It doesn’t end at graduation.”

In fall of 2017, the Epsilon Chapter celebrated 10 years of sisterhood on Temple’s campus with a decennial banquet.  

Cindy Nguyen, a senior biology major, will always remember the banquet as one of her favorite times as an ASR sister since she joined in the fall of 2016.

“Putting together such an extravagant event for ten years worth of sisterhood had really made me feel proud and prideful to be in ASR,” Nguyen said.

Founding members and other alumni of ASR were in attendance, too.

“I truly felt the love in that room to be quite honest,” Francois said. “Although I know every sister, I did not get to physically meet them until then. It was an amazing experience and they really care about you because you share those three letters that we earned.”

For many of the sisters, being part of this sorority has created both academic and social opportunities.

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“Joining Alpha Sigma Rho has made such a huge impact in my academic career,” Nguyen said. “I’ve made so many connections with those inside and outside of the sorority that I would’ve never be able to. It has opened a lot of doors for me to pursue my goals and also motivate me to become a better student as well as a person.”

Compared to other greek organizations, ASR is not the biggest — but that does not stop the sisters from making their mark on Temple.

“Although our active house is small, but with our sisterhood, we can flourish and succeed as well like any other organization,” Nguyen said.

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Written by: Gail Vivar

Photography by: Nate Rogers

 

It’s Not an Organization — It’s Family

E-board members share how TUPAC is not just your average club as it approaches its 25th anniversary.

To outsiders, the black jacket with TUPAC’s logo might mean nothing — but to members of the club, it symbolizes family, or “kapamilya.”

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The Temple University Philippine American Council (TUPAC) is a student-run organization that promotes knowledge, awareness and understanding of Filipino culture to the student body of Temple.

“Our intention is to be closer to our culture and expand and explore what we already know and what we could know,” sophomore film major and executive board member Kate Martin said. “As e-board members, we are just there to make sure people are interested and keep coming back to remember that knowing your history is knowing your culture.”

 

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The organization holds general body meetings in which members become more familiar with Filipino heritage. During one such meeting, entitled “The Future is Filipina,” speakers presented their achievements and experiences as women of Filipino heritage.

In addition, TUPAC hosts a variety of events and fundraisers for members and non-members alike to join, like their meat skewer and Krispy Kreme donut sales.

It even formed its own dance team, TUPAC Legacy.

We like to get deep, but we also like to have fun,” junior speech language hearing sciences major Alyssa Guzman says.

TUPAC also runs a mentorship program called “ate/kuya/ading.” The Ates (older sisters) and Kuyas (older brothers) offer the adings (younger siblings) with any guidance or support they might need, according to TUPAC’s general officer Josh Lacerna.  

“It’s less of a mentorship program and more of a family environment that we’re trying to create because TUPAC is all about creating a home away from home,” Lacerna said.

Although the majority of TUPAC’s members are Filipino, everyone is welcome.

“If you’re not Filipino don’t be discouraged,” Martin said. “Our intention is to acknowledge and educate about the Filipino culture.”

TUPAC can feel like a community of its own inside Temple. The shared values and experiences bring members closer together than any other club.

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“I feel like it all goes back to Filipino culture,” sophomore biology major Riana Ramos and TUPAC member said. “Family and friends are such a big part in our lives and I feel like we get that sense in TUPAC.”

Unfortunately, the TUPAC family recently lost one of its members. Lorenzo Enriquez, the club’s secretary, passed away in June 2018.

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. 06 . 07 . 2018 . // tupac is more than just an organization. we are a family, and we are saddened to announce that we lost a family member last night. just like tupac, lorenzo enriquez was more than just our secretary and member. he was a confidant, a friend, a brother. through his wit, humor, and passion, he radiated a vibe that cannot be replaced. thank you, lorenzo, for your presence in our lives. you will not be forgotten. // attached is the phone number for tuttleman counseling, along with other hotline numbers. Tuttleman Counseling: (215) 204-7276 1700 N Broad St. 2nd Floor Philadelphia PA 19121 Walk in Hours MTTF: 10:30-1:30 , W: 9-12 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) The Trevor Lifeline (Suicide Prevention for LGBTQ Youth): 866-4-U-TREVOR (1-866-488-7386) please keep lorenzo’s family in your prayers.

A post shared by TUPAC of D5 (@tupac_d5) on

His favorite quote, “Don’t forget the vision, and the vision won’t forget about you,” is remembered and embraced in TUPAC.

“His impact says a lot about how we view this organization as a family and not just something that is on campus for building a resume or networking, it gives a lot of emotional support,” junior psychology major Joan Cadete says. “Those are his own words. That quote really embodies us as an organization.”

In 2019, TUPAC will celebrate its 25th anniversary. The e-board hopes the current members will continue the administration for years to come and even increase diversity within the club.

A thing we want to do to grow as a org is to have obviously a lot of Filipino members, but also increase non Filipino members,” junior biology major John Yasay reveals. “I feel like if we educate people of what Filipino culture is and the different music and food, people would [know] what it is like to be Filipino.”

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Written by: Riley Rubiano

Photography by: Nathan Harvey

Uzuri Dance Company: Daughters of the Sun

Representation matters, and the women of Uzuri Dance Company are demonstrating that with each step

While watching Uzuri Dance Company perform, one thing became clear: the magic of women of color is powerful.

Specializing in contemporary modern dance, the organization is the only dance company on campus with a mission statement aimed at women of color.

Njera Perkins, the president of Uzuri Dance Company and a senior strategic communications and public relations major, explains that inclusivity is key to the organization.

“Uzuri Dance Company was for women of color who needed a safe space, initially to dance, but we’ve opened it up to where it’s a sisterhood, because college can be hard,” said Perkins. “Once you’re a member, you’re always a member.”

Uzuri means “beauty” in Swahili, and for this company, beauty is in the diversity, empowerment and dance.

Khristin Charity, the vice president of the company and a senior kinesiology major, said that Uzuri is special to her and many students of color.

“Our camaraderie and our synergy, and just being around all these women who come from different backgrounds and even different dance backgrounds,” said Charity. “It makes me very happy.”

The company was created in 2012, and this past fall semester, Perkins and her team have added seven new members to the organization.

One of those new members is an international student from Spain, Alba Fombona.  

“She actually wanted to join the company because in Spain, she cannot major in dance in college,” Perkins explained. “That’s a first!”   

Uzuri Dance Company is more than just a student organization. It operates as an actual dance company. In fact, Uzuri has an annual formal showcase every year.

The showcase, which takes place in the spring semester, allows the Uzuri women to show everyone on campus the dances they have been practicing throughout the year.

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While Uzuri’s dance styles mainly include modern and contemporary, they branch out in the months leading up to the showcase by exploring jazz, hip-hop, and ballet, and other genres members have not previously practiced.

Toree “Hurricane Toree” Weaver, the creative director and secretary of Uzuri Dance Company and a senior journalism major, is known for her rigorous, yet effective, approach as one of the choreographers.

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“Coming from a performance arts school, I never wanted to teach,” Weaver said “But being able to see everyone’s growth over the years and knowing that I played a part in that is always so rewarding.”

Weaver said she has received letters from parents thanking her for the improvements she helped instill in their daughters.

Everyone in the company is guaranteed a flesh-tone leotard that matches their skin tone, something that Uzuri members take pride in.

“The experience of a woman of color is so unique,” Weaver said. “Temple should know that if Uzuri can be a stepping stone for more inclusive organizations, that would be amazing.”

Weaver will always cherish the memories she’s made with other Uzuri members.

“Just that bond, I feel, has helped us stand out,” said Weaver with a smile. “People always say, I can tell when Uzuri is coming from a mile away.’”

Written by: Haniya Shariff

Photography by: Taylor Johnson

Meet Temple’s Love Your Melon Campus Crew

The organization works to bring joy and love to children with cancer

Most people remember their childhood as time of playing outside in the sun and simply being happier.

But for a child with cancer, the experience can be drastically different.

Temple’s Love Your Melon (LYM) crew works to make that experience a little brighter. It sells beanies and other apparel, and a portion of its sales goes toward children battling cancer.

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The organization is affiliated with the The Love Your Melon Fund, which is comprised of over 800 campus crews all over America and Canada.

In addition to selling apparel, Temple’s chapter of LYM organizes activities to engage with young patients directly. A few times during the semester, team members visit the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), where they play games with patients and hand out beanies.

“We want to be able to provide any sort of happiness for these kids, especially when they’re battling something that’s bigger than they are,” Crew Captain Anna Brignola said.

LYM also plans “superhero adventures.” The team members usually find social media posts about children who have cancer, contact them, and after learning about each child’s interests, they orchestrate a personalized outing or an event.

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Past adventures have included trips to public parks; Rebounderz, an indoor trampoline arena;  and Dave & Buster’s, a family-friendly restaurant and arcade.

However, LYM’s biggest adventure was for a young “superhero” named Nicky, 7, who they surprised with a meet and greet with almost every player on the Philadelphia Eagles’ roster.

“Nicky was just completely blown away,” Brignola said. “Not many [LYM] groups get to make that happen.”

The team also sets up fun tables with games and giveaways in the Student Activities Center in order to spread the mission to as many people as possible.

As the volunteer crew manager, Morris wants students to know how easy it is to become involved with LYM.

“You can do anything from visiting a table to joining the crew to eventually holding a leadership position, which is achievable for anybody,” Morris said. “We love having new people join us to help spread the word about our mission.”

Olivia Morin, the LYM secretary and a junior health professions major, said that her favorite part of the club is spending time with the children’s families.

“It extends the reach,” said Morin. “And while it’s nice to see the kids and their families feel happier, it’s amazing for us to see them smile and laugh. It puts things into perspective.”

Abby Morris, the volunteer crew manager and a junior media studies & production major, said she enjoys LYM because she is able to give back and spend time with children.  

“You get to make a lot of friends within the club and do fun things, but the underlying message is really for the kids,” Morris said. “When you’re actually physically there with them, you get to see what you’re working towards. It’s a really humbling experience.”

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Written by: Haniya Shariff

Photography by: Olivia O’Neill

 

Meet the team behind Big Brothers and Big Sisters at Temple

My Little comes down the stairs every week saying, ‘Oh girl! I’ve been waiting for you to come all week, I have to tell you a secret,’ and then she hugs me,” said Isabel Sefton, the Vice President of Big Brothers Big Sisters at Temple. “That’s my favorite part of my week, it’s when I am with her.”

For many members of this organization, being a Big is more than just being a mentor. Once they become mentors, they are reliable role models that their Little can trust.

The mission statement, according to Big Brothers and Sisters of America’s website, is to “provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one relationships that change their lives for the better.”

Big Brothers Big Sisters is the nation’s largest volunteer mentoring network with matches between Bigs (adult volunteers) and Littles (children), from the ages of 6 through 18 to help the children realize their full potential and shape their lives.

The Temple chapter of Big Brothers Big Sisters is dedicated to help mentor local children from the Big Brothers Big Sisters Independence Region. After each college student is matched with a local elementary student, they are required to meet their Little every week for an hour and bond with them.

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Big Brothers Big Sisters at Temple, Executive team

The Big Brothers Big Sisters Independence area serves the Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties in Pa., and Burlington, Camden and Gloucester Counties in NJ. According to the 2016 Big Brothers Big Sisters Independence Fact Sheet, the organization has served 3,781 children from Southeastern PA. and Southern NJ.

They have also significantly helped children from the program as mentors or Bigs. Their fact sheet shows that 99% of children avoid using alcohol and tobacco; 97% advance to the next grade, 100% avoid using drugs and 98% have not become a teen parent since being part of this program.

“The main purpose is to provide children with mentors who might not have access to one otherwise,” Sefton said, “We, as an organization, stress that the Bigs are people for their Littles to rely on and not necessarily be seen as a tutor or babysitter.”

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Isabel Sefton, Vice President of Big Brothers Big Sisters at Temple

President of Temple BBBS, Berk Atillasoy, a risk management and insurance major, can attest to the importance of mentorship today. He joined as a Big during the fall semester of his freshman year and has since been part of the growth of the organization on campus.

“The reach of your influence as a mentor expands beyond your Little,” said Atillasoy, “Once you make a positive impact in someone’s life, they become a better version of themselves, which spills into many facets of life. They become better leaders, employees, family members, and community members.”

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Berk Atillasoy, President of Big Brothers Big Sisters at Temple

Not only do Bigs make a difference in the lives of their Littles by becoming a role model they can look up to, but they’re also benefiting as Bigs as well.

Atillasoy mentions that he learns the most from his Little and that it’s refreshing to hear from a younger perspective on life. He has been matched with his Little since October of 2015, and they are still matched to this day.

Members like Morgan Kolakowski, who is a journalism major with a minor in business and part of the Temple BBBS recruitment team, also agrees that being part of this organization is important because they’re improving the lives of these children but also theirs.

“My Little has given me the opportunity to have a little sister for the first time in my life,” said Kolakowski.

Since being part of Temple BBBS, Kolakowski advocates for mentorship to be taken seriously since it is important to take time to give back to others and help shape the future generation.

While many might give little importance to organizations such as Big Brothers and Big Sisters, it is indeed making a difference by having these relationships established between children and college students like the ones from Temple University.

“I just know that each time I’m coming to visit my Little, she looks forward to it,” Sefton said, “I appreciate the fact she trusts me and considers me to be someone she counts on, which makes all the hard work pay off.”

Written by: Gail Vivar

Photos by: Isaiah Spicer

She’s The First Temple is helping to end educational inequality worldwide

Education inequality between men and women is an issue in various countries around the world. Women are not given the same resources and opportunities to go to school that men receive. She’s the First Temple is a chapter of a national organization that is hoping to change this.

The organization, whose Temple chapter started about three years ago, sponsors female scholars to help them gain access to the resources they need to get an education and to support women who will be the first in their families to graduate high school. Faculty advisor Kimberly Goyette says raising funds for these students is only one of the goals of the organization.

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According to She’s the First’s website, the national organization, which was founded in 2009, has 225 campus chapters, including Temple, and has sponsored 923 scholars’ educations. The organization sponsors scholars in 11 low-income countries worldwide.The focus is getting each scholar to graduation, not just through another year of school.

I think students in the U.S. do not realize how difficult it is for girls and women in some places across the globe to be able to go to school, and even when they do, to have the same resources provided to them as are provided to boys and men,” says Goyette, stating that raising awareness of this global issue as a primary goal of She’s the First.

In her time with the organization, Goyette has seen the organization grow, now partnering with other Temple organizations and doing more fundraising for their scholars. The fundraising events, ranging from bake sales to collaborations with campus businesses, goes directly to sponsoring the organization’s scholars.

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According to President Julia Clements, a senior journalism major, the organization also has a program called STF Global Awareness, which is a part of the scholar mentorship program that allows the scholars they sponsor to be globally aware and to see how their own education has an impact on the world.

Clements says that this year, She’s the First Temple has five scholars, two from Ethiopia and three from Peru. The scholars are assigned to Temple’s chapter from the national chapter. Clements says Temple’s chapter started out with only one student, but the chapter was given more after they were able to fund all four years of the original scholar’s education.

Clements’ main goal is to make sure the organization is sustainable, even after she graduates.

“I want people who don’t really necessarily think about these things to hear about us and think about us,” she adds. She is hoping that people other than those who know about global education inequality to find out about the organization and attend events to learn more.

Lindsey Gilbert, a sophomore and the organization’s co-president, echoes the sentiment of wanting more people to be engaged with the organization.

“By being engaged participants in the organization, I hope that our members are able to become leaders in the fight against gender inequality, advocates for social change, and, of course, active global citizens,” Gilbert says.

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Written by: Ashley Paskill

Photos by: Zhi Lin

Commuters Get Involved

Temple commuter students talk about the clubs they participate in on campus

There are a variety of clubs on Temple’s campus that one can get involved with. The hundreds of clubs and organizations on Temple’s campus give students a diverse set of options. Additionally, if a student lives on-campus, club meetings are usually only a short walk away.

For commuter students, it can be harder to stay involved on campus. It can be difficult to attend club meetings and events because of the distance that has to be traveled.

Dez Johnson, a freshman at Temple, is involved in the Badminton Club on campus. She says that being a commuter and while being involved in a club can get tricky.

“I don’t drive yet so when I take public transportation late at night I have to be cautious. It also takes forever to get from point A to point B when I still have homework to do,” Johnson said.  “I still go to this club because I really like the sport and the people there. So I try to work it out anyway.”

Although there are some drawbacks with commuting and being in a club, she does believe that the experience overall is rewarding.


“Since I’m a pretty shy person it helped me make my first few friends at school and since I’m a freshman the other club members even helped me get used to school,” Johnson said. “They [shared] some good places to eat or what teachers are cool to have and stuff like that.”

Jenna Lee, a freshman, is a member of Temple’s Asian Student Association (ASA). She joined during her first semester and has loved it ever since. She is also a member of ASA’s dance team. She finds it difficult at times to be a commuter student and also be in a club on campus, but like Johnson, she loves the organization she is a part of.

“I kind of can’t see my life right now and not be in ASA. Sometimes it can get really difficult juggling everything, but ASA is a home away from home for me and a place where I can really be myself. I also love all the people I’ve met,” Lee said.

 

Written by Brittney Coleman

Making Change

Temple’s Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children (FIMRC) chapter is working to bring awareness to health issues both locally and across the globe.

Over the past four years, Temple University’s Chapter of the Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children (FIMRC) has been raising funds and awareness for health issues in both local and international locations.

FIMRC focuses on bringing awareness to important public health issues as well as educating people about topics such as health education, nutrition and hand-washing. The organization collaborates with approximately 10 major clinics in several countries including India, the Dominican Republic and Uganda.

Haritha Reddy, a senior biology major and three-year President of Temple’s FIMRC chapter, says she feels fulfilled by the work FIMRC is involved in.

“When you go to these clinics and work there you are with kids who don’t wear shoes outside are surrounded broken alcohol bottles on the ground. They are so grateful for you to come and teach them a little bit about nutrition or for you to come and play with them,” Reddy said.

Temple’s FIMRC chapter provides their members with opportunities to travel abroad at any time during the year. If one prefers working locally, members are able to volunteer at Shriners Hospital in Philadelphia.

Recently, FIMRC planned an interactive event featuring cuisine from each country where FIMRC clinics are located. The event acted as a fundraiser and charged a $5 admission fee.

Teammates were blindfolded as they tasted different foods and attempted to determine the country to which they were from. FIMRC holds similar events regularly both members and non-members alike.

Shreya Inala, sophomore biology major and member of FIMRC, says that making a difference is her favorite part about FIMRC.

“Knowing that we are making a difference…it might change someone’s life drastically and we won’t know until we try,” Inala said. “If I had to describe FIMRC in one word, it would be ‘giving’.”  

 

Written by Morgan Pivovarnik

Photo courtesy of fimrc.org

Temple’s Residence Hall Association

A deeper look into the group of students that represent Temple’s on-campus housing life.

The Residence Hall Association, commonly referred to as RHA, is an organization that represents the voices of students living on campus.

RHA is comprised of two main bodies- each residence hall consists of the Executive Board and Community Councils (Peabody, Johnson and Hardwick, 1300, 1940, Beech International, Temple-Sponsored Edge, White Hall, Temple Towers and Morgan North/South).

The Executive Body is responsible for overseeing and guiding the array of Community Councils and representing Temple’s RHA in regional conferences. Kelsey Mallon, a student at Temple University studying environmental science, is the current president of the Executive Board.

The duties of the president involve a variety of responsibilities.

“As president, I meet with different directors, including Residential Life and Maintenance, to discuss the desires of the on-campus student population. I also lead several different types of meetings that cover the agenda of RHA in order to accomplish the needs of the residents,” Mallon said.

Community Councils are comprised of a president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, RHA representative, public relations representative, advocacy representative, sustainability representative and community service representative. Each student role has specific responsibilities, but they all work together to represent the best interests of the students in their respective residence hall.

The Residence Hall Association is delegated a sum of money to use in event planning.

The money is split between the individual Community Councils and the Executive Board. The Executive Board plans large-scale events that includes the entire student body, while the Community Councils work closely and develop programs within their halls.

Alongside event planning, the group of students attend town hall forums hosted by a board consisting of Temple staff. At these events, the board members answer questions about housing and deliver future plans Temple hopes to achieve.

These students are passionate about helping the Temple community.

Isabelle Lawler, the treasurer of the RHA Executive Board, likes the idea that she is able to help others. “I am able to work as a team to help improve the lives of Temple’s on-campus community,” Lawler said.

Tyler Ressler, vice president of external affairs for the Executive Board, values the opportunities that being an executive board member provides.

“My favorite part of being an e-board member is that I get to interact with not only other incredible executive board members, but also a number of amazing students who live on-campus and wish to have a positive impact on community,” Ressler said.  
By  Lubin K. Park

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