Norris Homes Set to be Demolished, Leave Behind Rich History

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Albert Hill sits in his crowded living room, amongst piles of possessions and packing supplies.

Hill, 87, will be moving soon after receiving notice that he and his other neighbors will have to vacate the Norris Homes to make way for a new mixed income housing development.

Hill has lived in the Norris Homes for the majority of his adult life; over 50 years. It’s where he and his wife moved their young family after leaving Atlanta, Georgia, where his two younger children were born, and where his wife and two of his children died.

“This is where we’ve been all our lives. Live here. And now they getting ready to do something else and we gotta move out and there’s a possibility that we could come back,” said Albert.

Not only has he outlived a great deal of his family, but in a few short months, he will outlive his current home.

This isn’t the first time Albert has had to move for a renovation.

“Tore this thing down we had to move out of here for a couple of years up on the other street, then they rebuilt it then they brought us back,” he told us.

The Norris Home demolition is part of the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative under the Department of Housing and Urban Development to revitalize neighborhoods, improve schools, and provide a safe place to raise families. The Philadelphia Housing Authority received the $30 million grant from HUD in 2014, but now, the project has become a reality.

Demolition will take place in April 2018, and the new complexes are expected to be built within 12 months of the demolition.

Some residents may even choose to return.

But the new buildings cannot replace the old memories.

State Budget Stalemate Could Impact Temple Tuition Beginning Spring 2018

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Temple students may be footing the bill after a state budget standoff has left Temple scrambling to make up for lost funds.

If lawmakers can’t pass a funding package that would provide appropriations for state related schools within the next few weeks, Pennsylvania residents who receive a $12,000 discount annually will see a hike in their bill come November.

“So, if we were to get defunded, and lose all 156 million, there’s really no other option then to get rid of that in-state discount, and really [start] equalizing the tuitions. So we would be bringing the in-state tuition to the [same] level as the out-of-state. We’d have to do that because by receiving no funding, there is no reason to provide a discount, and we simply couldn’t do it,” said Ken Kaiser, Chief Financial Officer of Temple University.

This isn’t the first time that Temple has had to face the prospect of losing state funding. Just two years ago, the state went eight months without appropriating money to its state associated institutions. But Kaiser said this time it’s different.

“That had a whole different look and feel to that situation. There was never talk of ‘well maybe we just won’t fund the state related universities,’ it was really about negotiating on getting the final pieces of the budget put together…this time is completely different,” Kaiser said. “I mean there’s talk right off the bat that you know is it important to fund these schools, so you know whole different approach if we went past spring without reacting to that, the university would be looking at a 156 million dollar, you know, budget/cash issue.”

And Temple officials aren’t the only ones who see the problem should these state institutions not be funded.

“If the tuition at these institutions gets any higher, higher educational opportunities for Pennsylvania’s working class families, which frequently look to these institutions for opportunities in higher ed will become out of reach,” Representative Thomas Murt (R – 152nd District) in Harrisburg on Wednesday. “I am a graduate of Penn State. I currently am a Doctoral student at Temple University. My wife is a full time professor at Temple and I have a son who’s a sophomore at Temple University. We are still in the throws of higher education. We see the tuition bills and we are very empathetic to what will happen if this funding is not forthcoming in the near future.”

Representatives across the aisle agree.

“This breaks a long standing generational commitment to Pennsylvania students and families that the legislature has had for many, many years to help with higher education so that we can better train our young people and make sure they are better taken care of, and become very productive tax-paying citizens of our commonwealth,” said Representative Joe Markosek (D – 25th District).

But with no end in sight, Temple is prepared to step in to make ends meet – even if it means students have to face a hike in tuition.

Kaiser said that if a tuition hike were to happen, it would start in the spring 2018 semester. Spring bills are set to be posted November 27th, and Kaiser estimates a final tuition decision will be made by November 20th depending on forthcoming appropriation news from Harrisburg.

There are just six days of scheduled House sessions before that November 20th deadline.

Students React to Las Vegas Attack

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Together in solidarity.

Temple student organizations such as SASSA, TSG, S.M.O.O.T.H., Progressive NAACP, Society of Minorities in Sports, AMS, and more gathered together for prayer and song this week to remember those 59 people that lost their lives, and the many who have the long road of recovery ahead.

While Las Vegas may be far from Philadelphia, it hits home for many here on campus. Student organizations want fellow Owls to know they have a safe space here on campus to grieve and process the tragic events.

“We all need to be here together even though you know we go to our classes, we do extracurricular stuff, we represent the temple student body, we all need each other,” said Breea Gillette, President of Progressive NAACP.

“Whatever you need to do to be physically, mentally, and spiritually well, feel free to do that. I feel like we have so many resources here on campus but also in Philadelphia, and I think we need to break down the stigma of actually seeking help with so much happening not only on our campus but in our nation and in our world altogether,” said Tyrell Mann-Barnes, President of Temple Student Government.

Students are encouraged to visit Tuttleman Counseling Center for support in these difficult times. Walk-in hours are available six times a week, and you can learn about other resources available here.

Walk-In Clinic Hours

Monday 10:00am-1:30pm
Tuesday 10:00am-1:30pm
Wednesday 9:00am-12:00pm
Thursday 10:00am-1:30pm
Friday 10:00am-1:30pm
Saturday 9:00-12:00pm (during fall & spring semesters only)

New Meal Plans Cause Confusion on Campus

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Temple and Aramark debuted their new meal plans and extensive dining options just a few weeks ago when the fall semester kicked off. While Chick-fil-a still has everyone a buzz, the new dining plans have others abandoning their meal swipes.

“The SAC is where I get the majority of my meals on campus and when I found out I wouldn’t get to use all the swipes there it was upsetting and I decided not to get one anymore,” said junior Nicole Rizzo.

Endri Baduni, Aramark’s Resident District Manager, said these changes to student swipes are a direct result of the request to bring new flavors to campus.

“Every meal plan has a specific amount of meals that the students can use at all of our retail locations except for Starbucks. We call these meals meal equivalencies.” Baduni went on to explain that the board equivalencies are to be used at traditional dining halls, such as J&H, while the standard equivalencies can be used at other locations, like the SAC.

But students say these changes are taking away from their dining experience.

“It’s really limiting where you use them, like they’re not giving you the option to use them at the new venues which was probably preferred,” said Nikki D’Agostino. “I’m pretty unhappy with it. I think it took away a lot of the student’s freedom with being able to use the meal plan and it’s very expensive.”

“It is inconvenient now I have to keep loading Diamond Dollars onto my account when I could’ve just had my meal plan and swiped in whenever I wanted food,” said Rizzo.

“Restructuring the meal plans the way we have done allows us to give the students the variety and the food quality needed and to bring on campus the brands that they asked us for, said Baduni.

So how can students tell how their meal swipes equal out? Here’s the breakdown:

PREMIUM – Meals allotted weekly to use without restrictions of meal zones & the ability to bring in friends

Premium 25

  • 25 meals per week • $150 Diamond Dollars/semester
  • 14 meal equivalencies included in meals per week • $1,972/semester

Premium 15

  • 15 meals per week • $150 Diamond Dollars/semester
  • 8 meal equivalencies included in meals per week • $1,999/semester

Premium 12

  • 15 meals per week • $150 Diamond Dollars/semester
  • 8 meal equivalencies included in meals per week • $1,999/semester

Premium 10

  • 10 meals per week • $150 Diamond Dollars/semester
  • 5 meal equivalencies included in meals per week • $1,787/semester

Premium 8

  • 8 meals per week • $150 Diamond Dollars/semester
  • 4 meal equivalencies included in meals per week • $1,375/semester

Premium 5

  • 5 meals per week • $50 Diamond Dollars/ semester
  • 3 meal equivalencies included in meals per week• $888/semester

REGULAR – Meals allotted weekly to be used once per meal zone

Regular 10

  • 10 meals per week • $150 Diamond Dollars/semester
  • 5 meal equivalencies included in meals per week • $1,529/semester

Regular 8

  • 8 meals per week • $50 Diamond Dollars/semester
  • 4 meal equivalencies included in meals per week • $1,164/semester

Regular 5

  • 5 meals per week • $50 Diamond Dollars/semester
  • 3 meal equivalencies included in meals per week • $888/semester

J&H UNLIMITED – Unlimited access to all-you-care-to-eat dining with no meal zone restrictions

  • Unlimited access to Louis J. Esposito Dining Center
  • 12 meal equivalencies per week • $1,907/semester

PREMIUM BLOCKS Meals allotted by semester to use without restrictions of meal zones & the ability to bring in friends

100 Meals per Semester

  • 100 meals/semester • $50 Diamond Dollars/semester
  • 55 meal equivalencies included in semester meals • $968/semester

75 Meals per Semester

  • 75 meals/semester • $50 Diamond Dollars/semester
  • 55 meal equivalencies included in semester meals • $744/semester

45 Meals per Semester

  • 45 meals/semester • $50 Diamond Dollars/semester
  • 25 meal equivalencies included in semester meals • $472/semester

30 Meals per Semester

  • 30 meals/semester • $50 Diamond Dollars/semester
  • 17 meal equivalencies included in semester meals • $332/semester

15 Meals per Semester

  • 15 meals/semester • $50 Diamond Dollars/semester
  • 15 meal equivalencies included in semester meals • $193/semester

10 Meals per Semester

  • 10 meals/semester • $50 Diamond Dollars/semester
  • 10 meal equivalencies included in semester meals • $146/semester

5 Meals per Semester

  • 5 meals/semester • $50 Diamond Dollars/semester
  • 5 meal equivalencies included in semester meals • $99/semester


Baduni encouraged all Temple students to contact them with any questions or concerns about their meal plan. They can also check the Diamond Dollars tab or the TU Mobile App to get more information about their specific plan.

UPDATE: Preliminary Hearing for Joshua Hupperterz Delayed

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UPDATED 9/21/17 3:00pm:

The preliminary hearing for Joshua Hupperterz has been rescheduled for late November before Philadelphia Municipal Court Judge Patrick Dugan.

The first court hearing was Wednesday, but Hupperterz’s attorney cited the need to review the prosecution’s case.

“I need more time to do a little bit of investigation,” Nenner said.

Hupperterz is being held without bail at Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility and has maintained his innocence.

UPDATED 9/5/17 4:30pm:

Temple Student Government and the Progressive NAACP are hosting a vigil in remembrance of Jenna Burleigh on Thursday from 3:30pm to 5pm. The event will be held in Founder’s Garden where there will be open-mic sharing and space to write letters to the Burleigh family. Candles and flowers will also be provided. All members of the Temple community are welcome to join.

UPDATED 9/3/17 5:00pm:

The Wayne County Coroner’s Office has announced that Temple student Jenna Burleigh died of blunt force trauma and strangulation.

The autopsy was completed Sunday morning, the same day Joshua Hupperterz, the man last seen with Burleigh, was arraigned on murder charges and denied bail.

Burleigh’s body was found Saturday in Hawley, Pa, 150 miles away from where she was last seen at Pub Webb off Temple’s main campus.

UPDATED 9/3/17 1:45pm:
Jenna Burleigh had just started at Temple on Monday. She was majoring in film and media arts.

Joshua Hupperterz was arraigned just before 5am Sunday morning, charged with the murder of Temple student Jenna Burleigh.

Hupperterz was also charged with abuse of a corpse, tampering with evidence, and possession of an instrument of crime. He also faces multiple drug charges after police searched his 16th Street apartment and found drugs in the home.

According to Philadelphia Police, “Hupperterz informed [a detective] that he had been so drunk when he left the bar he had no recollection of who he had been with.”

According to documents on the Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania Web Portal, a judge has denied bail for Hupperterz, and a preliminary hearing is scheduled for September 20 at 9am.

This is not Hupperterz’s first brush with the law. Police records show charges including possession of drug paraphernalia and other drug charges 2010, theft of a vehicle in 2011, and charges of a DUI, burglary, and theft in 2013.

UPDATED 9/2/17 9:15pm:

Philadelphia Police held a press conference this evening announcing they have recovered Jenna Burleigh’s body in Wayne County, about 25 miles east of Scranton.

Joshua Hupperterz, a 29 year old former Temple student, has been arrested and is being charged with the murder of Jenna Burleigh. Police say Burleigh’s body was recovered on the property of Hupperterz’s grandmother in Hawley, Pa, but they believe Burleigh was killed in the 16th Street apartment and transported to Wayne County.

Police believe Hupperterz and Burleigh had no prior relationship, and had met the night Jenna disappeared. In his statement to police, Hupperterz “admitted to elements of the crime,” Philadelphia Police said during the press conference.

The circumstances and cause of death remain unclear at this time.

Temple University president Richard Englert released a statement via email to the Temple Community this evening, expressing his condolences to everyone who knew Jenna.

“Jenna joined the Temple community just this week as a junior transfer student from Montgomery County Community College, majoring in film and media arts. Our deepest sympathies go out to Jenna’s family and her classmates, both here at Temple and at Montgomery County Community College,” read the statement.

Englert also reminded students that there are resources available to them during this difficult time at the Tuttleman Counseling Services on Main Campus, Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. or by calling 215-204-7276.

Burliegh was last seen wearing these clothes.

UPDATED 9/2/17 11:00am:

Police have searched a home on the 1700 block of 16th Street, which is said to be the home of a friend of Jenna’s.

A roommate reported to police that it looked like someone had tried to cover up blood stains in parts of the home. Police found the man at his grandmother’s home in Scranton, PA, and then obtained a search warrant for the apartment.

Homicide units were seen at the site of the home, as well as a cadaver dog, but the dog did not find anything.

No arrests have been made at this time, and no other information has been made available by police.

Original Article:

Temple student Jenna Burleigh has been reported missing by the Lower Salford Police Department.

The 22-year-old was last seen in the area of Pub Webb (1527 Cecil B. Moore Avenue) at 2 AM on August 31st. She was wearing a white shirt with a light blue jacket tied around her waist.

Any information should be reported to Temple Police at 215-204-1234 or Confidential Tip Line at 215-204-6493.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Exclusive Interview: Temple Dreamer Speaks Out

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“We are people who have been living in the states for a very long time, many of us have graduated fro Pennsylvania high schools, paid Pennsylvania taxes, our parents have paid Pennsylvania taxes, we have contributed to a community and everything.”

Part of society, but living in uncertainty.

That’s the struggle 800,000 DACA students here at Temple and across the country every day.

And not only do they fear being deported, they fear that their hard earned degrees will be useless should their DACA applications be rescinded.

“If I graduate and then my DACA is rescinded I wont be able to use my degree so I will have to try to find a way of finding a work permit but its becoming very difficult to do so.”

Temple Student Government is leading the charge to let all students know they have support – by hosting town halls and other events to create an open dialogue.

“For us were just trying to get together with students who are really gonna work on this and are really going to put in the time to make sure DACA students are protected on campus. We are trying to figure out all different ways for the administration to hear us out and to understand the need on this campus to help DACA students.  It’s not a matter of DACA students contributing to the economy, it’s not a matter of DACA students already being here, its a matter of the fact that DACA students are a part of our community,” said Tyler Lum, TSG’s Director of Government Affairs. “So were gonna start off by just getting students together.  Were gonna try to reach out to orgs and other groups on campus that are really gonna be able to disperse information quickly.  And try and get as many students and faculty together to have a larger voice to bring up points to the administration”

“There’s a lot of people who get discouraged from even applying to temple because temple as of right they don’t have a clear policy on what their stance with DACA.”

Temple students protected under DACA can receive legal assistance from HIAS-PA at 2100 Arch Street, Philadelphia, Pa. They welcome walk in clients as well as scheduled appointments and can also help individuals with the reapplication process for DACA protection.

Lewis Katz School of Medicine One of the Nations Most Sought After Medical Schools

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Photo Courtesy of Betsy Manning/Temple University

A new study released by U.S. News and World Report showed that the Katz School of Medicine is one of the most desired medical colleges in the nation.

With 10,623 applications for the Fall of 2016 class, the Katz School ranked number 9 on the list, falling behind schools such as Georgetown University’s School of Medicine and Thomas Jefferson University’s Sidney Kimmel Medical College, but beating out New York Medical College.

According to their website, the Katz school accepts only 210 students per year, making the application process very competitive and selective.

The Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University consistently attracts a wonderfully diverse student body with a wide variety of life experiences and out-of-classroom interests, as well as a true commitment to serving the community,” said Associate Dean of Admissions Jacob W. Ufberg in a statement released by the university Friday.

The Temple’s School of Medicine was renamed in October 2015 to honor the late Temple Trustee Lewis Katz. Katz, a Temple graduate (’63), was a generous philanthropist and a beloved member of the Temple community.

Student Center Working Down to the Wire to Finish Food Court

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Jason Levy gives Temple Update a tour of the new food court.

It’s out with the old and in with the new at the Howard Gittis Student Center as the fall semester kicks off.

The Student Center saw major renovations beginning the day after graduation and will continue into the wee hours of the morning on August 28, the first day of classes.

The atrium received a cosmetic overhaul, with new flooring, information desk, and furniture, but a brand new Starbucks now calls the atrium home. The only vendor in the student center to offer breakfast, Starbucks will open at 8:30am Monday morning, just in time for classes.

But those aren’t the only new features students will encounter. The second floor food court has been entirely redesigned, featuring LED light fixtures, flat screens, microwaves, furniture, and multiple new dining options.

The changes to the dining options at the student center comes as Aramark takes over the dining contract at Temple University. Temple’s contract with former food service provider, Sodexo, ended this summer. Despite the contracting shift, 75% of the former Sodexo line staff has been rehired under Aramark.

New vendors Chick-fil-a, Which Wich, Twisted Taco, Zen, Zaya, Saladworks, and BurgerFi were hard at work training their brand new staff when Temple Update got a preview of the new layout. Temple’s BurgerFi is the first college campus location in the company’s history.

All these tasty options will be available on the first day of classes at 11am.

The redesign, which was funded by Aramark, focuses on bright colors, more natural light, and creating an area where students want to hang out, according to Jason Levy, Senior Director of Student Center Operations. Levy had a hand in the project from start to finish, and is excited to see what students think about the new food court and atrium spaces.

The way you pay at the student center will also change. Students will no longer have to wait in line for food and then again to pay, and will instead pay at the vendors counter. Students will also be able to use meal swipes and Diamond Dollars to pay for their food. Another new addition? A Diamond Dollar office right off the circle dining area and a Diamond Dollar deposit machine, making it easier for students to access their meal money.

As for decor, there will be five MTVU flat screens, 50 paintings by Temple Trustee Dennis Alter, and a large 12 foot by 16 foot LED television that will screen the Notre Dame vs Temple football game. New vinyl covers the walls with maps of Philadelphia and more.

While the space looks different, something remain the same. The new food court it still holds 750 seats – the same number before the overhaul. And Tapingo, the app that allows students to order their food and have it ready for pick up, will return to all student center vendors on October 1.

The lower level of the student center, home to the book store and the UPS store, will remain untouched for another year or two before it is renovated to match the rest of the building.

Levy said that the construction crew, many of which have been working up to 20 hours a day to complete the project on time, will be working down to the wire to make sure that everything is perfect for those students coming in Monday. “We’re about 90% there,” said Levy. “Just corner caps and touch ups [left to be done].”

Campus Construction Continues as Students Flock to Campus for Fall Semester

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Students returning to Temple University this fall will see more than few upgrades to their favorite main campus spaces.

While construction on the new library will continue until the Spring of 2019, many of the cosmetic and structural upgrades are set to open as students head to their first day of classes.

Photo courtesy of Temple University

Founder’s Garden has received a complete makeover, including the removal of trees, new landscaping, new pavers, benches, and a large Temple T in the middle. A new owl has also been installed in Alumni Circle, but the university has assured students via social media the beloved Red Owl won’t be going away permanently; it will receive a new home inside Founder’s Garden.

The Bell Tower will also see continued landscaping and cosmetic renovations in the upcoming weeks. Announced in the spring as a phase of the Verdant Temple project, the Bell Tower is set to be dedicated in honor of trustee H. F. “Gerry” Lenfest upon completion. The bells were cleaned and reinstalled this summer, and will ring each day on the hour.

The Howard Gittis Student Center is set to reopen on August 28 with a brand new food court, provides new dining options such as Saladworks and Chick-fil-A. The atrium, which has been closed during the summer sessions, has already reopened with new furniture and brand new flooring.

The brand new student recreation facility, or the STAR (Student Training and Recreation) Complex is set to open its doors to students on the first day of the semester, providing brand new classroom space for the College of Public Health.

One of the changes that will continue to develop include the expansion of the Fox School of Business. The expansion project, which was announced in late June, will include a skywalk that will connect Speakman Hall with 1810 Liacouras Walk.

As of now, there are no definitive plans for the space that will become available after Peabody Hall is torn down during winter break.

Temple Student Petitions City Hall to Rename Taney Street

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Mayor Kenney emailed his support to Basile Friday.

After a volatile week in Charlottesville, Virginia, one Temple student is asking City Hall to rename a street that is currently named after a Supreme Court Justice who ruled in favor of slavery in 1857.

George Basile, a Temple senior who has previously served in Temple Student Government, recently created a petition to rename Taney Street, a road in Philadelphia named for Justice Rodger Taney, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court who wrote the Dred Scott Decision. The case brought to the court by Dred Scott for his freedom, was denied, and Taney read the majority opinion against Scott’s case.

Basile said he came up with the idea to petition city hall for a name change after walking by the street and researching Taney and his views. In his letter to Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney and other city officials, he suggests renaming the street for Mo’Ne Davis.

“Davis played on the Taney Street Little League team and led them on a historic run to Williamsport, PA where she and the Taney Dragons made history,” wrote Basile.

Mayor Kenney emailed Basile his support Friday, saying that he supports the name change but that there is more work to be done; the next step is drafting a resolution to council member Kenyatta Johnson and council president Darrell Clarke, representatives of the 2nd and 5th districts respectively. Taney Street runs through both of their districts.

Basile told Temple Update Friday that the Temple community has been “overwhelmingly receptive” to his petition, but has also received some negative comments as well. Despite some backlash, Basile plans to move forward and continue to advocate for the name change.

At of the time of publication, Basile’s petition had garnered 170 signatures.