Philadelphia Students March Against Gun Violence

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Philadelphia students, along with students across the nation, walked out of school on Wednesday and marched against gun violence from the Philadelphia School District Building to City Hall.

This national walkout showed support of the victims of the Parkland, Florida shooting.

The Philadelphia Student Union, Juntos, and other Philadelphia organizations organized a student march following the national #Enough Walkouts. Their goal was to bring the conversation of gun control and school safety to Philadelphia.

“I participated because I wanted to make a change. It’s important because just because it happened in Florida, it could still happen in Philly. Just because it’s not happening in this area doesn’t mean it won’t. I want to try to stop it before it’s too late,” says Jade Fairfax, a student of Bodine High School for International Affairs.

Students gathered at the Philadelphia School District and marched down Broad Street to City Hall.

Leaders from different organizations spoke at City Hall empowering students to use their voice.

The Philadelphia Student Union presented a list of demands they want for Philadelphia schools. Some of them include more guidance counselors, better health services, and protection of students with the use of a gun.

Superintendent William R. Hite sent a letter to parents explaining that students will walkout out of their school for 17 minutes and then returned to class. Some students say their high school would punish them with detentions or suspensions for leaving school and attending the march.

Universities like Temple University will dismiss these punishments.

“I feel like Philadelphia, we could come together as one, and if we could come together as one like right now we should be able to come together and fight for more than just gun control. We could fight for a better government and a better system,” says Nadir Jones, a student of Bodine High School for International Affairs.

Campus Safety Holds Active Assailant Training

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Students and staff listened intently during a training session designed to improve preparedness in the event of an active assailant. Campus Safety officials, Lieutenant Ken McGuire and Sarah Powell, led a 90-minute discussion, highlighting the importance of being ready for an emergency.

“This active assailant training is really focused on personal preparedness, says Powell, Director of Emergency Management. “It’s about that window of time before the first response is on the scene.”

Lt. Ken McGuire answers questions from Temple University students, faculty, and staff.

A window of time that Lt. McGuire thinks could make all the difference for first responders and victims. “They’re coming in with the heavy armor –– with the rifles and the shotgun –– but if all I’ve got is [my vest] and [my gun], that’s enough. That’s more than you’ve got.”

Campus Safety had previously organized smaller training sessions, but felt the need to broaden the program’s reach, following last month’s Parkland, Florida shooting.

The TUReady Training Sessions were inspired by the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting on February 14th.

“I wanted to give people the opportunity to have, just, that awareness at a moment when they were feeling especially, um, geared towards that message,” says Powell.

While some on-campus felt the university could do more to prepare, many students –– like Junior Matthew Diamond –– said they felt safe in and out of the classrooms. “I don’t think anything will ever happen on campus, and if it does, I think we have the appropriate resources to retaliate or respond to it.”

The next session in the TUReady Training Series will take place on March 28th. Register for the event here.

Por qué Los Estudiantes de Temple Bajo DACA Tienen que Pagar Más

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La semana pasada, el presidente de la universidad de Temple, Richard Englert, fue a Harrisburg para pedir al gobierno de Pennsylvania que aprobara el proyecto de ley dando más apoyo a la universidad. Englert pidió más que 150 millones de dólares para apoyar a los estudiantes del estado de Pennsylvania.

Según Temple Now, Englert dijo a los legisladores, “No tener este subsidio haría subir la matrícula para los estudiantes de Pennsylvania.”

Sin embargo, cómo recibirán ese apoyo los estudiantes de Pennsylvania, los cuales se consideran DACA (Consideración de Acción Diferida para los Llegados en la Infancia), no está claro. En la universidad de Temple, muchos de estos llamados los soñadores (“Dreamers”) se requieren pagar la matrícula como estudiantes de otros estados, u otros países.

El Servicio de Ciudadanía e Inmigración de Estados Unidos (USCIS, por sus siglas en inglés) informa que hay más que 800,000 personas protegidas por DACA por todo el país. Además, dice que hay casi 5,900 que viven legalmente en Pennsylvania.

Aunque DACA no sea un programa para establecer, directamente, la ciudadanía, muchos estados tienen leyes que clasifican los estudiantes bajo DACA como cualquier otro residente. Según, más que la mitad de los estados tienen leyes que protegen los derechos de universitarios de DACA o tienen leyes que ofrecen la matrícula del estado para los DACA.

Pennsylvania es uno de los estados que no tiene ley específica sobre la matrícula universitaria de los bajo DACA. Pero, muchas universidades en Pennsylvania, públicas y privadas, siguen las normas que clasifican los estudiantes de DACA, quienes viven dentro del estado, como otros residentes.

La Coalición de Pennsylvania Inmigración y Ciudadanía informa que Delaware County Community College, La Salle University, Lehigh University, Millersville University, Reading Area Community College, West Chester University, The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College y Penn State University tienen normas que protegen a los DACA.

Con esta falta de la ley clara, los estudiantes de Temple no saben mucho sobre la reforma posible en el futuro. Aún menos se sabe sobre el futuro del programa nacional de DACA bajo el gobierno actual.

Temple Library to be Named After Alumnus Steve Charles

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Temple University’s new library will officially be named after Temple alumn and university trustee Steve Charles in recognition of a sizable donation.

The donation, which totals ten million dollars, is said to be one of the largest the university has ever seen. It will be used to fund the library throughout its construction, and to provide a new, advanced space for students and faculty to conduct research and studies.

Philanthropist Steve Charles (Courtesy of

Speaking on behalf of the Board of Trustees, chair Patrick O’Connor formally accepted the gift.

“Steve’s gift is transformational in supporting Temple’s goal of building a 21st century library that will redefine campus life,” says O’Connor.

Charles, a prominent Temple alumnus with a degree in advertising, was a co-founder of ImmixGroup, Inc. The company was a successful tech consulting business, which Charles went on to sell in 2015.

Charles himself has stated that he hopes other alumni will show their support for the project in the coming months, and that he is excited by the various green and sustainable practices that the library hopes to incorporate.

Charles’ past donations to Temple include the Stephen G. Charles scholarship within Temple’s Klein College of Media and Communication.

Charles library is set to open in May of 2019 at the intersection of Polett Walk and Liacouras Walk.

A ‘Surplus’ of Sustainability for Students

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The Temple Surplus warehouse is located on the 2700 block of Park Ave.

In a building just one mile off campus, one of Temple University’s largest environmental initiatives is doing big business. The spacious warehouse holds hundreds of household appliances as part of the university’s Surplus Shopping program.

The Surplus program utilizes discarded pieces of furniture from the university and repurposes them as items for students and the public to purchase online at a discounted rate. Many think the program could help ease the financial burden of college life.

“Being in college, we already have enough loans. We’re struggling for money,” says senior, Mike Mingone. “Finding nice furniture –– that’s used, in good condition, at an affordable cost –– it’s a win-win for everybody.”

Thousands of items circulate through the warehouse annually.

In addition to being a financial investment ‘Surplus’ co-creator, Mark Gottleib, also sees the program as an investment in the future of our environment. As Associate Director of Operations and Logistics, Gottleib’s goal is to ensure the success of the program as a sustainability effort.

“Increasing the green footprint of the university is part of sustainability. We don’t wanna be putting this material in landfills.”

Gottleib — who acknowledges the program’s slow, yet steady growth — sees it as a major asset to the university. “It’s a work in progress, but it’s going in the right direction,” he says. “I think just the fact that we have made this progress has its own level of satisfaction.”

For more information about the Surplus program and other sustainability initiatives, visit the Office of Sustainability’s website.

Venezuela tiene su propia versión de Bitcoin

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Esta semana Venezuela llegó a ser el primer país que lanza su propia versión de Bitcoin. Con este movimiento Nicolas Maduro, el líder que enfrenta los graves problemas económicos de Venezuela hoy en día, intenta llevar su nación a la vanguardia del desarrollo tecnológico.

Maduro ha dicho que la moneda digital, que se llama petro, ganó 735 millones de dólares en las primeras horas en el mercado el martes, 20 de febrero. “Hemos dado un paso gigante en el siglo 21,” dijo Maduro en una emisión nacional.

Presidente de Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro

Petro se sostiene a través de las inmensas reservas naturales del crudo en Venezuela. En los últimos años, el valor del crudo ha sido la muleta  volátil para la economía venezolana entera. Bajo Maduro, la caída del valor del crudo ha, más o menos, destruído la estabilidad de Venezuela. Ahora Venezuela sufre una inflación galopante y escasez de la comida, las cuales siguen causando agitación social y política. Según Reuters, para cuando Venezuela llegó a febrero de 2018, su moneda (bolívar venezolano) perdió más del 99 porcentaje del valor anterior contra la de los Estados Unidos.

No se sabe claramente cómo el valor del crudo ni el valor del bolívar venezolano van a influir en las posibilidades del éxito con el petro. El gobierno de Maduro dice que va a lanzar 100 millones de los petro en el año 2018.

Si los inversores compran todos los petro que se ofrecen al principio, puede llevar miles de millones de dólares al gobierno venezolano. Además, el gobierno venezolano ha dicho que los ciudadanos venezolanos podrán usar el petro para pagar los impuestos y servicios públicos.

Los expertos de la moneda criptográfica están sospechosos del éxito inminente promocionado por Maduro y su gobierno socialista. No hay soluciones claras para la mayoría de los problemas económicos que enfrentan a Venezuela. Sobre todo, “no se puede parar la hiperinflación por crear una nueva moneda y no hacer nada más,” dijo Jean Paul Leidenz, economista superior en la organización EcoAnalitica, ubicada en Caracas.

Mientras Maduro intenta cambiar el discurso internacional con este movimiento, la gente venezolana sigue sufriendo una de las crisis más serias en la historia económica.


Una niña inmigrante : Liliana Velásquez comparte su historia

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Cuando ella tenía catorce años, escapó a la violencia y la pobreza de su país, Guatemala, para obtener una vida mejor en los Estados Unidos.

Liliana Velásquez, la autora de Sueños y Pesadillas, vino a Temple University en febrero para hablar con el Departamento de español y portugués. Su cuento es de esperanza e inspiración, pero ella también nos hace pensar sobre el sistema de inmigración en los Estados Unidos.

Un pasaje de su libro, Sueños y Pesadillas:

“Desde donde me senté entre las espinas de un nopal, vi un esqueleto de una persona muerta – era muy viejo y no tenía carne, solo había huesos. Nunca había visto una persona muerta y me dio escalofríos. En ese momento, entendí la realidad: que uno puede morir en el desierto. Pero cuando uno entra el desierto, ella no puede estar preocupada por la muerte, ella sólo puede pensar en sobrevivir, a donde ella va a llegar.”

Durante su viaje, Velásquez tuvo muchos obstáculos incluyendo ser robada por narcos en México y arrestada en la frontera estadounidense. Después de cuatro meses en detención, ella fue enviada a Filadelfia. Eventualmente, ella recibió un permiso de residencia. Su primera familia adoptiva fue negligente, pero ahora, ella tiene una familia cariñosa que la apoya. Ella quiere estudiar enfermería en la universidad. Ella se graduó de la escuela secundaria recientemente y ganó dos becas para ir a la universidad.

Con la estabilidad en su vida ahora, Velásquez es una voz para los inmigrantes que quieren vidas mejores en los Estados Unidos. La inmigración es un debate divisivo en los Estados Unidos, y Velásquez quiere humanizar a los inmigrantes con sus experiencias.

Más de 50,000 inmigrantes vienen a la frontera cada año, y sus futuros serán decididos por el sistema de inmigración. El proceso legal para los niños especialmente es muy duro y complicado. 85 por ciento de estos niños, quienes no hablan inglés ni tienen representación legal, son deportados. Velásquez quiere cambiar esta narrativa y representar a los inmigrantes que no pueden representarse.

Winter Storm Delays Students’ Spring Break Travel Plans

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Snowy conditions on Cecil B. Moore Ave.

Spring break is here, but Spring weather is an entirely different story.

Philadelphia and its surrounding areas were blasted by a powerful nor’easter that impacted several states, on Friday. On-campus winds reached speeds of more than 30-mph. The wintry mix and strong winds forced many trudging through campus to cling to streetlight poles to avoid being blown into the streets.

The storm arrived just ahead of Spring break –– on one of the semester’s biggest travel days for students –– forcing the cancellations of hundreds of flights, trains, and buses.

This morning, many of SEPTA’s Regional Rail lines are still delayed or suspended. Amtrak, Greyhound, and major airlines operating inside Philadelphia International Airport are also experiencing delays.

Students in residence halls, who have not applied for housing extensions, are expected to vacate the their dorms by 12 p.m. today. However, Resident Directors have sent notices to students, informing them that the university’s $50 fine for students without extensions will be waived for those who complete the housing extension and submit documented proof of canceled or delayed travel plans.

For more information on SEPTA’s amended schedules, visit

Follow @TUWeatherWatch on Twitter for the latest local and regional weather.

President Englert Testifies Before Senate Appropriations Committee

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President Englert seemed confident Tuesday after his testimony before the Senate Appropriations committee.

He, along with his counterparts from Lincoln, Pitt, and Penn State Universities made the annual trip to the capitol to appeal for the continuation of financial support for state institutions. That state funding was in peril just a few months ago, when the state had yet to pass the funding for the state related schools.

Last year, Temple received 156 million dollars. Thats 11% of the university’s operating budget.

“There is no better investment for a commonwealth appropriation than to invest in higher education,” said Englert when asked how he thought the hearing went.

The hearing, which lasted over two and a half hours, included multiple questions from senators about campus safety, innovation and entrepreneurship, and the opioid crisis. President Englert told the committee that Temple University Police, which has the fourth largest police force in the entire Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, all carry Narcan, and have used it to save a life before.

Another notable moments from the hearing included President Englert highlighting Temple University’s first Rhodes Scholar, Hazim Hardeman. Hardeman is a first generation college graduate who grew up just blocks from main campus. Englert told the committee that success stories like Hardeman’s are all made possible due to the discounted tuition rates Temple is able to give to Pennsylvania residents as a direct result of state funding. “We provide to our full time in state undergrad students a $12,000 discount – it total $250,000,000 your 150 million appropriation leverages a significant saving for our students. without, we wouldn’t be able to give a discount to our in state students, which totals $48,000 over four years,” said Englert.

Committee Chair Senator Patrick Browne told President Englert and his colleagues from the other three institutions that although there is changing attitude in Harrisburg towards funding the state related schools, the universities should not expect to see an increase in their funding compared to the last fiscal year.

While state funding for the university is used towards education, members of the Stadium Stompers were in attendance Tuesday to ensure that their voices were heard by their representatives.

“We’re here to ensue that the elected officials of the commonwealth understand that we don’t want one dime of commonwealth dollars going towards the creation of a stadium in our community,” said Ruth Birchett, a lifelong resident of North Philadelphia. Birchett herself attended university, and still lives in the same home she grew up in. She told Temple Update she has been with the Stadium Stompers since early on in their campaign.

Another member of the organization, Jaqueline Wiggins, spoke briefly with President Englert after the hearing, and she asked if he would be attending their meeting on Thursday at George Washington Carver High School. She told us that President Englert did not plan on attending, but that she planned to attend the Temple town hall event planned for March 6 in Mitten Hall.

“We’re looking at the president of an institution who wants to build a 35,000 seat stadium in a highly residential high poverty area where the gentrification that is occurring is due in some part to Temple University students living off campus,” said Wiggins.

A Temple University spokesman told Temple Update Thursday morning that “The university is holding an informations session open to all on Tuesday. We will not be attending the protest against the university being held tonight.”

Honeygrow Utilizes Virtual Reality

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Honeygrow has caught the attention of employees everywhere, not because of how they work, but because of how they are trained.

After receiving a Google cardboard in a mail from the New York Times, the Philly-based restaurant chain decided to use virtual reality to train their employees.

“We loved it,” says Jen Denis, the Chief Brand Officer of Honeygrow. “And we thought it was such an interesting tool, and such an innovative way to look at things. We wanted to see how we could implement it in our training practices.”

Honeygrow has high standards for their training, and through the use of VR, employees gain an experience that cannot be gained through traditional training.

“We wanted to do something that would be rememberable,” says Michael Mazer from Honeygrow, “and something that might elevate training a bit.”  

“When we rolled it out, all of the general managers were required to try it out, and it was really… very cool,” says Larisa Hawley, a General Manager at Honeygrow. “Already being familiar with the brand, it was still very interesting to walk through it, and I went home and told my family about it, and they wanted to do it.”

Through this VR training, employees from across the globe are able to gain an introduction to both the brand and the owner over at the headquarters.

“We are now expanding to areas that are further away, Chicago and Boston, where they don’t necessarily get to meet all of the people who are here at headquarters,” states Hawley.

And although this concept for training is fairly new, Honeygrow has high hopes for the future of their brand.

“I hope that with the use of this our teams are super engaged and can embrace technology from day one,” says Denis.