Big Names Come Out To College Signing Day

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The Liacouras Center was filled with stars for the fifth College Signing Day.  The event was hosted by Nick Cannon and had appearances from, Bradley Cooper, Camila Cabello, Ciara, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Keke Palmer, Kelly Rowland, Malcolm Jenkins, Questlove, Rebel Wilson, Robert De Niro, and Zendaya.

The biggest name of all was former First Lady Michelle Obama, who started the event in 2014 as a way to shine spotlight on high school seniors going to college.

Michelle Obama wanted to make sure all the students knew how proud she was of them.

To all of the young people, not just here in this city but around the nation who are celebrating college signing day.  We are proud of you.”

Robert De Niro shared his praise for the students, “Congratulations on your success in high school. And your poised for success in your next move.  Your accomplishments required a lot of commitment and maturity. Those qualities will serve you well as you continue your adventure.”

The celebrities told stories of their college careers, gave advice to the students about how to excel as they continue their education, and emphasized the importance of education.

One student at the event said what the event meant to her.

“I think it motivated us more to go to college, and they gave us really good advice and things to do, not to do, and things to look out for, and it was really helpful,” she expressed.

Signing day started in just a dozen cities and has since grown to over 2,000 nationwide.

Student Organization Spotlight: Temple Shotokan Karate Club

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Daniel Sbar, sophomore Physics major and Temple Shotokan Karate Club Treasurer, found out about the Temple Shotokan Karate Club, from a worker at Pearson after they stopped him when he kicked a punching bag in a gym.

“I was working out, using one of the punching bags and as I also play soccer, not on the team here I just play soccer, I also like working out my legs and I was not allowed to kick the bags because they didn’t want people to break the chains connected to the ceiling,” said Sbar.

“So they told me that there’s actually a karate team here where I could be working on that kind of stuff so I found out about it,” added Sbar.

After hearing about the club, Sbar attended and has been a member ever since and was promoted to Treasurer in the fall of 2017.

Members of the Temple Shotokan Karate Club practicing. (Courtesy: Temple Shotokan Karate Club)

A typical club meeting begins with stretching led by President of the club, Nicholas Palmer or Vice President Jason Roldan. Then if one of the two teachers or sensei do not show up to the class, either Palmer or Roldan will teach a lesson involving the styles of basic kicks and punches or they will do kumite, which is practicing Shotokan karate moves in pairs.

After these activities, whoever is leading the club that day will guide the members through a kata, which is a choreographed set of movements. Katas are usually 15-21 steps according to Sbar. To conclude the class, the members bow in a line based on rank of skill and say their code, which most dojos, centers for studying karate have.

Each club meeting is different for members.

“My favorite part of club meetings is when we try out new activities to improve our karate,” said Rebecca Crites, sophomore Psychology and Information science and technology major. “So trying different stances, learning new techniques, and having the experienced senseis come in really helps me learn about karate more and improve my own skills.”

“I really enjoy the aspects of being able to workout in a fun and dynamic manor,” said Sbar. “But the thing I like the most about it are people I get to interact with in the club is a very wonderful group of people who I enjoy going to meet with them twice a week every week, and I wouldn’t want to miss it,” Sbar added.

Crites, who had no experience with karate, joined the club at the beginning of the Spring 2018 semester.

“I learned about the club through a flyer that I saw somewhere around Temple’s campus and I just decided to show up to a meeting and try it out,” said Crites. “Everyone was very nice to me even though I had no prior experience with karate. But whenever I was working on my stances or on the katas, they would be very helpful and it’s a welcoming environment and so I decided to come back and be a full time member,” Crites added.

The Temple Shotokan Karate Club meets every Monday and Wednesday from 6 to 8 PM and on Thursdays the club goes to a dojo in West Philadelphia, the International Shotokan Karate Federation Headquarters.

Students interested in getting more information about the Temple Shotokan Karate Club can learn more here.

Charles Library Construction Update

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The Charles Library has been under construction for two years. But now, Dean of Libraries Joe Lucia says that the program is entering a very different phase.

When students come back for the fall semester, they will find the exterior of the building largely complete and in place. He says that the people who are able to go inside the library can now get a good sense of the architecture and the space. But as construction will be moving indoors, the noise will also go down.

This should be great news for those who work and live along Liacouras Walk, as the loud construction has been one of the biggest complaints. Lucia says that this was “probably the noisiest part of the project,” setting up concrete and steel and using heavy machinery. Next year’s work should be mostly internal, and not nearly as much of a frustration for nearby students and faculty.

Speaking of the next year, that is the estimate on how long construction will still be ongoing. Lucia mentions that the current estimates puts construction completion in May of 2019, at which point all collections from Paley will be moved over throughout the summer months. The library should be fully functional when students return in August.

After a slow start and design process, Lucia believes that the worst is behind us. Those graduating this summer and next may not have the opportunity to see the completed library, but anyone on campus should be able to see major progress after the summer.

More information about the library plans can be found here.

 

Temple Rescinds Honorary Cosby Degree

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Bill Cosby (pictured) at a Temple University commencement in 2011.

Temple University has announced its decision to rescind Bill Cosby’s honorary degree.

Cosby was convicted Thursday on three counts of aggravated and indecent assault, including a charge for the assault of former Temple employee Andrea Constand.

In an official statement, “the Temple University Board of Trustees has accepted the recommendation of the University to rescind the honorary degree.”

Cosby was awarded the honorary Doctorate of Law in 1991. He also earned a bachelor’s degree from Temple in 1971.

More than two dozen universities and colleges have revoked honorary degrees in Cosby’s name.

Bill Cosby Found Guilty on All Charges

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Comedian and Temple alumn Bill Cosby was back in court today as jurors delivered their final ruling in his assault retrial.

Cosby was found guilty on all charges. Cosby’s accusers, who sat in court as the verdict was read, let out an emotional response at the news.

Speaking publicly in front of the Montgomery County Courthouse after the ruling, Cosby accuser and actress Lili Bernard told the public, “I feel like my faith in humanity is restored.”

Though the accusations against Cosby are numerous, the comedian has been charged with three counts of aggravated and indecent assault, including a charge for the assault of former Temple employee Andrea Constand.

Each of these charges carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in jail. Cosby is currently out on bail until his official arraignment.

Supporters of the #MeToo movement are counting today’s verdict as a victory in their pursuit of justice for victims of assault throughout Hollywood. Many supporters of the movement have since taken to social media to express their satisfaction with the verdict.

Cosby’s legal team have attempted to claim that the encounters in question were fully consensual and that accusers like Constand are simply trying to take Cosby’s money and wound his public image.

The defense also has pointed to Constand’s three million dollar civil settlement with Cosby years prior. Constand claims that she let the case go because she wanted the experience to be over with.

Cosby’s sentencing date has not yet been announced. According to the comedian’s defense team, Cosby will try to appeal for an overturn of the verdict.

Temple, Philly SVU Investigates Allegations Against AEPi

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Temple University has officially suspended Alpha Epsilon Pi.

Allegations against the fraternity first came to light earlier this month – but now, three cases are being referred to the district attorney’s office. While no charges have been filed at this time – the fraternity’s privileges have officially been suspended. AEPi National spokesman Jon Pierce told Temple Update that they suspended the chapter three weeks ago.

After receiving what they call credible reports from multiple sources – Temple and Philadelphia’s Special Victims Unit are investigating at least three cases involving sexual misconduct, drinking, and possible drugging inside the fraternity house.

“I was really shocked when the allegations came out – because I hadn’t heard about it up until this point so I was really surprised,” said junior Sarah Mackus when asked about the allegations.

The first incident reportedly occurred in February – where a 19-year-old Temple student said she was indecently assaulted by a fraternity brother. In March – another 19-year-old student told investigators she became dizzy and disoriented – before waking up in a bed with a fraternity brother – and believes she was sexually assaulted. Investigators have not yet released details from the third incident.

Temple greek life has been discouraging members from talking about the investigation, but one brother from another fraternity said that if true, these allegations are unacceptable.

“You can’t have this kind of thing happening on campus or anywhere there’s no place for it,” said Russell Lily, a senior brother of Kappa Delta Rho.

The allegations against Temple’s chapter of Alpha Epsilon Pi aren’t the only ones plaguing the organization – just this year AEPi chapters at Washington University, Syracuse, and Florida State have all been under investigation. Pierce told Update those investigations are unrelated.

Alpha Epsilon Pi’s National headquarters said they have not seen any evidence from Temple and Philadelphia Police’s investigation, but they are hopeful to have a conversation with the university about the investigation and their findings in the coming weeks.

“You know about as much as me,” said Pierce by phone on Wednesday.

As the investigation continues, Temple is encouraging students to keep the following things in mind:

  • If you are of age and you choose to drink alcohol, do not leave any beverage unattended, and be wary of accepting drinks from others.
  • It is also important to look out for one another while socializing—when you go out with friends, make a pact to stay together and leave no one behind.
  • Remember, Temple University has a medical amnesty policy that states that no student will be subject to university discipline for seeking medical treatment for the effects of drug or alcohol use, and this amnesty will be granted to both the intoxicated student and the student seeking help for an intoxicated student.
  • If you are suspicious of what a drink might contain or concerned about the impact it’s having on a friend, seek medical help immediately. Signs to look for include dizziness and/or nausea, memory loss, breathing or motion difficulties, and acting disproportionately intoxicated relative to the amount of alcohol consumed.
  • Should you see signs like these, call 215-204-1234 immediately.

Temple Police is also increasing the presence of bike patrols around the 2000 block of Broad Street, where the AEPi house is located, during the investigation.

Students we spoke with said that they think the university is taking the right steps when it comes to discipling the fraternity.

“Not even just on campus but in our society on a larger scale I think disciplinary action really needs to be taken especially early on so I think that’s a really good step they made,” said Mackus.

“No one’s really sure what happened but I think when the truth comes out it’s going to be really shocking and really devastating for all of Temple I mean it already is and bad for fraternities everywhere,” said Lily.

If you would like to report an incident or an anonymous tip, contact Temple Police at (215)-204-1234.

Matt and Kim Take Philadelphia

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Musical duo Matt and Kim are a force to be reckoned with. The musical powerhouses have captured the attention of music listeners across the country, and have recently performed at Philadelphia’s Electric Factory.

Matt and Kim have performed at a multitude of music festivals, including Coachella and Lollapalooza. Known for their infectious indie and dance beats, their concerts are high-energy and fun.

The duo has returned after their year-long tour hiatus after Kim sustained an ACL injury.

“The other night in Columbus, I started getting watery eyed on stage because I was just like, we’re back, we’re doing it, it feels good,” band member Kim Schifino says.

Their sixth studio album is expected to be released on May 4th, 2018.

Band member Matt Johnson says, “It is interesting when you’re trying to write from like a therapeutic standpoint of ‘I just want to write about this so I stop thinking about it’ or get it off my chest.”

Make sure to check out their upcoming album, Almost Everyday, and their music on YouTube.

Cook 4 A Friend at Hillel

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On Wednesday, the Hillel Jewish Life Center held its Cook 4 A Friend volunteer event. This event brought Temple alumni and current students together to make meals for the Jewish elderly in the Philadelphia area. Cook 4 A Friend is held bi-weekly at the Hillel center to bring together alumni and support the local Jewish community.

 

The meals consisted of meatballs, vegetables, and pasta. While the meals were simple, the impact could be huge for an elderly person.

The volunteers showed up ready to work and pumped out hundreds of these meals to be packed and delivered to the homes of the Jewish elderly.

Every volunteer got a t-shirt to thank them for a great job showing up and helping the community.

Cook 4 A Friend can be reached at cook4afriend.hillel@gmail.com. They express that there is no experience necessary. The Hillel Center for Jewish Life is located at 15th and Norris Streets.

 

Outdoor Movie Night at the Bell Tower

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Hundreds of students gathered around the Bell Tower Monday evening to watch the award-nominated comedy, Girls Trip. Students filled every seat and covered the grass around the Bell Tower sprawled out on blankets, tapestries, and towels to watch the comedy projected on a large movie-theater sized inflatable screen set up in front of the Bell Tower. Red and blue flashing lights lit up the center of campus from the wireless over-the-ear headphones worn by moviegoers for a silent-outdoor-movie experience.

Those who attended enjoyed an authentic movie theater feel with all the cinema snacks imaginable: hotdogs, pretzels, nachos, ice-cream, movie-style candy bars, and of course, popcorn (in five different flavors)! Everything was free, and to top it off MCPB gave away blankets and stadium cushions as souvenirs to compliment the event.

Temple’s Main Campus Program Board, or MCPB,  put on the “Outdoor Movie Night” as a way for students to relieve some stress before finals week with friends, free food, and some laughs.

MCPB prides itself in being “Temple University’s number one event planning student organization” and aims to provide students with free events for students to enjoy as a community. While this was the program’s last event of the semester they plan to have more like it in those to come.

Fox School Holds 20th Annual ‘Be Your Own Boss’ Bowl

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The ‘Be Your Own Boss’ Bowl has encouraged Temple students to explore careers in entrepreneurship since it began in 1998.

Finalists participating in the event competed for cash prizes totaling $200,000. Students pitched their companies to a panel of judges who determined winners for four different categories, including “Undergraduate Track,” “Upper Track,” “Social Impact Track,” and “Grand Prize.”

The ‘Be Your Own Boss’ Bowl is held in Alter Hall.

Startup ideas ran the gamut from HemaSense, a medical software, to Seeds Job Fair, an app that helps international students find jobs in the U.S. and in their home countries. Temple senior Justin Asaraf believes the event gives young professionals the opportunity to sharpen their critical thinking skills.

“Being able to make your own rules and really, effectively, solve a problem … it’s really what life is about for me,” he says.

During the judges’ deliberations, audience members and contestants were treated to an address from keynote speaker Steve Charles. Charles, himself a Temple alum, also answered questions from prospective business leaders.

But the day’s most exciting moment arrived when the grand prize and individual category winners were finally revealed. UniFi, led by Jessica Rothstein, won the grand prize, taking home a total of $60,000.

UniFi (pictured) won a cash prize total of $60,000.

While Rothstein and her team look forward to celebrating their victory, she admits they’re eager to return to work. “It’s time to get back out there and start building the business,” she says. “We launch brand strategy and then at the end of the month, we’ve got to finish out our scheduled pilots and really get out there into the market, and finish out that development.”

Winners of the remaining categories were awarded $20,000 respectively.

For more information on the ‘Be Your Own Boss’ Bowl, visit fox.temple.edu.