3 Things to Know for Tuesday, April 25

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Ivanka Trump chatted with a panel on April 25th. (Courtesy of AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

Arkansas executions:

  • After a 12 year span without executing a single inmate, the state or Arkansas has executed three in past few days. Two of the executions took place in one night by the form of lethal injection. This is the first double execution in the United States since the year 2000. Arkansas said the executions needed to be carried out before its supply of one lethal injection drug expires on April 30.

Ivanka Trump in Berlin:

  • Ivanka Trump went on her first international outing on Tuesday by attending a women’s conference in Berlin. There, she discussed her role at the White House while also defending her father in the process. She touched on her hopes for her new job as a woman in the White House and her confidence in the future of the country in the hands of the current administration.

District Attorney candidates on campus:

  • The District Attorney candidates will host on a forum on campus today from 5:30 to 8:30 PM. The event is hosted in part by the Master of Public Policy program. The opening statements will be in room 021 of Gladfelter Hall. Students can meet the candidates afterwards in the Student Center Atrium. The candidates campaigned at the beginning of April to replace Seth Williams.

3 Things to Know for Monday, April 24

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Workers taking down the Liberty Place monument. (Courtesy of AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

President Trump pushes for wall:

  • With the budget deadline approaching, President Trump is putting pressure on Congress to push for the Mexican-American border wall. The president said in a tweet on Monday that the wall would be a very important tool in stopping drugs from pouring into our country and poisoning our youth. This effort comes as the one hundred day mark approaches, and failure to come to a consensus could risk a government shut-down.

Marijuana bust:

  • Nearly two dozen people were arrested on Saturday night after police raided a large-scale marijuana event. Nineteen men and three women were apprehended following the “Philly smoke session” in the Northeast section of the city. Police confiscated four handguns, fifty pounds of marijuana, and fifty-thousand dollars in cash.

Statues removed:

  • Early Monday morning workers in New Orleans removed the Liberty Place monument, the first of four Confederate statues issued to be taken down after the city council voted for their removal in 2015. The remaining statues to be taken down include Confederate generals Robert E. Lee, PGT Beauregard and Confederate States of America president Jefferson Davis.

3 Things to Know for Friday, April 21

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Arkansas conducted its first execution in a dozen years. (Courtesy of AP News)

Champs-Elysees gunman:

  • On Friday, the Champs-Elysees gunman, who was responsible for the murder of a police officer days before the French presidential election, was almost apprehended by police. Two French police officers detained the shooter, but then freed himself. French investigators 39-year-old Karim Cheurfi is responsible for this attack. Prime minister Bernard Cazaneuve responded to the attack, saying, “Nothing must hamper this democratic moment, essential for our country.”

Arkansas execution:

  • Arkansas made use of the death penalty for the first time in almost 12 years. Ledell Lee was executed by lethal injection, Thursday afternoon, after being on death row for more than 23 years. The state currently has plans to execute three more inmates before the end of next week.

Temple football spring game:

  • Temple football will hold its annual spring game tomorrow at 12 at Edberg Olson field. The main storyline of the spring has been the quarterback battle between Anthony Russo and Logan Marchi. Both players will look to inch closer to winning the starting job tomorrow afternoon.

TSG’s New Sexual Assault Bill Faces Criticism

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1 in 5 women and 1 in 16 men are sexually assaulted while in college, according to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center. It’s a huge issue on college campuses and Temple is no exception.

Temple Update spoke to one student who was sexually assaulted 2 years ago. “I did not want that to happen. Nobody wants to have to feel like a victim,” she said.

The assault happened when another student came into her dorm room. The students knew each other, but the situation got worse when he started kissing her, although she tried to push him away. He also bit her arm.

The survivor says her assaulter texted her the next day and asked if she was okay. “He texted me, did it hurt? Was it bad? I was like of course it’s bad,” she said.  

And that’s when it all started to sink in. “In the moment, I was just shocked that it happened,” she said.

She reported the incident to Temple Student Conduct and they started investigating. Pictures of her bruised arm and the text from her assaulter, were all used to build her case.

She says her assaulter hired a lawyer who prepared dozens of questions. In the end, it wasn’t enough to prove she gave consent. He was ultimately proven guilty, put on probation and immediately removed from university housing.

Now, the survivor says she is trying to move on. But she still remembers the night it all happened. “It’s not just the physical bruises, its a social bruises,” she said.

Unfortunately, her story is not unusual on college campuses. That’s why Temple Student Government says its trying to do more for survivors. On Monday, parliament members passed the 60 Day Hearing Act. It’s a binding resolution that encourages Temple Student Conduct to investigate sexual assault cases within 60 days of them being reported.

The resolution originated from At-Large Representative Olivia Farkas. After is was tabled earlier this month, she solicited the help of other parliament members like Jacob Kurtz who says the bill “allows [survivors] to control their story line and control what happens to them.”

He argues that Temple’s sexual assault cases take too long to be heard. “The complainant would make the complaint and then it would take 6 months to actually get a hearing, which is quite frankly absolutely ridiculous,” he said.

All parliament members voted to pass the bill on Monday, but some, like Kamal Jain, wanted to postpone the vote. He was part of the group who originally tabled the bill earlier this month. He wanted to table it again at TSG’s most recent meeting, but was outnumbered. He says he still needs some clarification on exactly how beneficial it would be for survivors. 

His primary worry is that this bill would violate the due process rights of the accused. As it stands, the bill allows survivors to delay hearings to gather evidence, but not the accused.

Members behind the bill don’t see that as an issue. “Is it infringing a little on their rights? Maybe. But I think at the end, the rights of the survivor…should be prioritized a little more,” says Kurtz.

Andrea  Seiss, Temple’s Title IX Coordinator, is worried about the victims too. She handles all reports of sexual assault and there’s one thing she always assures survivors: “there’s no pressure. There’s no time limit,” she says.

It’s because some survivors just aren’t ready to face the person who assaulted them. So in reality, cases that took longer before, will still take longer now. “It’s not bad to be saying, ‘hey we’d really like to be putting this parameter out there’…as long as they’res an understanding that sometimes, we may not be able to stand by the 60 days” she explained.

Even Seiss says she doesn’t feel uncomfortable with how long cases are taking right now. According to her, most cases take 30-40 days.

The survivor we spoke to said her case took less than 60. She also said she’s not comfortable with Temple regulating the speed of these types of cases. “I don’t think its a good idea to try and regulate how quickly things should or shouldn’t be heard because there are things that do take more time for things to come to light” she said.

Parliament, on the other hand, is just happy they’ve started a conversation about sexual assault and that they’ve secured their place in Temple Student Government. “This is our legacy as the first parliament because this is the most important resolution that we’ve passed.”said Kurtz.


Note: If you have experienced or witnessed any incidence of sexual assault, Temple has several resources you can turn to including:

Tuttleman Counseling Services

Student Health Services

WOAR (Women Organized Against Rape 24 Hour Hotline)

-Title IX Coordinator

-Campus Safety

Wellness Resource Center

Student Conduct

-Risk Reduction & Advocacy Services

Recent Viral Violence Sparks Call for Ban on “Facebook Live”

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An act of violence gone viral out of Cleveland, Ohio captured the nation’s attention on Easter Sunday and many are now questioning if Facebook’s “Live” feature has done more harm than good.

Steph Stephens used the streaming feature Facebook Live to share a manifesto with the rest of the world as he described his reasoning for starting a potential killing spree.

Stephens blamed a woman for his depressed mindset and promised to kill as many people as he could because of her. Soon after, he recorded himself opening fire on a 74 year old man, Robert Godwin Sr., at random, and uploaded the video to his personal Facebook page.

After a two day manhunt, authorities caught up with Stephens in Erie, PA where he took his own life.

Stephens was one of many people who have been using social media sites to show off their crimes to the rest of the world, and now there is a call for these sites to take action.

The incident in Cleveland comes only a few months after teens in Chicago streamed the kidnapping and torture of a classmate to their followers on Facebook live back in January.

Temple University Emergent Media Professor Larisa Mann says social media sites that are used as a catalyst for violent content should share some accountability.

“I’m kind of hoping we can get to a point where media platforms as well can say everyone has to take some responsibility,” Mann said. “A lot of those images are really painful. They’re really horrible. You’re watching people in real time do terrible things.”

Temple University student Karmelina Branca says she is also concerned about how criminals are using the streaming feature.

“It’s not the first time that we’ve heard of someone using Facebook live for violence or something like that so I do think it’s dangerous.”

Twitter users are calling for Facebook to ban the feature with the hashtag #BanFacebookLive


Mann says social media executives may not want to regulate user content to keep their companies out of legal trouble.

But legal issues aside, she still thinks there’s a conversation to be had.

“The question of responsibility, definitely… Facebook has the power to do something.”

Facebook hasn’t announced any plans to remove the live feature.

But CEO Mark Zukerberg has since acknowledged the incident in Cleveland and promised to “keep doing all we can to prevent tragedies like this from happening.”

El primer episodio de Lo último

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This is the first episode of Lo último, a news cast entirely in Spanish. Monica Logroño is our host starting our show with news of the bomb dropped by the United States onto an ISIS center in Afghanistan. Later, she sat down with Eli Laban, a senior recently Emmy nominated for his documentary series in Nicaragua. Roberto Pelucarte is at the sports desk discussing the sad report of the recent passing of Temple’s former football coach, Wayne Hardin. And Izamarie Camacho finishes with the five day weather forecast.

Este es el primer episodio de Lo último, un noticiero totalmente en Español. Monica Logroño es nuestra anfitrión, comenzando nuestro programa con la noticia de la bomba lanzada por los Estados Unidos en una base de ISIS en Afganistán. Luego, ella sentó con Eli LaBan sobre su reciente nominación a los Emmys por sus documentales en Nicaragua. Roberto Pelucarte está reportando los deportes, y el reciente fallecimiento del ex entrenador de fútbol americano de Temple, Wayne Hardin. Y en el clima, Izamarie Camacho termina el programa con el pronosticó de los próximos cinco días.

Museum Commemorating American Revolution Opens in Old City

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History enthusiasts rejoice!

The Museum of the American Revolution opened its doors for the first time Wednesday, the 242nd anniversary of the first shots of the revolution.

Vice President of Collections, Exhibition and Programming Dr. Scott Stephenson gave us a look at what those visiting the museum would get to see.

The museum has over fifteen rooms and theaters filled with artifacts, interactive exhibits, and immersive experiences, including a 4-D experience of the Battle of Brandywine, which includes flashing lights, puffs of smoke, and shaking floors.

”We’re going to line you up as if your in the continental army company,” said Stephenson, as we marched into the battle.

One of the most exciting parts of the museum, in Stephenson’s opinion, is the tent that belonged to General Washington. It was acquired in 1909 by an Episcopal priest, Reverend Herbert Burk, with the hopes of creating a museum to memorialize the American Revolution.

“It’s unlike anything you will ever see in any other museum,” said Stephenson

My favorite part? The Liberty Tree.

A Liberty Tree is where colonists would gather to protest the Stamp Act or post signs against the monarchy, a form of social media long before there was even the thought of internet.

Dr. Stephenson pointed out a special part of the MAR Liberty Tree to us as we walked by: within the replica tree is a panel of wood from the last known Liberty Tree – a Tulip Poplar from Annapolis, Maryland.

This museum is 17 years in the making, but those I spoke with told me it was all worth the wait.

“I thought it was wonderful, especially a couple of places where we actually gasped in delight,” said Cynthia Jacobus.

“It shows the whole gambit of the revolution…they’ve done an amazing job of really telling the story from the bottom up,” said historical re-enactor John Rees.

New York Offers Free State Tuition Plan

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States like Tennesse, Oregon, and San Francisco have been offering free community college to low-income families but New York is now the first state to offer free state 4-year college tuition.

Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo enacted the Excelsior scholarship in order to take some of the pressure of student loan debt off of the middle class. To qualify for the scholarship, students will have to accept a certain class load and surpass grade point average requirements.

The state budget for the scholarship topped over $160 million, and nearly 940,000 families will qualify for free state 2-year, 4-year, and community college. Students will still have to cover some of the cost of college like room, board, books, and meal plans. The average annual tuition in New York for 4-year colleges is $6,470 and $4,350 for community colleges. To qualify for the Excelsior scholarship, the student’s family must earn less than $125,000 annually.

The initiative also includes $19 million for a new tuition program for students at private colleges maxing out around $3,000 per student. Governor Cuomo says, “It is incredibly hard and getting harder to get a college education today. It is incredibly expensive. And the debt is like starting a race with an anchor tied to your leg.” Cuomo believes everyone deserves a fair shot at the American dream and success,

“The rule of the game was everybody has a fair shot at success, that is America, and when you take that away, you take away the spirit and the values that made this country this country.”

2 Things to Know for Thursday, April 20

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The spacecraft launched from the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan. (Courtesy of AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky)

Spacecraft delivers astronauts at International Space Station:

On Thursday, a spacecraft delivered American and Russian astronauts to the International Space Station. The space capsule launched in the afternoon from the Russia-leased launch facility in Kazakhstan. After six hours, they landed at the orbiting outpost. The astronauts are expected to speak with President Trump on Monday.

Lacrosse to host Florida for senior day:

The women’s lacrosse team will take on #2 ranked Florida on Saturday for senior day. The team enters with six straight wins, and has clinched a spot in the conference tournament. The Gators enter with an identical 13-2 record, and are ranked one spot above Temple in the conference.

NFL Draft Expected to Bring Big Dollars

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The 82nd NFL draft is coming back to its roots in Philadelphia. Next week’s event, held April 27-29, will be the largest fan experience produced by the NFL, and will provide fans with three days of interactive exhibits, NFL meet-and-greets and more.

The Ben Franklin Parkway is expected to bring about 200,000 fans to the event and the city is looking at a large
economic boost of up to $81 million. Temple associate professor and director of the Sports Research Center Jeremy Jordan has studied the draft the past two years in Chicago and is expecting it to bring similar results to Philadelphia.

“What we’ve found in 2015 is the economic impact was about $80 million and in 2016 it was very consistent,” Jordan said. “So given what they had to invest to host the event we felt it was a positive thing for Chicago.”

NFL Draft stage being set up in front of Philadelphia Museum of Art, where draft rounds will be held.

While Chicago and Philadelphia are both metropolitan areas with many similarities, Jordan also thinks Philadelphia’s location will have an impact on the event’s attendance.

“Philadelphia is unique in some regards because of its geographic location. So if you think of where it’s at on the eastern seaboard it’s very close to large metropolitan areas with a large NFL fan base,” Jordan said.

The draft event is expected to cost about $25 million, of which the NFL covers 80 percent of the bill. The host city is responsible for covering city services such as marketing support and construction.  Philadelphia plans to contribute $500,000 in public funding, and anything over that amount will be reimbursed. 

The Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau said the city has been fundraising for a year and has received support from mostly corporate and hospitality donors.

“We’ve been reaching out to the corporate community and have received some packages, primarily hospitality-based, that we’ve been able to pitch. We have more than 20 companies that have come on board throughout the region, so we’re very thankful for that,” Larry Needle, Sports Director of PHL Sports said.

Some city residents have become skeptical about the use of public funding and whether it will be worthwhile for the city. Jordan and Needle couldn’t guarantee a specific amount of money the event will bring to the city, but they both believe it will be a positive thing for Philadelphia.

“26,000 jobs are supported, so it’s really a no-brainer and a win-win economically and in every other way,” Needle said.