The Lead

After police officer’s death, Temple Univ. students to rally for safety

By: - February 28, 2023 10:07 am
Protesters gather at the Temple University bell tower during rally on Thursday 2/2/23 (Capital-Star photo by Michala Butler).

PHILADELPHIA — Temple University students will rally on campus on Tuesday to call for administrators to improve safety in the wake of the death of Temple University police officer Christopher Fitzgerald on Feb.18.

The @keep_us_safe_tu Instagram account, which consists of 9,226 followers, is a student-affiliated account that highlights crimes near Main Campus. The account announced a “Protect the Nest Protest for Community Safety” on Feb. 25 that will consist of a walk through campus at 1 p.m. on Tuesday. 

“Students and community members will be peacefully protesting against Temple administration’s neglect of community members’ calls for enhanced safety among the violent crime spike we are experiencing,” the group wrote in its Instagram post. 

The protest will end with a joint demonstration with striking members of the Temple University Graduate Students Association who have yet to reach an agreement to end a nearly month-old work stoppage.

At 2 p.m., TUGSA will host a rally. In an Instagram post, they encouraged students to “stand in solidarity with TUGSA. No class, No work and All day picketing!”

“Let’s show the campus we are a true community who can stand up for fair treatment for ALL workers,” TUGSA posted on its Instagram page. 

On Monday, Temple Chief Operating Officer, Ken Kaiser sent an email to students stressing the need to end the work stoppage. 

“Today, negotiators from TUGSA and the university reengaged, and we remain hopeful that these discussions will continue to move the process forward,” Kaiser wrote. “I am encouraged that we were able to reach a tentative agreement last week, as it indicates that we are getting closer to a settlement.”

In a statement sent to students last week, Kaiser said the deal offered to the union raises wages and provides a one-time payment to every TUGSA-covered graduate student of $1,000 and increases to minima in each of the next three academic years of 5%, 2.5% and 2.25%, respectively.”

One of four state-related universities, Temple received a $158.2 million appropriation in the 2022-23 state budget.

“People who work and study here share a love for our institution, and we all look forward to returning to our everyday academic life,” Kaiser continued. “The university is committed to meeting as often as it takes and working with the union and its leadership to move forward.”

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