Posted March 22, 2013

Students showcase their work, talk up Temple in Pa. Capitol

More than 200 Temple students visited the state Capitol in Harrisburg as part of Cherry and White Week, organized by Temple Student Government and the Office of Government, Community and Public Affairs to give Pennsylvania's elected leaders a chance to get to know Temple through its students.

Students from Temple's arts and athletics programs played, painted and performed in the rotunda of the Pennsylvania Capitol last Wednesday, capping off three days of events that highlighted the university’s contributions to the commonwealth.

Organized by Temple Student Government and the Office of Government, Community and Public Affairs, Cherry and White Week was designed to give elected leaders an opportunity to get to know Temple through its students. More than 200 visited Harrisburg over three days to showcase their talents and abilities and share their Temple stories with members of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and State Senate.

Monday, March 18, was Undergraduate Research Day, during which student researchers selected by the Office of the Senior Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies displayed their projects at tables set up throughout the Capitol rotunda.

On Tuesday, March 19, more than 100 students and alumni shared their Temple stories with members of the General Assembly as part of Owls on the Hill Day. Fifteen groups visited the offices of every senator and representative to thank them and ask for their continued support of Temple.

And on Wednesday, March 20, activities concluded with Temple Made Day, during which dancers, singers, visual artists and athletes demonstrated their talents. The day featured performances by the Owlcapella vocal group and Temple dancers; exhibits by artists from the Tyler School of Art; and demonstrations by members of the men’s soccer, women’s crew, men’s and women’s track, volleyball, football and field hockey teams.

Many of the students participating in Cherry and White Week prepared for the events by attending a series by sessions designed to sharpen their skills as Temple representatives. Hosted by Temple Student Government at Ambler and Main campuses, the Owl Advocates Academy offered lessons on the Pennsylvania General Assembly and budget process, the university’s history as a state-related institution and tips for “telling your Temple story.” The sessions were attended by more than 50 students, who served as leaders of the teams visiting legislators for the Tuesday lobbying visits.

“Cherry and White week is a great opportunity for students to use their voice and advocate for their education,” said Kenneth E. Lawrence, senior vice president for government, community and public affairs. “Elected officials appreciate the opportunity to hear from their constituents about the importance of commonwealth support for Temple and higher education.”

The reaction of legislators and other state officials was positive. Several students had the opportunity to meet directly with lawmakers, and one group had a private meeting with Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley, an alumnus of Temple’s Law School and Political Science Department. Another group that included Temple athletes was recognized on floor of the Senate by State Sen. Shirley M. Kitchen.