Posted August 27, 2014

President Theobald briefs students on Temple Fest incident, changes for the year

Joseph V. Labolito
On Aug 25, President Neil D. Theobald addressed Temple Student Government’s first General Assembly meeting and responded to students’ questions on a variety of issues.

Temple University President Neil D. Theobald started the 2014-15 academic year by addressing Temple Student Government’s first General Assembly meeting and taking students’ questions on a variety of issues, including the recent incident at Temple Fest. Read "Temple Fest incident Q&A."

Theobald’s Aug. 25 appearance, scheduled during the summer, came less than a week after one Temple student struck another during a verbal conflict that reportedly included religious slurs.

“I’ve been a college professor for 25 years, and I have always enjoyed and participated in spirited discussions and debate of issues,” Theobald said of the Aug. 20 incident at Temple Fest, an event for new students to learn about student organizations and activities. “I am a very strong proponent of freedom of expression, but there is no place on a university campus for physical violence.”

The president said Temple Police will soon finish its investigation into the incident. That investigation has since been completed, and reports and statements will be forwarded as soon as possible to the Charging Unit of the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office to assess appropriate charges. The same information will be referred to Temple’s Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards. 

Theobald also touched on campus construction projects, most notably the Science Education and Research Center opening this fall, and outlined the new academic calendar that takes effect this year and includes a fall break. The new schedule also reduces the length of winter break, but sets Commencement a bit earlier, helping students get a jump on the summer job market.

In a question-and-answer session with students, moderated by Temple Student Government President Raymond Smeriglio, Theobald also fielded questions on the Temple Option, through which prospective students may apply to the university without submitting a standardized test score, and other topics.