Ray Smeriglio was elected by his peers because of a platform built upon trust. So when Smeriglio was asked about his experiences in the Fox School of Business, the Student Body President of Temple Student Government (TSG) was genuine in his reply.
“Fox makes you real-world ready,” Smeriglio said.
A senior marketing major, Smeriglio credits Fox School for his leadership abilities. Blair Alston, TSG’s Vice President of Services and senior legal studies major, also credits Fox on the way he confidently executes duties in his position.
“Fox plays no games,” said Alston. “It taught me how to use my resources. You are taught very early about networking, getting to know people and to be engaged and active within your classes. This relates to the same thing in TSG. We must make sure to stay active and transparent on campus with our team and making sure that we keep their (students) best interests in mind as advocates for the student body.”
“I know for myself and Blair, too, Fox really taught us how to run an organization and how to inspire other people to want to get involved professionally and how to teach others how to be professional,” said Smeriglio.
That same inspiration has led Smeriglio and Alston to develop activities and volunteer opportunities intended to increase student-body activism around campus and throughout the city of Philadelphia.
This year, TSG’s Senior Leadership Team is spearheading an academic leaders program. Alston explained that the Fox School has many tools at students’ disposal, such as offering professional organizations to join and professional events to attend. TSG wants to assist in branching out that concept, so students at Temple’s other schools and colleges could have the same opportunities to gain real-world experiences, like Smeriglio had mentioned.
“This program serves as a way for our students to give feedback on how things are going in their specific school or college as well as interact with the Deans in their college so they understand what the students want to get out of their programs while also giving students a chance to be more active and network with each other,” Alston said.
Since the beginning of the academic year, TSG has booked an impressive list of speakers. Temple President Neil Theobald has attended a TSG general assembly meeting, at which he discussed his long-term goals for the university and also provided summer updates. A representative from the athletics department visited to share ways students can stay physically active on campus. And Charles Leone, Director of Campus Safety, offered updates on safety changes and procedures around campus at a late-September general assembly meeting.
“Our schedule this year is jam-packed and we are really looking forward to our planned guest speakers and we hope the students will be, too,” said Smeriglio.
Another initiative Smeriglio and Alston support is social responsibility. University officials have proposed an idea to make Temple the first university in the Philadelphia region to use composting bins within its dining halls.
“What we are trying to do is get volunteers that will show students what composting is and what items are compostable,” Alston said, “and if it works out at the Student Center it will get taken over to Morgan Hall. We are really pushing it on our social media and communication pages that this could be something really great for the Temple community.”
After graduation, Smeriglio’s ultimate goal is to find a job in higher-education marketing, either at Temple or another school that excels in higher-educational leadership. Alston is planning to apply to law school in order to attain a job in the legal field in Philadelphia. Both Smeriglio and Alston are confident the education they have received from Fox has prepared them to accomplish their goals in the workforce.
“Temple runs Philadelphia, and the Fox School of Business has a strong presence across the country and the city,” Alston said. “The various courses we take at Fox relate to everyday-life situations. So even though I am a legal studies major, I study things in economics or business communications. Fox does a great job of pulling everything together to give us a great business degree.”
“Being in Fox immerses you in the academic excellence of Temple University, but (also) the grit of the City of Philadelphia all in one,” said Smeriglio. “You really walk away with a real-world experience and you know how to work in a diverse population with people of all shapes and sizes, colors, genders, whatever it may be, to achieve some real greatness.”
TSG holds general assembly meetings every Monday at 4 p.m. in Room 200C in the Howard Gittis Student Center. For more information, follow TSG on Twitter, @templetsg.