A proposed bill may prohibit Temple students from residing in areas around Main Campus.
On Sept. 22, City Councilman Darrell Clarke introduced a bill that would halt development projects for student housing in the area around Main Campus.
The bill seeks to prohibit new multiple-family dwellings, apartment houses, tenement houses, student housing not owner-occupied and fraternity and sorority houses from North 19th Street on the west, Lehigh Avenue on the north, Ninth Street on the east, southward along Ninth Street to Cecil B. More Avenue, westward along Cecil B. More Avenue to 13th Street, southward along 13th Street to Girard Avenue and Girard Avenue from 13th to 19th streets on the south.
Clarke reportedly cited students’ disrespectful behavior and tension between students and long-time residents in the community surrounding Main Campus as reasons for introducing the bill, as Angelo Fichera explores in [Ordinance seeks to remove student housing, tensions, p. 1].
A similar bill was introduced and passed in Yorktown, another community neighboring Main Campus, that has been a subject of debate during the past few years.
While there is no doubt that Temple should take more responsibility for housing its students, The Temple News will never support incidents of discrimination in any way, and no matter how Councilman Clarke might suggest his intentions, this is still discrimination.
Last year, Temple Student Government with several partners introduced a Good Neighbor Policy, which asked students to be aware of the community they were living in and to be respectful of it and of their neighbors.
Students are not always the best neighbors: Late hours, noise and trash are frequent and legitimate complaints of community members. However, not liking the behavior of a group of people does not make it OK to try and prevent them from inhabiting an area. Students are still adults, and proposing a bill that blatantly attempts to prevent any other group of adults from inhabiting an area would be laughable. This is no different.
Additionally, Councilman Clarke should remember that Temple and its students directly influenced the revitalization of the North Philadelphia neighborhood.
And while it is far from all students who need this advice, The Temple News would like to see all students adhere to the Good Neighbor Policy. Improving the relationship between members of the community and transient students is ongoing, but shouldn’t be neglected.