The surrounding community should be a priority, but tough decisions must be made when it comes to finances.
Darrell Clarke, the city councilman who weeks ago introduced a proposal to prevent student housing in the area surrounding Main Campus, is now seeking to create legislation to make the area a neighborhood improvement district.
Clarke aims to change the landscape of North Central Philadelphia by implementing new safety and cleaning measures through a modest assessment fee to property owners in the area as well as a contribution from Temple.
The Temple News encourages the university and the university community to be involved in the community surrounding Main Campus and to do what they can to improve the neighborhood. North Philadelphia and North Central Philadelphia have been home to residents outside of the Temple community for many years, and transient students as well as the university should be mindful of the neighborhoods they affect.
While a monetary contribution from the university is a great gesture, The Temple News is obligated to question where that money is coming from. At a time where students are already struggling to pay their tuition bills, commonwealth appropriations are decreasing and donations from alumni are decreasing, nonacademic investments must be considered a luxury.
There is no doubt that the surrounding community directly impacts the university and its students, and investing in it is an investment in Temple, too. But unfortunately this is a time when Temple must prioritize, and can’t just throw money at any cause, regardless of how worthy that cause might be.
In the meantime, The Temple News encourages students, faculty and university officials to take non-financial measures to improve the community that surrounds Main Campus. Students who live in the area should remember to clean up after themselves and respect their neighbors.